2 hours is a long time to kill in Masham, so I continued my aimless wander looking for pictures of sausages in French berets,
and quirky old fashioned delis.
My hopes were high for the Yorkshire ham sandwich at Reahs Deli, but wafer thin ham slices in a cheap brown roll just made me glad I’d be heading to the True North later that afternoon and away from Yorkshire’s tourist traps.
Finally I found the world famous weather forecasting stone, at the top of a little alley that led to Theakston’s brewery.
I’d forgotten how small Theakston is. Back in the ’90s it was one of the few breweries familiar to us southerners, and Pashmina Paulines from Pampisford would plan boutique overnighters to the town, followed by a trip to buy a slab of Wensleydale they’d never eat.
You know how much I detest brewery visits. Did you know ALL the trips organised for the CAMRA AGM in Dundee in a fortnight are to breweries. That’s how much they hate pubs. Good job I’m making my own arrangements.
But the Theakston tap is open to the public so it might get in the Beer Guide one day and I’d feel daft if I didn’t do it while I’m there.
A few folk at the end of tours were buying bottles, which is something I could have done without seeing, (“Is this an ale ?“) leaving me the only person actually drinking fresh beer.
I do like their pump clips, apart from the one on the right, of course. Simple, descriptive and colourful.
Yes, of course I had the Best Bitter, to compare with the two pubs in town. Much fresher, 3.5 at least.
And it’s a gorgeous looking little drinkers’ area, however artificial it might be.
Not much fun being the only drinker though. But at least I had the joy of listening to some young Theakston employees (who were tremendous) brainstorming events for the Tap. Young farmers parties, domino drives, Geoff Boycott bingo; they had rare relish for their task.
It all reminded me of the bright and cheery Bateman Visitor Centre over in Wainfleet, and I can’t say fairer than that.
There you go. It is possible to get fresh Theakstons on a Thursday lunchtime in March. Black Sheep on a Monday may be a tougher ask.