Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Hull City v Blackpool: Hull Pub Crawl

I know I’m not supposed to, but I like Yorkshire a lot. I particularly like Yorkshire beers and am looking forward to enjoying a lot of this on my virtual crawl of Hull this weekend.

But first I’ve got to get there, of course. An Off Peak Return from Blackpool North to Hull costs £75.70. I might start saving up for a private charter train to take me to away matches. I reckon it might work out cheaper. I’m changing at Manchester Piccadilly and the journey takes 3h40 each way. I’m heading out on the 0654. It’s an early start and I’m tired but excited about the day ahead.

Dry January has long since gone out the window, but I am now in the habit of eating healthily. My packed lunch for the journey comprises of ginger, lime & chilli chicken, two Alpen Light bars and these, which are my new favourite thing:

Long journeys make for good periods of uninterrupted productivity, so I’m back working on my book today. I’m reliving the 1996/97 season with trepidation because I know what’s coming. Writing about the difficult times really takes it out of me, but I have to include them because they’re vital to my development as a person and a football fan. When I look back now on some of the things that happened – that I accepted – I’m sickened. It’s little wonder I got so ill back then. My body was clearly telling me something was very wrong.

By the time I landed in Hull – on time, because trains are always on time in my virtual world (for now, at least) – it was 1034 and I was in desperate need of a drink.

Yorkshire Brewhouse

I can’t see today getting any more Yorkshire than this. I love this place immediately because of the names of its ales:

  • Well Chuffed (pale)
  • Tenfoot (pale)
  • Reet (amber)
  • Ey Up (best bitter)
  • EYPA (East Yorkshire Pale Ale)
  • Flippin’ Eck (rich dark amber)
  • Faithful (stout)
  • Red Robin (chocolate stout)
  • 1904 (Yorkshire amber)

I’m opting for a half of the EYPA (because I love Yorkshire beers and this is one) and the chocolate stout.

I love the design of the labels – particularly the Yorkshire dialect section – although I’m not sure why there’s an image of Bernard from the Lancashire Hotpots on there.

Sadly they only deliver locally, so I’m unable to place an order online; nor do they appear to have a taphouse, but they do pop up at events and festivals and I will be looking out for their beers whenever I’m in Yorkshire.

Atom Beers

These guys sound contemporary and innovative from their name alone.

Their core range is:

  • Catalyst (American pale)
  • Prism (New England Pale with mango, tangerine and melon)
  • Quantum State (session IPA)
  • Pulsar (pilsner)
  • Dark Matter (chocolate stout)
  • Critical Temperature (coffee porter)

Atom have two bars – a brand new one in Beverley but also one at the Corn Exchange, which opened in 2018 – both with 16 keg, 4 cask and 100+ cans and bottles. This is definitely one not to be missed on a trip to Hull.

They serve food at their bars, too, and I’m not missing out on one of their ‘pattie butties’, which come ‘with a pot of home made mushy peas’. Crispy bacon and black pudding for me, please! And – woah! – how about this for a popcorn menu:

Atom do deliver their beers nationally (free for orders over £35) and they have a great range of beers available.

Taphouse Brewpub

Now this place sounds very interesting. Based in the Fruit Market at Hull Marina since 2019, Taphouse serves up to 40 draught lines as well as cans and bottles. It is also home to ‘the world’s first, and as far as we know, only Finglish brewery’ in Bone Machine Brewing Company. Interesting. So what do they brew?

  • Nordic Barbarian Juice (kveik IPA)
  • Cloud Pierce (NZPA)
  • More Beer (bitterblond, collab with Mik Artistik’s Ego-Trip)
  • Bonehead Lager
  • Dream Machine (OzPA)
  • Pro-Magnon APA (collab with Stoner Kings)
  • I, Of The Storm (kalamansi IPA, collab with Witch Tripper)
  • Garden of Death (NEIPA)
  • Let Man Loose Juice (American amber, collab with Let Man Loose)

I’m going in for a half of each of the More Beer and the I, Of The Storm – mainly because I don’t know what to expect from either of them and want my palate to be surprised. Try something different, you might like it.

