The first thing you might notice on entering this backstreet Georgian pub is the beautiful island back-bar with a ’60s ‘Watney Red Barrel’ sign; the second will probably be the vast hymn-type board advertising that day’s beers on offer. Staff are constantly hopping up on to chairs to change the names as kegs run out – it’s that sort of place.
Nowadays, almost every new pub tries to sell itself on a ‘craft beer’ offer, but not all manage it on this scale. There are 11 on keg, five or six on cask, plus a couple of quality ciders. The range covers Britain from Devon to Cromarty via Ilkley, before jetting off to the Continent, Scandinavia and the USA. And it gets even better – there’s usually one beer pouring from the on-site Earl’s Brewery.
Staff are happy to offer tastings and know their stuff. On the menu, dishes are all listed with beer recommendations. Whether we really need a suggested beer match for a fishfinger sandwich I’m not sure, although it’s a nice touch. Like most things in this pub.