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Yorkshire Times
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Andrew Liddle
Features Writer
10:39 AM 24th April 2020

New Craft Bar In Scarborough

Just across the road from the Stephen Joseph Theatre and round the corner from Wetherspoon's, you’ll find on Northway, in Scarborough, a new arrival - The Craft Bar. Though its grand opening as a micropub has, sadly, been delayed by Covid, it is already up and running as a retail outlet for just about all the alcoholic drinks, craft beers, lagers, and ciders, you could ever need.

I notice on their hugely impressive website, www.thecraftbar.co.uk, which details the myriad exciting beverages they purvey, they promise very quick delivery for those who live within reasonable distance of them. I decide to put them to the test.

It seems barely have I bunged something really special into my virtual basket and started to write this piece than there is a knock at the door. Opening it, I encounter a beaming Will, standing at a respectful social distance. ‘I’ve brought your order,’ he says, ‘I hope you like it.’ Then he is speeding off in his delivery van to his next customer, almost before I have chance to thank him.

My day, suddenly brighter, I started to decide which of my Belgian glasses, flute, chalice or hourglass thingy, to use for the Westmalle Tripel, which advertises itself as ‘the mother of all tripels’! And why not? First brewed in 1934, it’s an amazing beer, made with candy sugar, from a mash of light pilsner malts. It attracts the term ‘triple’ because after a long secondary fermentation, it is bottle-conditioned for further strength and maturation. It emerges as a 9.5% abv.

Will Miller, who delivered the beer, is a web-tech designer by profession and it shows immediately you go on their mightily impressive website which gives details of the full range of the drinks they have on offer. His partner, Katrice Rowe, who draws liberally on the immense experience in the licensing trade of her mother, Lynette, tells me when the pub is open it will have no fewer than ten lines and three hand-pulled beers. Clearly it will be a mecca for the real ale lover, but very handily placed for town trade and for those who want a drink before or after visiting the theatre. It is licensed for food and music and will eventually stay open from 11am to 11.30pm.

But at present Katrice and Will are concentrating their efforts on their delivery service. ‘We generally take all our orders through the website,’ she explains. ‘Our customers can then have a contactless service and easily select the items they would like. We offer a large range of beers, keeping up to date with what is popular through Craft beer pages on Facebook, and online wholesalers. We also offer some artisan ciders from the Orchards of Husthwaite who are also fairly local being just outside of York. We have added a range of snacks too.’

I ask about the craft beer selection. ‘We try to keep current and always search hard to find amazing beers where we can. We try to offer a range of prices and styles too, so there is hopefully something for everyone. We always stock a good range of Brass Castle beers; they are local and we hope to always work them. Their beers are all gluten-free and vegan which there is a market for.’

Having only just reviewed a beer from the Horse Town’s other brewery, Malton Brewery, I promise in the spirit of fairness to very soon review Brass Castle’s dark Baltic Porter, Suffrjtsu, on Katrice’s recommendation.

‘We have gluten-free and vegan sections on our website,’ she adds, ‘so people looking for these beers can easily locate them without having to go through every beer on the site. We aim to deliver every local order as soon as possible, and deliver them cold, ready to drink. We post to any other areas outside of Scarborough that day if possible via UPS and for the most part these are arriving within 48 hours of their order being made.’

So it couldn’t be simpler to get your order and I can testify to the speed of delivery.

And now back to my order. Belgian Tripels tend to be heavy, top fermented beer, blonde to amber in colour. ‘Tripel’ is generally used to differentiate them from a ‘Dubbel’ or 'double' fermentation. This one pours a hazily honey-copper colour, with a large and enduring white head. The scent of banana and cloves fill the nostrils as you commit it to your mouth. And now the wow moment: the first smooth, heady, spicy taste of the Westmalle, deliciously malty, sweet, fruity, bitter, a miraculous taste experience. And very potent with it.

I think I will place another order with the Craft Bar quite soon.