On the Thursday before the European Beer Bloggers Conference in Leeds this year, I jumped on a train to York in the morning before heading back to Leeds for the pre-conference pub crawl.
On leaving the train station I noticed the York Tap which advertised craft beer and decided I should try it before I head back. My destination was going to be the York brewery but I decided to get a hair cut first and then have lunch at a pub.
York is a beautiful medieval city with a complete wall and narrow streets. It's also home to some pretty interesting looking pubs that I did not have time to visit.
One of which was The last drop. This is a York Brewery pub and was where I decided to go for lunch.
Not a huge range of beers but there is 6 on cask, a few keg and a good selection of bottles. Nice enough little pub. Quiet at noon on Thursday. No bar seating. I reckon it gets busy later at night and has a good atmosphere.
I had a Yorkshire Terrier which is a nice bitter. Golden colour. Earthy hops. Somewhat honeyish.
Centurions ghost was my choice to have with my food, one of the sausages in my bangers and mash was made with this beer so I figured it would match. I'm sure I had this beer before, perhaps at the Belfast beer festival. Lovely rich chocolate. Strong caramel malt. Porter or dark ale? Lovely bitter roast finish.
This is one of the interesting looking pubs I did not get to check out. It's opposite another York pub called The Yorkshire Terrier (like the beer).
A 10 minute walk away, across the river and back towards the train station for the York Brewery.
Inside is a nice bar with some very comfortable couches at the back and tables at the front based on wooden barrels.
This bar is available for functions if you are a brewery friend / member. I think it's only £3 a year or something very cheap like that and there are a range of benefits like cheaper pints etc than drop-ins.
Just a bit of brewery porn.
Open top fermenters seem to be the norm for British breweries that do cask it seems.
I put together a video of the tour so check out below if you want to see what it's like. It's pretty good and while it does cost £6 you do get two half pints out of that and the rest goes to keeping the brewery ticking over. Support your local brewery and if visiting like myself, support the local breweries wherever you go.
I went to the York Tap by the station later. The video contains a bit of footage. By now I was feeling a little peckish and the £2 pork pies went down a treat.
Much more expensive than The Last Drop: £2.10 for a half versus £2.30 for pint in last drop. However visiting somewhere with 20 beers on cask and 12 kegged, most real ale is like visiting an Irish beer festival. Good few bottled beers also.
£3.50 seems to be the pint price.
That said, seems £1.75 is a more normal price here for a half.
Here are the beers I had in half pint format. I have a half cyclops for them with just Smell and Taste.
These were written on my phone so excuse the bad formatting and I can't be arsed correcting.
Little valley hebdens wheat 4.5
Not bad. Little watery and boring. Refreshing but not sure it works on cask.
Thornbridge pivní 3.2
S slight cheesy funk. Then some citrus
T quite weak tasting. Somewhat smokey but like watered down whiskey.
New brewey- the hop studio see video.
Massive foaming head that grows. Lots of bubbles.
S slight lemon.
T Result is a dry pilsner. It is perhaps a little too fizzy. Generously hopped but does seem a tad bit watery. It leaves a pleasant bitterness. Hops are a little earthy. While colder than real ale, it's bot actually too cold. A respectable pilsner I think.
Great heck -stormin Norman 6.5
S not a lot. Some slight sugar.
T strong alcohol but not paint thinner. You know it's a high abv beer. Some fruit. Drying alcohol. Nice but not with he abv.
Kirkstall framboise £2.10
S raspberry of course.
T starts sweet like juice but almost immediately becomes tart with mouth
Puckering sourness before becoming sweet again. Reminds me of an acopop but since there is a good sour note, it's worth drinking. No cantillon but still nice.
And here is the video post if you want to take a look. At the very least you will see some of the York Brewery tour. Be sure to watch full screen.