I love the sound of these guys and their beers. Definitely different! I also love their branding and want one of these tees! They do have an online shop so I’m hoping they deliver nationally.

I’m thrilled to discover that the Yorkshire Brewing Company also brew at the Taphouse (yippee!) so I will get to sample some of their beers on my visit to Hull.

They serve Pan Asian street food here – courtesy of Little Somboon Kitchen – and I know this is going to be a very hard place to leave. I’m intrigued by the range of flavours offered in this:

I’m definitely not one of those people who simply has to know what is in their food. I love the element of surprise and adventure offered by the ‘secret goodies’ in this item.

I’m hugely reluctant to leave this place and may well pop back later on my way back to the station. Note to self: make the next trip to Hull a weekender. I could spend a day in here alone…

Hop & Vine

Now I’ve been here before and loved it. It’s a small but magnificent Belgian-style basement cafe bar.

The beer list is predominantly Belgian (22), with five German, one Czech and 14 British. I am gradually becoming less scared of Belgian beers, having sampled a few in the safety of my own home, but the sheer strength of them makes me wary of indulging on a crawl. On a trip to Bruges, I stuck to the weaker krieks in most pubs but was still passed out in bed by 6.30pm most days.

As this is a virtual crawl – and I need not concern myself with the strengths of any of the beers – I find myself tempted by one of the British beers on the bottle list: Bricknell Porters (coffee/vanilla/chocolate).

I’ve no idea what’s going on in the background here but this is one of the reasons why I love this place:

Head of Steam

I love love love this chain! The Head of Steam in Birmingham is one of the best pubs in the city and offers something for everyone, from real ale to cocktails – and even real ale cocktails!

The food menu here is an interesting one. There are kebab, burger and pizza options. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find something interesting. I’m going for a kebab, all of which come with ‘pickled red cabbage, grated carrot and baby leaf in flat bread’:

There’s also a side that sounds intriguing, so I’m having this too:

Head of Steam also has an online store, which is exciting – and there’s a January sale on now, too. They sell beer, merch and spirits. The beer range is mightily impressive, with beers from New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, UK and USA. You can search by brand, style or region.

By way of continuation into my research into low/no alcohol beers, here I find an Omnipollo Konx Non Alcoholic Mini Pale. That’s a good brand, so it’s bound to be tasty, right? Nonetheless, I scout for porters, as you know that’s what I like:

  • Faustino Maldita Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter
  • Brew York Viking DNA Cherrywood Smoked Porter
  • Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Honey Glazed Ham Marshmallow Porter
  • Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Marshmallow Porter
  • Magic Rock Common Grounds Coffee Porter

Well now I was going for the Brew York but how can I resist the Smoked Ham Stay Puft? Answer: I clearly can’t. I know from past experience that Stay Puft on a crawl leads to carnage (it must be taken carefully and always in moderation); however I’m very glad that this is a virtual crawl. And I might well need two nights here on the forthcoming weekend extravaganza, as I’ve now found two pubs that will be very difficult to leave.

Wm Hawkes

Does this review even need words?

I’m definitely not missing this place. Thanks DarksideDave for the pic and review on TripAdvisor:

Wm Hawkes is a former gunmakers shop and has only been a pub since 2012 but it does not seem out of place in Hull’s Old Town.

There are eight changing cask ales on in here, including offerings from Abbeydale and Milestone. The most recent beer checkins on Untappd are:

  • Bradfield Farmers Stout
  • Bradfield Farmers Blonde
  • North Brewing Ursa Major
  • Rat White Rat
  • Wantsum Golgotha
  • Ossett It’ll Be Reyt

What a city Hull is for pubs! I already knew this, of course, but it has improved tenfold since I was last here (and it was great then).

Whalebone Inn

I can’t miss this place because it has won multiple CAMRA awards, so it has to be exceptional. Looking at their latest beer list, I’m already starting to see why:

I’m all over that raspberry ripple!

