Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Andrew Liddle
Features Writer
7:10 AM 13th May 2020

Bellyrub Reopens For Craft Beer In Scarborough

One of the first green shoots to appear in Scarborough, in the fightback against the commercially paralysing effects of Covid, is the recent, most welcome re-opening of BellyRub Beer, in Hanover Road.

It specialises in craft beers, normally offering anything from 60 to 100 different ones, with particularly goods stocks of the excellent North Riding, Great Newsome and Turning Point Brewery local ales.

And the good news is that CAMRA members are entitled to a ten per cent discount. That is considerable bearing in mind the relatively small mark-up on quality craft beers.

It was opened as recently as last June, owned jointly by Steve Harwood, his partner, Lynne Ritchie and Aaron Blackman. ‘The business was going very well until we were hit by Covid,’ Steve tells me, ‘and we decided it was best to close briefly and just take stock of the situation, but it became apparent that there was a big demand out here and now we are taking orders over the phone and making home deliveries, free within a five-mile range.’

So how is business at the moment? ‘It’s a bit hit and miss, to be honest, but it’s definitely picking up. We stock bottles and cans from local, national and international breweries and try to maintain a broad range that appeals to all tastes including vegan and gluten free beers.’

Steve laughs good-naturedly at my lame joke that his shop’s title might almost suggest a purveyor of liniment. ‘The name came from our eatery on Victoria Road so named for being dog friendly and serving delicious food and craft beer.’ It is unfortunately closed at the moment but normally offers lunch from Tuesday to Saturday and is open on Thursday and Friday evenings. Saturday night is quiz night and there are also very popular ‘blind’ beer tastings.
The beer shop is currently closing at 4pm and the team then turn their attention to deliveries. For my order, I was given a same-day slot between 4 and 5 o’clock and it arrived before the first quarter chimed, social distancing niceties duly observed.

Their website is something for the discerning beer drinker to drool over, listing choice products, local, national and international – including, remarkably, beers from the hugely acclaimed Anderson Valley Brewing, California-based and regularly scooping awards. Their Eetah IPA (7.5 ABV) is a formidable ale with a formidable reputation.

The connoisseur in me can’t resist the footnote that this brewery, founded back in 1987, when there were just 123 breweries in operation in the States, according to Beer Institute records, is one of the iconic names in the history of the real ale movement. By the millennium they had gone from an original output of 600 barrels to about 26,000 barrels and have continued to grow, with a reputation for high-quality beer and environmental sustainability. It’s a real plus for BellyRub to stock three of their ales.

Cider drinkers might well like to try Hedge-Hoggers’ cider, produced locally in Seamer and available in a variety of flavours, rhubarb, ginger, strawberry, summer berries - and a Traditional Medium.

‘We have just launched our mailing list which includes exclusive special offers, new beer and event announcements,’ Steve adds. ‘We’ve got lots of exciting plans up our sleeves for the future when things are back to normal.’

That can't come soon enough but in the meantime, we must drool over the website and place our telephone orders, safe in the knowledge they will be whisked to our door.

All BellyRub’s products are on their website:
Current opening times, during the pandemic, are Wednesday to Saturday 12 - 4pm.
Local free same-day deliveries are from 4pm.
Orders and payments are over the phone to ensure contactless delivery.