Great Yarmouth – Blackfriars Tavern
Firstly, my apologies that I wasn’t intending to write up the day that Nathan I spent visiting all the Good Beer Guide pubs in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. This means that I didn’t burden myself with taking many photos, so my extensive readership of two will just have to use their imagination a bit more than usual. I am slowly, but very surely, visiting every pub in the Good Beer Guide which is an impossible project but that doesn’t stop me. This pub in Great Yarmouth (94 Blackfriars’ Road, NR30 3BZ) is just a little out of the way, so credit once again to the Good Beer Guide for listing this venue.
Let me start by writing up-front that this is a very good pub and I was absolutely unable to fault it. The warmth of the welcome, the engagement from who I am guessing is the landlord, the range of the beers and the inviting nature of the environment. This is going to be one of those feel good posts where just everything went well. As a pre-cursor to the below, the landlord mentioned to us that he had just written a blog post that day about the beer Nathan ordered, so for some extra context have a read of https://www.blackfriarstavern.co.uk/the-story-of-the-starry-night-stout-and-the-three-wise-men/. That web-site is a work of art on its own with the width of their offering being clearly evident.
I went for the Recessive Red from the reliable Mr Winter’s and this was a well kept quite punchy 6% red ale. There were two darker beers with Nathan going for the Starry Night Stout from Tindall Brewing and checking through his Untappd he was happy with it and its smoothness. He probably told me at the time, but I doubt I was listening. We were on one of our random days out with occasional shots (it’s a long story, but we should probably be supervised by a responsible adult if I’m being honest), which is why there’s a delicious shot sitting next to my real ale. I don’t actually want to focus on the beer choice for too long, but it was excellent for a venue of this size with five real ales and an extensive Belgian beer selection. And the pub wasn’t just offering beers, the landlord was positively enthusing about them. This is a landlord that cares about his beer.
The reason that I don’t want to linger on the beer is that this wasn’t the highlight of the visit, and in many ways, it shouldn’t be. The star of the show was the friendly landlord, engaging and welcoming. He also didn’t demur about our random shot and just slightly odd behaviour, he positively embraced it and so no criticisms there. There were plenty of board games and Nathan rushed over with chess as he’s from a chess winning family. Privately I suspect that’s as he didn’t want to play monopoly for four hours which is what I would have ended up doing. Although he quite rightly mentioned that it would have been no hardship staying here for several hours. Incidentally, he won at chess, but I like letting him win as it cheers him up.
There’s also a very decent refurbishment that has gone on here, it’s traditional but yet on-trend which is a hard thing to achieve. There’s nothing formulaic about this pub, it’s laid-back, it’s slightly quirky and it does the welcoming thing well. I’ve mentioned before that one of the key measures of a pub is that someone coming in on their own, perhaps new to the area, feels like it’s a venue they’re part of and a community to which they feel they can join. I absolutely got that feeling here, this is absolutely right to be in the Good Beer Guide, it’s glorious. Anyone coming to Great Yarmouth who likes pubs should pop in and linger here for some time.
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