Lincoln is an underrated city, partly because of the surrounding dullness (sorry Spital in the Street) and partly due to it’s a perception that there’s just a large cathedral and castle.
The cathedral is one of my personal favourites, but it’s the steep walk down from there to the modern town centre that really appeals, possibly less so in years to come as I inevitably struggle to get back up it.
At the bottom is a compact shopping centre, with a few gems like this by the river. There used to be a classic Sam Smiths cellar pub, the Cornhill Vaults, lost to redevelopment.
Lincoln is well-pubbed, and the vast majority of Beer Guide entries are proper drinkers pubs, rather than restaurants. The Morning Star (Bass !), Dog & Bone, Strugglers and Victoria stick to the knitting of reliable family brewers beers in unfussy pubs.
My latest flying visit was to visit what looks like the first craft bar (of sorts); I don’t count Spoons despite their merits.
The West End Tap is tucked away on a residential street in the West End (obviously), in amongst the student accommodation. I couldn’t claim Carholme Road is a hotbed of independent creativity though. The nearby West Common and recreational area give it a feel closer to, say, Oxford’s Parks than Jericho.
This is clearly a craft venture; you can tell by the taps on the wall (makes a change from white). Actually, it’s much more cask-oriented than that, even if my half of Yeovil Stargazer (NBSS 3) was served in a BrewDog glass.
Quite why I didn’t have the Dark Star Espresso Stout I’ll never know. It’s a particularly attractive range of drinks, with Oakham and Robbie’s Trooper on keg.
The opening hours (from 4pm) are a bit micro-pub too, though the outside loos are old school alehouse.
The barperson was very cheery (take note Simon Everitt), but I was the only customer, which is never the ideal situation, as the “banter” was of the talking to yourself type. Visit it in the evening.
The Queen in the West itself hasn’t been in the Beer Guide for a while, but it’s a classic looking pub that seems a little too Greene king dominated at the moment. Worth a visit.