Well, a long dry run without Draught Bass came to an end in Harrogate last week, where I made a return visit to one of the town’s increasing number of classic pubs, tucked away between the Pump Room and the valley.

Not an obvious Bass stronghold, but the Hales Bar is a real throwback to simpler times.


How’s this for a traditional cask line-up ?IMG_20170623_213221.jpg


Unlike BRAPA, ignoring the Bass in one of its strongholds down in Cornwall at the moment, I made the only possible call. Pleasingly, I wasn’t alone, though the other pumps had plenty of turnover too.

On a hot Friday night, this seemed the most civilised place in town, unless Betty’s has opened  a craft bar and not told anyone.  Richard Coldwell will know.

Despite the evidence below, the Hales Bar had the widest mix of drinkers I saw in Harrogate all night, which is my definition of a great pub.


I did what I always do and wandered round a packed lounge in a state of awe, before settling on the quirky patio to enjoy my Bass and Gnome of the Day.



Not quite Bass from the jug, but served with a tight head as in Derby’s finest establishments, it was a classic end to, I’m afraid, and evening of overindulgence.





39 thoughts on “BASS, BASS, GLORIOUS BASS

  1. Brilliant! It’s often forgotten now that Bass, through various takeovers, were one of the biggest owners of tied houses across much of Yorkshire. York and Scarborough were full of Bass pubs.


  2. No they were all over – I can tell an ex Bass estate premises immediately, almost instinctively, having been brought up in one. They all had the same corporate design features, even the old buildings, and same contractors to do the work, they might even have been in-house at one time?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Olde Starre was Camerons, but I think the Punch Bowl over the street was Bass, as were the Three Cranes and Cross Keys.


  3. I did 73 pubs in York in 1981 with some mates over a weekend.
    The Cross Keys was a John Smiths tied house.
    Most Bass tied houses in York traded under the Stones banner but you could tell they were tied to the Bass Brewery.
    Here is a list of all Stones/Bass tied houses we did in 1981
    The Tiger
    Three Cranes
    Market Tavern
    White Swan
    The Lodge
    The Grapes
    Railway King
    Nags Head
    Five Lions
    The Queen
    Spotted Cow
    Minster Inn
    White Horse
    Waggon and Horses
    Bay Horse
    Bay Horse
    Old White Swan
    Golden fleece
    Black Swan
    Masons Arms
    Victoria Hotel
    The Lighthorseman
    Fulford Arms
    Lendal Bridge

    I did the Punchbowl at a later date,the other Punchbowl is now a Wetherspoons.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No it was just five sessions from Friday Dinner to Sunday dinner,so a long weekend but the Sunday dinner session was only two hours as it was before all day opening.

        I may do a blog about yesterdays drinking as it was a mammoth all day session that started slowly in a pub in Long Eaton just two pints for me and two halfs for the wife and a cheese and onion cob each.

        Back to Stabbo and on the home brewed mild i had four pints and the wife two halfs,then up to Wetherspoons and i had three pints and the wife two pints and a double Cognac neat,then down to our local to see a live group who were brilliant pretty sure we shipped about seven pints and seven halfs,but it could well have been more,lots of dancing and we left just after 12 at chucking out time.
        I fell over in the kitchen which is always a sign of a good night out.
        The wife got up early with no problems,i got up just after 11am no hangover but felt out of sorts.
        Back on the home brewed mild now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My 1988 edition of “North Yorkshire Ale” shows the Cross Keys on Goodramgate as being a Bass house – are you maybe thinking of a different one?

      Back in the day, Bass, Camerons and John Smith’s were the main tied house owners in York, with a scattering of Tetley and Sam Smith’s.


      1. Yes so does mine Peter,
        Number 21 on the map and listed as having Stones Bitter and Draught Bass.
        My photo of the pub from 1989 shows it with a red front door,which is a good sign of it being an ex Bass tied house.
        This has really frustrated me and will now have to in time look through my old note books and find out what i said about the pub.
        I have also only done one Cross keys in York and it was the one on Goodramgate.


  4. That is an excellent line up. Of course, it is as long as they all move. Just yesterday at a brewery during a conversation with a man I had just met I mentioned that you cannot get the full effect of a beer with less than a pint. Seems I have read that somewhere on a number of occasions.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I went in Hales Bar on the 9th July 2007 and had a drink of Daleside Bitter,which went down well,i only did 9 pubs in the town after doing all open pubs in Knaresborough.
    Harrogate is the only large town that i have been to that i found very hard to find any pub,after a 15 minute walk from the train station i gave up and asked if there were any pubs nearby.
    I think Harrogate is a town for posh women and not a pub crawler like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Had my first pint of Bass in ages this afternoon, in a packed Sun Inn at Stockton. Could easily have had another 2 or 7, but it would have been a long walk home! Not seen a pub that busy early doors on a Sunday in years.

    The question is – is banked Bass better than jugged Bass? And what makes jugged Bass better than plain old gravity Bass?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s virtually all of Hamburg surely? Wandered the streets there a couple of times, not a lot of historical architecture left. Some very weird bars around the Reeperbahn, I’m sure your son might appreciate the tiny Death Metal bar I ended up in about 15 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have done my first blog for over five weeks and it only has three pubs on it,but they are three pubs that we visit quite a lot.
    I did mention your blog on it but do not know how to link it to my poor blog.
    I hope you like it Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes two new bathrooms both to be stripped back to nothing and done again,i am blowing my pension lump sum payout,as the wife wanted to move house and i did not want to,so to appease her we are replacing our two grotty bathrooms,then our house will look good all over,still plenty left for drinking and pub crawls.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Bass is truly magnificent….I took a NII pub management course in 1992 at Henley college in Coventry and the lecturer converted me to Bass! Regular pint in the Town Wall Tavern made me a real ale fan …as an aside currently on holiday in Ryde Isle of Wight and looks fairly desolate apart from one decent spoons….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You will find Draught Bass in the bar of Yelf’s Hotel. The Simeon Arms was also recommended to me, but I never made it there due to torrential rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheers! I will get myself there…love reading this old mudgie and Brapa blogs as informs some of my drinking! Colston Crawford aka the beerhunter is also spot on


  9. Without wishing to labour the IOW point I went to esplanade hotel tonight in Ryde and there were two cracking pints on from Heritage Brewing… Charrington IPA and Masterpiece…the dark clouds are lifting


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