Tuesday 6th August 2013
The Tap House has experienced many changes over the last fifteen or so years. Until June 2000 it was the Fat Scot, a traditional Mitchell's pub. Mitchell's was an old established Lancaster brewery that was founded some time between 1865 and 1871. A new brewery was built in 1874.
In 1985 Thwaites of Blackburn took over the rival Yates & Jackson brewery. They ceased production of the Yates & Jackson beers and sold that brewery to Mitchell's, who closed their own facility and moved the short distance across town.
They subsequently closed that brewery in 1999 and became a pub-owning company. This lasted to 2008 when they bought York Brewery and its four pubs, bringing their estate up to 67 pubs.
Mitchells closed the Fat Scot in June 2000. After a refurbishment it re-opened as Spooner's; an identity it kept to September 2004, when it shut its doors again. Following another refurbishment it became Mood, with more of a bar-type feel. This was another incarnation that was not to last as that shut up shop in October 2012. This paved the way for the Tap House to emerge.
In contrast to the exterior, the inside it has a modern look about it, although it is a comfortable pub. The bar area has been completely re-equipped and now proudly displays six chrome-steel hand pumps.
There is some exposed brickwork and some of the tables have been manufactured from old wooden barrels. There are also some old prints and mirrors on the walls.
I was with stalwart imbiber Russell and we were offered a choice of the following cask offerings: Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery (Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria) Tiffin Gold (3.6%); Fell Brewery (Flookborough, Cumbria) Tinderbox IPA (6.3%); Old School Brewery (Warton, Lancashire) OSB Bitter (4.1%) and Hop Back Brewery (Downton, Wiltshire) Entire Stout (4.5%).
The pub also offers a large selection of foreign bottled beers and, although I didn't notice, they probably dispense gassy "Kraft" beer from micro-keg breweries. Don't let this put you off though, because the real stuff we had in this pub was served in good condition. Food consists of a wide selection of local pies along with sandwiches and panninis, etc.
The Tap House is well worth a visit should you be in or around Lancaster.
The Tap House, 2 Gage Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1UH. Tel: 01524 842232
Open: Monday-Thursday 12.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-24.00; Sunday 12.00-22.30
The pub is around ten walk minutes from Lancaster Castle railway station. There are trains to and from many places in the land and the services are provided by Virgin and Trans-Pennine for the long distances and Northern for the local destinations. It is less than five minutes walk to Lancaster Bus Station.