This pub looks traditional (what my friend James calls ‘an old man’s pub’) – but its beer range is anything but:

Their craft beer list is amazing, my highlights being:

  • Brass Castle Very Bad Kitty (Imperial Porter)
  • Fallen Big Raspberry Dog Chew
  • Omnipollo Apollo Cherry Pulp Sour
  • Brouwerij De Brabandere Petrus Cherry Chocolate Nitro Quad
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier

I’m a little scared of the Omnipollo, so I’m going for the Belgian Cherry Chocolate beer.

  • Oh Hull, you really are such a treat!

Hull City v Blackpool

I confess I was more than a little anxious heading into this match today. Hull are doing well at the top of the league and we are riddled with injuries – and have just lost Dan Kemp, whose loan has been terminated so he can secure a permanent move to Leyton Orient (presumably to be closer to home). We’re still missing CJ (until the end of Feb at least), Keshi Anderson (for the rest of the season, we learn today) and Dan Gretarsson (which we can live with, as long as Dan Ballard and Big Marv remain unscathed).

I perk up when I see Bez and Kaikai starting together on the flanks. This is potentially very exciting. And yet I know in my heart of hearts that one will be playing out of position and one is off form.

The match proves to be a tough one. Early on, both sides have a host of chances and possession is even. We’re shooting on sight from distance and that is encouraging.

But Hull take control and go ahead, with Blackpool seemingly unable to reply. We’re missing that creativity, that va va voom. The sloppy passing (missing last week against West Brom) is back. I don’t know what’s going on with Kenny Dougall, but he looks very angry today and I worry he might get sent off. Surely someone will? It’s rapidly becoming a feisty encounter, players covered in mud from the patchy pitch, wrestling, pulling and shoving.

Then it comes! Sub Ben Woodburn – his most effective yet in what could be his final game for Blackpool – is brought down by Reece Burke when he’s through on goal. Red card! Can we make this advantage count? Oh come on Blackpool – please!

We score! It’s scrappy, we think it’s Jerry Yates. Yes! We’ve got out of jail there. We hang on. We come away with a point. I feel like I’ve been in a proper battle today, so goodness knows how the players must feel!

Here’s how we reacted to events as they happened:

If you like the tangerine tee I’m wearing in the livestream, here’s where you can get them.

I don’t enjoy it when we go behind. Yes, a point away at Hull is a good result on paper. But I know this team is capable of more. I don’t want to see sloppy passing. I want to enjoy magic and wizardry and creativity and, above all, I want to be entertained. And I’m not sure I was today. That said, I know it’s the points that count and we ought to be very pleased with that one.

But I’m going for more beer now, thank you .

Vittles & Company Brewing

Vittles has a cafe bar in Grimsby (better than you think, but that’s another blog) – and also a bottle shop in Hull: ‘part of the newly refurbished Trinity Market, next door to the magnificent minster, where we’re proud to work alongside a group of vibrant, exciting street food and drink outlets.’

Do you remember this time last year, when I was in Lincoln for the weekend and it was still Christmas everywhere? Well, I’m delighted to find a list of Christmas beers on offer here today:

  • Great Newsome Noel
  • Anspach & Hobday The Pfeffernusse Stout
  • Brouwerij St Bernardus Christmas Ale
  • Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
  • Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland
  • Delirium Noel

Well there’s enough to put me to sleep on the train home there! I can never resist a Cocoa Wonderland – and also try the Pfeffernusse, which is a German biscuit with ginger and cinnamon.

I also have to try Vittles’ own brew – it would be rude not to:

  • Vittles Chilli Choc Milk Stout
  • Vittles Weiss Spice

Vittles offers local delivery to Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Hull.

For train snackage on the way home, I grab a couple of bags of local fudge: chocolate mint and raspberry ripple, courtesy of Blue Gnu:

I’m on the 1808 from Hull and, after polishing off two of my carry out beers and all the fudge, I’m fast asleep by the time we pull into Manchester and the train manager has to wake me. Mercifully, I still manage to make my tight connection because of a mechanical fault on my connecting train and arrive back at Blackpool North just after 10pm.

UTMP.


NB Pics above are taken from the websites referenced, as this was a virtual trip.


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