I’d add at this juncture that this list is nearly entirely for my own record (I forget a lot of things, this helps me to remember), I’m not anticipating the national media to be delighted “oh look, Julian likes that pub, that must be important”. But to the two people who read this, I’ve visited goodness knows how many hundreds of pubs this year. And, some have really stood out for me. Incidentally, if I happen to visit any exceedingly good pubs in the last two weeks of this year, I’ll just have to shove them into next year….
So my five favourites of the year……
Liverpool – Head of Steam : Comfortable, exciting and a depth of knowledge from the bar staff.
Ingleton – Old Post Office : A quirky micro-pub with an abundance of friendliness from the staff and some intriguing beer options.
Sheffield – Gardeners Rest : Knowledgeable staff, a bar billiards table and excellent beer choices
Cambridge – Calverley’s Brewery : This brewery tap room had staff who were engaging, conversational and keen to offer samples of their beers.
But there was one stand-out pub of the year for me, which I’ve enthused about to anyone who will listen.
Hull – The Hop and Vine : Perfection in a pub, not because of its decor or range of beer, but because of the engagement offered by the landlord. I’ve watched their beer selection on Facebook over the last couple of months and it’s well balanced and clearly thought through. And even my one little negative comment about their slightly rickety sign is now already irrelevant as they’ve replaced it with a nice new one.
And I’m pleased to be leading a group of eight or so from Hike Norfolk to Hull next year, and I might accidentally lead them back to this pub……