Those that know York, will know full well, it has an exceptional real and craft beer pub and bar scene. With 20 pubs named in The Good Pub Guide 2019, it is one of the top beer cities in the UK when it comes to beer pubs. In recent months though, what has been really refreshing is the number of pubs on the suburbs that have changed their regular beers to be Locale’s and supporting some fantastic breweries, rather than selling the norm. This year, my favourite new opening was the Crooked Tap, which made a real splash, and has brought a real city atmosphere, with excellent beer, to the area of Acomb, 2 miles west of the centre of York.
The Crooked Tap is the taproom for Crooked Brewing Ltd, a small brewery in North Yorkshire. The brewery has been supplying York pubs (including The Ackhorne, Phoenix and Walmgate Ale House) for some time now, and the team took the big gamble last year of opening their first taproom in York. The brewery itself is based in Church Fenton and prides itself on their cask and key-keg beers. Known for their “The Green” and “Kevin” beers, Crooked Brewing focuses on strong cask flavours with a modern feel and never fail to hit the mark.
I have visited the Crooked Tap on a handful of occasions now and have been impressed with the beer selection every time. With four rotating cask ales and two keg beers there is a good range for a nice session before heading either heading home, or on into York. There are always beers from various local breweries including North Brew Co, Northern Monk, 5 Towns, Magic Rock and of course their own, offering a wide range of styles and flavours to choose from any time you visit. To date, the only Crooked Brewing ale that has been on cask when visiting is their “The Green” so I can’t wholly comment on the quality of their brewing yet. That one beer though, is a great session ale that I could (and have already done so) drink all night long.
Whilst the beer is the best thing about the Crooked Tap, the atmosphere and ambience comes a close second. Fitting in with the way most breweries now construct their tap rooms, they have made the bar feel homely and warm, whilst not going overboard on decor. With a range of tables and chairs, the bar doesn’t have a set look or feel, just open and friendly; it’s contemporary without being snobbish, and is a welcome addition to the Acomb scene. Dim lighting, and a beautiful bar add to the modern feel and you feel like you’re in a high end city bar, rather than out in the suburbs which is just excellent.
The bar is dog friendly, and I have yet to visit without a four legged friend roaming the bar freely. The guys have recently added a well stocked craft beer fridge meaning if you are after something a little more exotic you can have it in, or grab a few to take away. You are always greeted with a smile by the bar staff and Crooked Brewing team – and the clientele from the area and beyond make the venue a really top notch taproom.
All in all, this is one of York’s best new openings in some time. To land a
brewery tap like this, right in the middle of Acomb was a bold move, but one
that is reaping dividends already. With a fantastic gin selection, pork pies
and some great lagers (Camden) if that’s your thing, it is a pub for all and we
will continue to frequent regularly for some time!