The lack of Cloudwater at the Old Bicycle Shop hit particularly hard as the memory of their Bitter at the York Tap was so fresh.
Saturday’s visit was my third, and the first one that’s convinced. This place has a mighty reputation among beer tourists, and the reliable Mr Everitt had recently chided me for a slightly negative tone I’d adopted about the place.
I can be a contrary old sod at times, just ask Mrs RM (no don’t). If everyone says something is great, I’ll find myself disagreeing. The Tap has too many handpumps, it’s full of beer tourists, there’s no Bass etc etc.
But I couldn’t fault it on Saturday. Perhaps because I chose to sit at the bar I had a better view of proceedings.
All human life was there. A party of toffs, 50ish beer tourists (er), normals and drunk Yorkies, as you’d hope for in a station. Places always seem better with marginal drunks, and there were some corkers on Saturday (6pm !). Simon would have loved it.
Wobbly Yorkie Chap comes to bar. “Right, wife wants the strawberry flavoured beer” (see below, it’s £6.60). Good choice, say I (as I assumed it was stronger than 3.6% at that price). He offers me a taste, I sniff, and he says “That’s enough, it’s £6.60 that”.
Chap then looks at bar. “What proper beers you got ? Black Sheep, Theakstons ?, None of that lager muck” I’m with you Sir. Incredibly helpful barman talks him through styles and he ends up with an Allendale Wagtail. Marvellous customer service at a busy bar.
He should have had the Cloudwater, which was close to perfect (NBSS 4.5, my first this year). Confusingly this from a pubs with nearly 20 pumps. I hope Cloudwater is always served in condition this good.
Cask was very decently priced as well, which helps.
It is also, with a doubt, the second most beautiful building in York (after Betty’s).