The North Riding Brew Pub bill themselves as Scarbro’s premier brew pub. You can’t argue with this and I’ll have an even money bet with anyone that this is The premier pub, of any description, East of York, especially if you’re a beer lover. If you think you have a better candidate then stick it in the comments section and I’ll check it out.
Although this is a belting pub don’t make the same mistake as I did. Okay, a little mistake, but I can make it better for you if you follow this simple advice; It may be a long walk around from the town centre but you need to approach the North Riding Brew Pub from the Peasholm park side, avoiding the drudge of a walk along the, almost seedy, North Marine Drive, the only highlight of which is Scarborough Cricket club, in Yorkshire cricketing terms, second in importance only to Headingley Cricket ground.
The pub has two rooms, a lounge and a tap room/games room. The lounge is traditional with a carpet, real fire and a bit of a gloomy Victorian character. It felt a bit dingy on a bright summers day. Don’t be disappointed as you walk in, forget the lack of pumps on the bar, just look at the tap list – nearly all the pumps are in the other room.
In contrast the tap room is light, bright and airy, wooden floor with a pool table in the middle and lots of cricketing memorabilia adorning the walls. I liked the tap room better than the lounge, the fenestration, including the impressive logo did it for me.
Regulars? There was a dozen and a half in at 12.30 on Saturday dinner time. An old chap and his dog reading the paper in the lounge along with a few visitors. The majority of locals and serious drinkers were in the tap room.
The most impressive feature of North Riding Brew Pub is the beer. Seven cask, three craft keg lines and two proper ciders. Originally starting as a brew pub, the brewer and landlord Stuart Neilsen has recently opened up North Riding Brewery in premises on the outskirts of town. Believe me, they will do well.
On my Saturday lunch time visit I started with Bad Co. Dazed and Confused (5.5%) £3.00/pint, dark, complicated, with quite a strong fiery alcohol taste. Next up was The Revolutions brewing Co. Unknown Pleasures (4.5%) £2.90/pint, I like the musical nomenclature from these guys. My third half was North Riding Brewery Galaxy bitter (4.3%) £2.60/pint, biscuity, peppery, a touch of bitter orange, maybe a hint of vanilla. Very complex, almost changing with every taste, I picked up on something different each time.
Mrs C just stuck to the Brass Castle, Life’s a Beach £3.00/pint? It’s not, life’s wonderful and so is this, keg beer with a big F! UnFiltered, unFined, Fantastic and Fun: Life’s a Beach has now overtaken Brewdog’s Dead Pony club in Mrs C’s favourite beer line up.
I guess the overheads are a bit cheaper in Scarborough, but if you are used to city centre drinking and prices then you will have picked up on how cheap North Riding Brew Pub is, for what are all top products from good to outstanding breweries.
This is definitely a destination pub, so much so, it’s worth travelling to Scarborough for. You can train it from Leeds and it’s tempting to combine it with a visit to Malton’s Brass Castle tap. Travel out on the Coastliner, return on the train to avoid the bladder test of the bus. One beer ticker I chatted to came regularly from York on the train.
After walking around Scarborough, it was clear that nowhere else came close to North Riding Brew Pub . So I had to come back later for a couple more halves before we went out to dine.
It was much busier in the evening, but still had a really nice friendly atmosphere. On the second visit I chalked up a North Riding Brewery Bramling Gold (3.8%) £2.50/pint, another Life’s a beach and a Lagunitas equinox (8%) £3.75/half. At seven o’clock the brewer cum landlord was sat in the bar with his customers and we chatted with lots of friendly people. Everyone was pretty knowledgeable about their beers and I really enjoyed exchanging notes on Leeds bars and where to go in Scarbro’ with Graham and Ann. Don’t worry, we will be back to see you all soon.