You don’t get one of my pink pen masterpieces today, everyone knows where Thirsk is. Half an hour’s walk from the railway station, that’s where.
One of the joys of a life based around the Beer Guide is the chance for an annual re-evaluation. At times a GBG free zone, Thirsk has rarely impressed for non-pubby reasons either. For a start, giving away your picturesque market square entirely to cars is never a good idea. There’s plenty of independent cafes, but this is no Malton.
But things change, even in a town most famous for a bloke with his hand up the backside of a cow.
I popped into the wonderful Sweet Memories (top), where I was sweetly grilled as to why I was here and given the full Herriot spiel that all shop-owners have to provide under Thirsk by-laws. I tried to convince her I was only there for her excellent salted Finnish liquorice, but GBG-tickers are clearly evident a mile off.
On foot, there’s certainly a decent trail of buildings to stare at, including a rare pub with only Pedigree on pump. As I always say, you can only drink one beer at a time. Other folk can debate whether Pedigree is an upgrade on Mansfield Cask as your sole beer.
I don’t think the town’s other pubs are “Ale Shrines” either, and the absence of a Sam Smiths is inexplicable. But out of nowhere, the town has a “trendy” pub, based on it having the only customers younger than me. And, of course, a Piemaster board.
I’m not saying Thirsk is 20 years behind the time, but The Little 3 would have looked cutting-edge in Hitchin or Banbury in 1993, right down to the TexMex restaurant. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and a packed bar showed this place appeals across the age range. Even this Beverley Sisters tribute act;
Apart from the obligatory Frizzante 1754 (the new Perroni* round here), the beer range was pleasingly solid Yorkshire; Daleside, Theakston, Landlord (NBSS 3) alongside a couple of guests you’ll be able to identify from the helpful board below (Five points each).
A family group came in, looking forlornly for a dining table. My heart leapt out to them.
Finally, exciting news for Simon. The Thirsk & Sowerby Institute mot only has the best net curtains, it also has York Guzzler on this week. Hopefully not last years unfinished barrel from Llansilin.
*Is there a Campaign for the Preservation of Craft Perroni yet ?