Brigg has punched above its weight for years. With only 5,000 souls, it still manages a good train service (on Saturdays to Cleethorpes), an FA Vase winning football club, a great Chinese takeaway and eight pubs in half a mile stroll through an attractive market town. Ideally placed for Scunthorpe too.
As with Goole, a little sunshine goes a long way here, which along with some colourful shops made this a good lunch stop.
It reminded me of a mini-Louth, though that has a stand-out church and quick access on foot to the Wolds.
The most striking building is the Dying Gladiator, a pub that took real ale off as soon as it finally entered the Beer Guide a few years back.
The Angel isn’t far behind, though that’s been converted into a café-cum-heritage centre, both very attractively done.
The best pub, possibly in my Top 100, is the Yarborough Hunt. When it opened a decade or so ago it brought a touch of class to the town in much the same way as Mick Thurlby did with Smiths in Bourne.
Almost Sam Smiths-like, with four rooms, three real fires, and you can bring your own sandwiches in (the really old-fashioned bakers across the road does cobs for £1.55). Very good Tom Woods here in my experience, but I opted for the Riegel IPA as I do love a novelty beer. Most folk were enjoying coffee in front of the fire.
Brigg’s newest Guide entry is a real contrast to the Hunt. The Nelthorpe Arms is quirky, with a space invaders table, a parrot, and Punk IPA on tap. The Millstone is very good (NBSS 3), though it needs more lunchtime custom.
I hadn’t twigged where that custom was till I walked past the tell-tale board advertising the Wetherspoons real ale festival. The White Horse has been open a year and seemed to be cleaning up, irrespective of recent modest price rises. It’s one of their smaller places, but they can’t have many in towns of 5,000. The beer range looked very adventurous, even in festival season.
Pub Curmudgeon made some interesting observations on small town Spoons here