This micropub, the first in King’s Lynn, opened in 2017 in what was formerly a Jessops camera shop, although in a previous incarnation this was the location of a pub, originally the Bull Inn. I know this the pub owners have taken the time and trouble to arrange for a comprehensive history of the building to be placed on their web-site at http://www.nipandgrowler.uk/. I like owners who are proud of their building and see it as part of the offering, and irritated at myself that it’s taken me two years to manage to come here.
The pub specialises in local beers and ciders, which is a noble endeavour. But that hasn’t limited the quality or range of the selection, with the wonderfully friendly member of staff keenly telling me about the two dark options. This is one of the friendliest pubs that I’ve been in, there’s an atmosphere which just works well, something that is often lacking. Quirky, relaxed and comfortable. I like it.
The interior of the pub, which makes it look quiet, but I took the photos during the brief gaps between customers. There’s some fun signage, but nothing forced like it’s come out of a modernisation organised by Craft Union, who seem to rip out atmosphere in pubs they ‘update’. There’s wi-fi and plugs, all sufficiently modern, but there are also board games for customers to amuse themselves with.
The service was impeccable throughout my visit, little things like actually saying goodbye to customers is often overlooked by publicans and their staff and it’s not difficult when it’s clear someone is getting ready to leave. I have droned on to people about Hop and Vine in Hull, where the landlord has managed to create himself a marvellously welcoming atmosphere. There’s a different customer base here, but the atmosphere doesn’t lag far behind.
Onto the beers, and I felt the need to try both of the dark beers.
The Cocow from Ampersand Brewery near Bungay is a chocolate milk stout, which is very much my favourite kind of beer. This was beautiful, the flavours of bitter chocolate and a little bit of coffee in the mix, like some fine bar of dark chocolate. The flavours aren’t immediately obvious, they’re more of an aftertaste, but that works for me.
The Father Grime is a stout from Brewboard, a brewery I hadn’t heard of, but they’re from Harston, near Cambridge. The promised biscuity flavour was there, quite a rich stout although without the strong and pleasant aftertastes that the Cocow had. But, still, very lovely.
Overall, and this is just for my reference than because anyone else is interested, but this is certainly one of my pubs of the year. It’s also near enough for me to be able to visit again, which I most definitely will. What a delightful pub option though for the people of King’s Lynn, and I look forward to some micro-pub set-up opening in Swaffham to liven things up a bit.