Thursday 29 November 2018

BRAPA - It is Vintage Hull

My first trip to the city that god almost forgot to create since the new Good Beer Guide came out in September.  I had a sort of pub tick, a couple of pre-emptive ideas I'd gleaned from that Hedon micropub, and least importantly, a football match as the timid Tigers took on the Crazy Canaries.

I'll pay tribute to Father BRAPA here.  He picked me up from outside Yorkshire Bank in L**ds at 4pm, and in the torrential rain and heavy traffic, with visibility poor, we skidded our way to Hull.  And then I didn't even let him go in a pre-match pub he wanted, all in the name of BRAPA!

"Oh, and one more thing Dad, stand in the rain and take a photo of me!"
1403 / 2376.  Head of Steam, Hull

To be honest with you, under BRAPA rules, I could've already 'green penned' this entry, for I'd been twice before when it was known as King's Ale House.  I remember our first visit approx 2002 because Dad thought a malevolent force at about shoulder level was sapping all his energy, and all I could do was wonder where Yvette Fielding was when you needed her.    It was unrecognisable these days, all shiny American themed strange seated weirdness, not the kind of place to ordinarily get comfy in.  Dad had been in twice since the refurb and reported poor beer on both occasions so was surprised to see it make the GBG.  But it was to prove a happier experience for me.  The barman was fantastic from the start, friendly, approachable, stoic yet effortlessly charming, and he served us from a range of beers which seemed strangely horror-based (Hull loves being a month behind), and many from Camerons.  A nice bloke with an air of the 'pub ticker' smiled at me from the corner, looking up from his tablet.  He had an element of the Duncan Mackay and the look of a bloke who'd ticked 99% of the GBG.  If he'd been watching clips of 22 rare moths flitting around a non league football pitch in Reykjavik, I'd not have been surprised.  We sat on these peculiar chairs, half stools, half seats, horrid contraptions, the music was too loud.  But as we debated where we could move on to, we decided time was against us and we'd better stay put and ring for a taxi to the KComm from here.  Plus there was this incredible 6% stout on, and soon I was enjoying that with a bowl of fries.   And you know, we almost started to enjoy it.  But as Head of Steam's go (and I still have Sheffield to do), it didn't have the charm of my fave in Huddersfield, and was less good than Newcastle, Durham and even L**ds which isn't amazing.  Yet, when all said and done, a decent pre-match effort.

Ahop-alypse Now (sigh!)

West Brom fans from other week, or has BritainBeerMat been in? 

You see, it isn't the best

Highlight of the pre-match?
I have to admit though, in the cold light of day, if I'd approached this in normal BRAPA circumstances, i.e. a 27.5 minute one pint visit on my own on a Saturday lunchtime, I'm likely to have been even less complimentary! 

The match wasn't too bad for a 0-0, there were approximately zero fans there, but an okay performance against the league leaders, you can't knock it can you?

Back row of East Stand to myself, pretty much!

Post match then and with no queues to get out but a "need to let the traffic clear" (best excuse ever), we decided to settle a few minutes in a new pub.  Was thinking the Corn Exchange, which has now been taken on by Atom brewery and is 'good in a modern way' perhaps, a good 'post-emptive' for it was in the 1974 GBG.

But we were soon on Silver Street, home of what we assumed was Hull's latest Micro offering, but surely it was closed and we'd walked past it?  No, it was all red and twinkling in the distance ......

Vintage, Hull

Dad started pronouncing the word vintage in a French accent which was weird, as we walked in, but he was immediately drowned out by a little circle of old folkie folkers playing folk music in the folkiest way you could imagine.  Great tin whistle and mandolin action, creating a lovely atmosphere underneath the old front covers of Playboy.  A first class barmaid served me this gorgeous toffee porter, and indicated to the huge covered trays of sandwiches - egg mayo or ham - help yourselves, she told us, and with the music lilting gently in the distance, I, for the first time ever, had been fully content in a modern Hull pub.  Well okay, Walters has had its moments of bliss, Chilli Devils is quite good, never been a Hop & Vine fan, Furleys pah,  Lion n Key and Wm Hawkes, hmmmmm, jury's out on them, but there was something special about this.  Can't call it a Micropub either, or if it is, I have the same brain power as Dean Windass.    Saddest thing, my phone went dead so I only got one photo!

Play us Shoals of Herring ye bastards!

So that was an unexpectedly great bonus, and it was off back to York.  I'll be back on the BRAPA trail Friday night, as I continue to plug away at West Yorkshire's remaining 12 ticks.  Oh, and in a boring stat to end on, it'll be the first time I've ever visited a new pub on 30th November, and not many calendar days you can say that of.  See you on Twitter after 4pm!



  1. I find it pleasing that 8814 now officially approximates to zero. I'm sure we can do far better in future.

    1. Now now Tom, pretty sure my estimated attendance is more likely to be correct than the clubs!

  2. I would pay good money to hear Dad say "Von-tige" on a 7" flexi disc to keep some bloke off the telly off Christmas Number 1. Make it so.

    This post is important; it establishes a principle that if a place is completely reconstructed like HoS (or say, Wilmslow Spoons becomes Brewhouse & Kitchen) you must go back and re-tick. Duncan wouldn't, but would go back if they moved the bar two foot to the right. Invalidates his lifetime's work if you ask me.

    I'm looking forward to my Hull revisit and pre-emptive.

    1. Dad could be the new Rage Against the Machine, I've been saying it for years. Yes, it is a good point that, total reconstruction I think should be new tick, but not in the case of say the Hobgoblin/Alehouse Reading thing, or that weird purple place in Aberdeen. Glad you have a Hull trip in the offing, superb place.

  3. ""Oh, and one more thing Dad, stand in the rain and take a photo of me!""

    Good man that. :)

    "If he'd been watching clips of 22 rare moths flitting around a non league football pitch in Reykjavik, I'd not have been surprised. "


    "We sat on these peculiar chairs, half stools, "

    Were you turtling? ;)

    "Ahop-alypse Now (sigh!)"

    Agreed! (sheesh)

    "West Brom fans from other week, or has BritainBeerMat been in?"


    "but a "need to let the traffic clear" (best excuse ever),"

    Not bad. :)

    "A first class barmaid served me this gorgeous toffee porter, and indicated to the huge covered trays of sandwiches - egg mayo or ham - help yourselves"

    That would make me quite content. :)

    "See you on Twitter after 4pm!"

    I'll wait for the blog post thanks. ;)


    1. Turtling would be even funnier in Hull cos in their accent, that is how they would say totalling!
      It's Mother BRAPA we'd need to convince with the traffic clearing excuse.
      Oh yes, forget some people actually aren't on Twitter THE MONSTERS ;)

    2. LOL, yep it's usually the women folk who one needs to try the excuse on.

      As for Monsters... pfft! I believe the correct term is Dinosaur. :)


  4. Enjoyed reading this, having been in the Head of Steam for some post-match food and ale myself a few days earlier, after watching Forest play at the KComm. Now if Hull would kindly stay in the Championship I'll add Vintage to the list of places I've gotta visit next time round.
    Cheers for keeping me entertained with the Blog Simon!

    1. Cheers Nick! Sorry taken me so long to see this message. Am so rubbish at rechecking past blogs for comments. Yes, am confident Vintage is GBG quality. Pub of Year quality too perhaps? Well, this is unless you make a late dash for playoffs but we are staying where we are haha!

  5. I'm writing from Vintage, which is a great pub, and not just because they're playing "I'll be there"

  6. Wowwww! A special place in a special City. Hope you got free sarnies.