"World Beer Freehouse" is an epithet to conjure with. I spotted Pivo, a three-storey pub in Tudor pyjamas, from the far end of the street. It was jammed last Saturday night, but we made a return visit on Sunday afternoon before leaving York.
The downstairs barroom is long and narrow with a walk-in bottle fridge at the far end. Casks on stillage behind the bar are marked with what's coming next, and on the counter there are several handpumps plus a range of keg fonts for beers from the Barbarous Lands. Upstairs, a spacious lounge gives drinkers a bit more elbow room so long as they don't mind navigating the narrow stairs down when they need a refill or the narrow stairs up for, er, the reverse.
Mrs Beer Nut passed up the opportunity to travel abroad, going no further than Somerset with Butcombe Blonde. It's a tasty little bittersweet number with a slightly vegetal hops bitterness, though lacking in legs. Unchallenging, but solid, I thought. I had spied the draught Sierra Nevada Blonde through the window the previous day and was itching to try it. It's full of those good old California hops found in the best Sierra Nevada beers, but places them on a tasty bubblegum sort of base. Very refreshing and moreish. I don't know why they bother with Summerfest when they have this up their sleeves.
Moreish or not, it was time to go. We'd allowed ourselves plenty of time to get back to Manchester airport, and I had given solid assurances, based on concrete experience, that there was Brooklyn Lager available airside and that all would be well.
All was not well.
Giraffe was clean out of Brooklyn. Disaster! Of course, any good ticker is capable of turning such crises into pointless opportunities, so while my wife opted for some Rioja, I requested a Cruzcampo. I'd never had it before. Won't be having it again, neither. My notebook says "clear corny mank" and I don't really have anything to add to that. The food in Giraffe was decent, though. And I discovered the joy of Chipotle Tabasco: truly there is not a food or drink on earth that cannot be improved by smoking it.
And next thing, we were home. Thank you for having us, England. See you at Earl's Court on the 4th.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago