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In a word, it is SUPERB.
Situated a third of the way along the medieval street of Stonegate, just around the corner drom the Minster, you enter what appears to be a bit of on off licence/tobbacconists. There are fridges with beers and other drinks in, some food items, and at first you think “is this it?”
But only a fool would turn and walk out.
If you look past where the counter is, there is another room in the back….and on walking through, you will be astounded by the choice of bottled beer….lager, pilsner, and all other kinds on offer. Set out by country or area of the world, there were all sorts. Some I knew of, but a lot that I didn’t. And yes, they DID have Anchor Steam Beer, and yes, I bought some to take home. (I haven’t tried it yet though)
The choice really was unbelievable. But that’s not it. I then took to the stairs and entered the medieval pub upstairs. It is quite compact, with about room for perhaps 10 or 12 tables. The roof is beamed and there are lots of animal heads (hunting trophies) on one of the walls. The bar is small, but offers around 6 beers/ales on draft. These change, I believe periodically, but on my visit there were: Brooklyn Beer (USA), Jever (Germany), Sneck Lifter (Jennings Brewery), Timmermans Kriek (Strawbery Belgium beer), and two very strong Belgium dark beer (Trappist, I think). I tried all of them, but I especially enjoyed the Jever which is a German Pilsner. (I think they sponsored Borussia Moenchengladbach at one time) Average beer price was around £3.50, but it was quality stuff.
They also had wines and spirits, plus a fridge full of bottles from the vast selection on sale downstairs. I may have this wrong, but I think you can actually select any bottle from downstairs and take it to drink in the pub, for a small extra payment. In the basement as well, there is a large spirits section, which again, was amazing.
And the food? Superb. We ordered a ‘Shire Platter’, which had cheeses, cooked meats, pies, etc, along with the ‘Cheese Board’. Each came with bread, pickles, dips, etc plus Salad. The platters are £9 and the cheese board was £6.50. We visited again the following day and tried the Hunters Platter which had Venison, Goose, Duck, Wild Boar, Chicken, etc on it. (No Horse though!) and again, it was superb. I saw the burgers they serve for £6.50 and they were gigantic. I will try one next time, definitely.
I HIGHLY recommend anybody who has an interest in beer or real ale to go to this place. I just wish it was a bit closer, but that said, this place alone is worth visiting York for. Will be going again soon, as it’s worth the 2 hour drive there and back. (plus an overnight stay to sober up)
Best place I’ve ever had a drink, Trembling Madness. (If you say you are unsure what you want to drink, they give you samples to try….all helps get you merry, as some is strong stuff)
If you visit and it seems too packed, just try and bide your time. I noticed it was especially busy between about 1 and 2.30pm. It’s all about timing it right and getting a good spec.
Also had a great Indian meal at MUMBAI LOUNGE. (Look it up) It was superb. Best I’ve ever had.