Friday 6 August 2021


Beverley, the East Riding's answer to York.  The kind of place which makes people gaze up at you all doughy eyed and coo 'ooooh what a lovely town'.

I was here to visit the Wetherspoons, and get the hell out of here ASAP before the day trippers suffocated me.  Such is the life of a pub ticker.  

My seventh visit in the name BRAPA, yes seven.  That must be some kind of record outside Biggleswade.  Visiting the 'Spoons as a pre-emptive on one of my previous six trips would have been sensible.  BRAPA isn't sensible.  

All previous six trips had been in the wintertime.  Today, it was baking hot, even at 11am.  Daddy BRAPA hits traffic as we approach the centre.  I hop out as he looks for a parking space and a poncey coffee somewhere in the Saturday Market, a pretty rabbit warren of streets at the hub of the town.  I've only ever been to Beverley on a Saturday, another fascinating fact.

The heat hits me and I glance up at the minster.  There's my culture done for the day! Now I can relax.

The 'Spoons is just along the street on the right hand side with echoes of Witham and Maldon .......

In a scene that could be best described as 'chaotic', at worst 'a bloody shambles', I enter the cool, dimly lit Cross Keys, Beverley (1877 / 3306) where the breaking news is that there is no table service until 1pm, App only orders until then.  Considering everyone following me in looks like Harry Enfield's George Whitebread character "I'm a Yorkshireman.  I say what I like, and I like what I bloody well say!", well you can imagine they have no idea what an App is.  And stressed, sweating staff relent minutes later and decide to abandon their ill conceived notion, seeing as a frustrated queue is now snaking outside the door.  Roll on Magic Monday (19th!) When the posh lady explaining DNA to her three husbands leaves, a group of NINE twenty somethings enter, looking for tables of six and three.  Good luck with that chumps.  And they get their heads bitten off by the main barmaid, despite the youngsters being a lot more polite than the Whitebread's of this world!  Six of them disappear towards the kitchen, we never see them again.  But the steak pies do seem extra fresh, so there is that I guess.  My Doom Bar (one of only two on) is drinking well, little did I know it'd be one of the better kept pints today, cool and well conditioned.  

DNA, husbands and Doom

"Table for four of you, over there, & use the App!"  "Urrrr, what's an App, luv!" 

I find Dad chilling under a tree by the car park, and we head off to Hull.   Not because I need a tick there, but because there is far too much time to kill before our 2pm Micropubs open.

Dad requests his current Hull City home game fave, the White Hart, NOT to be confused with the inferior but more famous Olde White Harte.  

Open the same year Hull City formed, 1904 (no wonder it is so up and down), this heritage classic is a relatively recent addition to the Hull ale scene, having always been shut or unreliable in the days I was coming to home games.  Dad's favourite beer, Wolf Bite, brewed by Crafty Little Brewery in Brough, where we are going later, sadly isn't on at present, says the barman who knows what he's doing with the cool bald hairstyle.  We end up with some crazy soupy murk instead, but again, it is one of the better kept beers today.  Some decent punk tunes keep me entertained.  A stag do hover around the smoking area, one bloke dressed as a giant chicken (cock?) but I'm not quick enough to get a photo, not fully engaged you see being only a BRAPA 'revisit'.  Very nice, but back to ticking!

Cottingham is up next, and Dad who has so far managed to mention Philip Larkin once every five minutes today, tells me he's buried across the road, which by now, doesn't surprise me at all!

We then see a blue plaque for Jacob Bronowski.  Well, well, well, that is interesting, although I originally thought he wrote 'Where the Wild Things Are' , but no, it was 'Ascent of Man'.  If good ole' Jacob was still alive now, I'd like to think a study of my blog would inspire him to write 'Ascent of Man : Reloaded'.  But he died when the first GBG came out, so he won't.

Three pubs to go in E.Y., c'mon, let's not tarry!

Although it well gone 2pm opening, the landlady is stood precariously on top of a stool behind the bar, juggling glasses, sweating and apologising for the delay, making me think everything is running a bit behind schedule at Hugh Fitz-Baldric, Cottingham (1878 / 3307).  In trying to find the loo, Dad pushes the door to the private quarters.  "Where d'ya think your going?" she asks him, which rubs Dad up the wrong way and the place never recovers in his mind!  Similar for me actually, my Salopian Lemon Dream is poor, perhaps the first sign the heat is taking its toll, now up past 30 degrees which is far more than I can stand.  We hide around the corner and sup up and say nowt, not the most interesting place, and although our garrulous hostess chats about the heat on the way out in jovial terms, this one ain't gonna win any awards in my mind.

 After an accidental action shot of Dad getting back in the car .....

                                                    .... it was onto Brough for our penultimate East Yorkshire tick,

And it was a similar story at Centurion Arms, Brough (1879 / 3308), cask ale struggling due to the heat in a fairly bland GBG debutant micro.  There was no air con either, and the dog biscuits on arrival were making the place smell like a doggie pub, with or without the actual mutts.  However, had they offered Colin one a la Layer-de-la-Haye, it could've been oh so different.  Maybe. 

It all made me feel quite sorry for these well-advanced pub tickers who's ticking life is probably mainly new entries like these previous two.  Where as I can trot off to Hertford say, and do six pubs which have been in GBG's for decades, and with good reason.  Funny, you think I'd swap places with someone on a 95% GBG completion rate in a heartbeat, but I'm not sure I would!

I was in jubilant spirits though as we entered the town of Snaith, they'd just had a murder, and now BRAPA was in town.  What a week for Snaith, I could empathise as Dad stepped up to take that inaugural photo .....

Now, Yorkshire Ales, Snaith (1880 / 3309) HAS been in quite a few consecutive Good Beer Guides now, and I really have no excuse for having done it sooner, apart from maybe tricky opening hours.  Oh, and the fact it was once wrongly put in North Yorkshire!  You could immediately feel a step up in quality from the previous two venues, the welcome, the beer quality, oh and the loos, I could've stayed in there all day.  Covered in Roy of the Rovers Melchester comic strips.  Boy's own stuff, in this edition, Melchester had made the unwise decision to sign the Kemp lads from Spandau Ballet.  Atrocious at first, but somehow forced their way into the first team.  Longest pee of my life.  The 'ordering set up' was peculiar in a Cranleigh Surrey way.  Text this number with your drinks order.  Small pub with about five other customers, seems a bit excessive.  Table number?  We didn't have one.  Under the Wild Pony painting (which Dad and I had been criticising for its lack of life and movement only minutes earlier!)   Ale better, Dad's Fentiman's presented wayyyy too fancily, echos of Tom Irvin's drink in Duke's, Halifax a week ago.  My ale soon warmed up ridiculously.  Tried Dad's left over ice cubes in it.  Uh oh, not a good idea.  Still, only myself to blame, and it didn't matter, cos I'd finally greened off only my second county of the year!

Celebrate good times come on!  And we had one more tick to get in before home time.  Join me on Sunday for tales of that, the 19th July happening, and a VERY eventful midweek in County Durham.

Sweet dreams, early night for me, Preston is calling!


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