Category Archives: Ouse Boozer

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Ye Old Shambles Tavern relaunch in October

Ye Old Shambles Tavern re-launched itself in October 2013 after five years of trading as a gift shop and cafe. It is family run and has recently become licenced for on and off sales for its customers, supplying a range of Yorkshire ales. Bottled beer sales now cover over 60 labels from over 16 micro brewery producers, some of which are bottle conditioned so meeting CAMRA’s “Real Ale in a Bottle” definition. Managers Simon and Nicola pride themselves in offering a real Yorkshire welcome and are working hard to establish the Tavern on the real ale map. They have also installed two hand pumps serving beer from Rudgate and other local breweries. They are open seven days a week from 9am until late.

Winter 2013 Town Pub of the Season Presentation to Royal Oak, Goodramgate

Kevin presenting the award to Sarah

Kevin presenting the award to Sarah

We arrived en mass at the Royal Oak to a very welcome warming fireplace! The pub’s regulars were also there in numbers most probably waiting for Two Bob to arrive and start playing and wondering why we were there, the large board outside advertising ‘Winner of CAMRA Winter Pub of the Season’ was the clue.

The pub as always was very welcoming with a nice selection of beers: Hop Studio Porter, Treboom Tambourine Man, Brains Reverend James, Theakston’s Old Peculier, Theakston’s Best Bitter and Greene King Abbot Ale. After everyone getting their pints most having the two LocAle’s we moved into the larger back bar to perform the presentation.

Sarah the licensee accepted on behalf the pub as she said in her acceptance speech the whole team from cellar, bar and kitchen have all helped earn the award. Gareth, Mike, Richard, Sam and Karl (the cellar apprentice and husband) all deserve a mention for their hard work in the cellar and the very onerous task of liaising with local brewers and tasting their brews! The pub will continue with its policy of trying to always have one bitter and one stout, porter or mild from a LocAle brewery with some of the speciality brews been fitted in when available. Hop Studio, Salamander and Treboom beers are firm favourites with regulars and visitors alike. The policy of offering third of a pint tasting trays is enticing people to try beers that they perceive to be outside of their comfort zone. Most manage to find at least one style of beer to their taste. The bar staff are all quite willing to discuss the beers on the bar and offer tasters where required.

The staff are also keenly aware of the need to keep standards high with the quality of pubs in the city increasing year on year, the friendly competition along Goodramgate caters for all tastes and keeps all the bars on their toes!

The kitchen staff not to be left out on the night contributed two dishes a chicken curry and a beef stew as well as plates of sandwiches so our party and the locals were well fed. Many thanks to them as they worked past their normal finishing time to ensure their offerings were served piping hot.

Once again many thanks to the Royal Oak for making us welcome and look out for some interesting themed evenings to come throughout 2014. (KK)

Winter 2013 Country Pub of the Season Presentation to White Bear, Stillington

Chris presenting the award to Phil

Chris presenting the award to Phil

Pressure of numbers meant that a larger coach had to be put on for the trip to the White Bear, Stillington on 23rd January to present the Country Pub of the Season award for Winter 2013. With members also making their way independently we had in excess of thirty thirsty travellers, just as well the White Bear’s darts team had an away fixture that night!

With a good turn- out of pub locals too there was plenty of demand but this was met with the usual impressive supply, in this case: Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter, Leeds Pale, Ringwood Best, Rudgate Snow Wonder and Hop Studio Porter. The bar staff coped most ably and very soon most of us were on our second (or third) pint.

Chris made a brief speech in which he explained that since the White Bear’s award in Summer 2010 this second presentation was unique for country pubs in our branch area and that only one York city pub had achieved such a “double” in that timeframe. The second award was in recognition of Phil and Sue’s continuing work to provide variety and choice, particularly of Yorkshire beers, often from some of our smaller breweries.

Phil expressed his delight at the recognition and provided some interesting anecdotes comparing life in London and Yorkshire: Yorkshire won! Unfortunately Sue was upstairs convalescing, we hope she is back at her customary station behind the bar soon and that the cheer she got from the bar provided suitable motivation!

More beer was sampled and a generous buffet provided which never seemed to run out despite the large number of hungry customers: perhaps we should have brought more mouths to feed to this justifiably packed pub? (CT)

Autumn 2013 Country Pub of the Season Presentation to Greyhound, Saxton

Pat presenting the award to Steve

Pat presenting the award to Steve

The Autumn Country Pub Of the Season was the Greyhound at Saxton. On Thursday October 24th a full 16 seater bus left York at 7pm. I was excited, looking forward to visiting one of my favourite haunts and not having to drive. For some of our CAMRA members it was their first visit to the Greyhound. From Tadcaster, we approached through the darkness passed the famous Battle of Towton battleground and arrived in the tiny village of Saxton. Being easily missed, the bus driver drove right passed the pub, much to all our consternation as we were all ready for our pints! We were not disappointed once inside; the little pub was brimming with locals, two blazing coal fires adding to the warm atmosphere. Steve was ready for us and had three bar staff waiting to serve our queue that stood in the tiny bar and along the stone flagged corridor. Very soon everyone was served and busy exploring the knick knacks around the pub and looking for a seat.

The award was presented to Steve to say thank you for doing an excellent job at running this special pub. Steve has been landlord over two years and has put his life and soul into the job. He is a very dedicated and most accommodating manager who welcomes everyone. There are many local meetings, including Friends of the School, Cricket Club and Battle of Towton committee that enjoy the atmosphere which Steve provides in this well-run little pub. Being a Sam Smith’s pub, the only cask beer is Old Brewery Bitter, which is always on top form, and at the usual very reasonable price. I think Steve’s previous job as a drayman taught him something about how to keep beer.

The pork pie!

The pork pie!

Despite having no kitchen facilities there was a great buffet for all with a special giant pork pie with his name on it to commemorate the occasion. We all enjoyed the warmth and hospitability given by Steve and his lovely daughters, locals and friends who made the night memorable. (PB)

Autumn 2013 Town Pub of the Season Presentation to Snickleway, Goodramgate

Chris presenting the award to Graham and Linda

Chris presenting the award to Graham and Linda

A good selection of members assembled at the Snickleway Inn for the presentation of the Autumn Town Pub of the Season award. We were greeted by an inviting fire from the back bar which gave a truly autumnal feeling to proceedings. On the bar was the expected array of excellent ales: Roosters Yankee, Jennings Snecklifter, Rudgate Frightfully Pale, Theakston’s Infallible, Treboom Kettle Drum plus John Smith’s Cask.

Chris presented the award to Graham and Linda, thanking them for their impressive work over the last few years in keeping the Snickleway right up there as one of the city’s most pleasant pubs.

Graham returned the compliment and said that he was pleased to feature in the Good Beer Guide for 2014. We then got on with the serious business of trying the beers, now reinforced by Bradfield Farmers Blonde (a beer not a woman) and setting to on the generously provided chilli and curry which was just the thing for an autumn night. As I left the pub at the end of an excellent evening the autumn winds were blowing and there was even a hint of snow in the chill breeze: I can’t wait to see what the winter seasonal pubs have in store for us! (CT)