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.
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)
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)
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.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)
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)