The Hop In is the only Good Beer Guide listed pub in North Walsham and is a micro-pub that was formerly occupied by a taxi company. I’ve been hoping to come here for some time and it was the pub that Julian and I expected to enjoy the most in our day trip to the town, so we had left it to last.
This was the strongest real ale selection of the day, offering a combination of local breweries alongside some different national breweries to give a little more choice. They had some tempting chocolate bars and crisps on the bar, but I somehow managed to resist buying food that I didn’t really need.
It’s a small venue, just three tables downstairs and around five or so tables upstairs. I wasn’t able to get a photo of the interior as it was busy, but the environment is cosy, informal and extremely inviting for my needs at least. The service was outstanding, with the staff member being knowledgeable, engaging, personable and pro-active. It is absolute no surprise that this pub is doing so well given the welcome that customers are receiving. I was faffing about wondering whether I needed a chocolate bar, and the staff member mentioned that I also had the option of bringing in food from other venues, which is always a kind gesture.
I went for the Pit Stop from Prescott Brewery to start with, an example of my being able to try something new as the brewery is from Cheltenham and I hadn’t previously heard of it. The beer uses Citra hops which nearly always delights me, giving it a pleasant citrusy flavour and it was served in excellent condition.
I didn’t go for Boudicca on this visit, but if my new bar billiards team member friend Emma ever reads this I’d note I’d had one of her brewery’s beers the night before so I haven’t become disloyal to this fine brewery. This is instead a beer I’ve had plenty of times, the ever delightful Blackberry Porter from S&P Brewery. Well, I have to get my fruit intake somehow as it’s important to have a balance in life.
I had absolute no complaints about the Hop In, it’s a standout venue which absolutely deserves to be listed in the Good Beer Guide. Exceptional service, a well thought through selection of beers, an inviting atmosphere and the denizens of North Walsham should be delighted that they have this drinking option in the town. I was surprised and delighted, ready to return to the International Transportation Hub in the car park of North Walsham library.