Visited on: Monday 3rd July 2017
There is a part of Skipton close to the canal basin that contains a goodly number of excellent pubs in a very compact area. And, this micropub is located right in the middle of it all.
The pubs found in the surrounding streets must constitute one of the finest short-walk pub crawls in the country.
The Beer Engine has been around since 8th May 2014 when it was established by Steve Banks and partner Janet Langton. He was previously a solicitor on the local court circuit around this part of what was the West Riding of Yorkshire.
It was on that evening that the two opened their pub in what was a former fitness centre. I think it must have been rather small! Since then this likeable little pub hasn’t looked back.
It has subsequently been joined in the town by another micropub, the Early Doors in Newmarket Street. Unfortunately this is closed on Mondays, so I will just have to visit it on another day. Please note that the Beer Engine closes on Tuesdays so, should you wish to visit both, don’t come here at the beginning of the week. On this occasion I had no choice of days.
The Beer Engine is to be found along a narrow street, little more than an alley. Its presence was advertised in advance because of the row of empty casks outside awaiting collection. The way in is situated on the left side of the building and as soon as I had gotten inside I noticed that the predominant colour was grey. I like the colour itself for interior décor but I’m not sure it works well in pubs.
On my left was a fitted bench with grey leather upholstery. It is faced by a couple of low varnished wooden tables and red leathered stools. The bar counter is at the furthest end of the room on the right. The ale is served by hand pumps that are connected to casks located in a chill cabinet behind the bar. This large glass-fronted storage space is fronted by sliding glass doors and also contains bottled beer and cider.
In addition to draught beer and cider the pub specialises in Belgian bottled beer so these are always served at the correct temperature. Directly in front of the counter is the sliding door that leads to the WC.
Turning round and looking towards the street I found a similar arrangement of seating to that opposite. I settled here on a stool that was right next to a fitted bookcase with plenty of literature.
There is a good range of beers from all over the country especially considering the size of the pub, they were: Thornbridge (Bakewell, Derbyshire) The Wall (4.0%); Half Moon (Ellerton, North Yorkshire) Blonde (4.2%); Milk Street (Frome, Somerset) The Usual (4.4%); Hopback (Downton, Wiltshire) Summer Lightning (5.0%); Titanic (Burslem, Staffordshire) Plum Porter (4.9%).
Their ciders were: Sandford Orchards (Crediton, Devon) Fanny’s Bramble (4.0%) and Farmer Jim’s (Newton Abbot, Devon) Cider (5.0%).
The pub also serves wine and there is a good selection of Belgium bottled beers. I liked the Beer Engine very much and I would commend it to you should you be anywhere near this part of North Yorkshire.
Beer Engine, 1 Albert Street, Skipton BD23 1JD. Tel: 07834 456134
Hours: Monday 12.00-20.00; Tuesday Closed; Wednesday-Thursday 12.00-22.00;
Friday-Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-22.30
Note: I visited on a Monday. The pub’s website now shows it as being closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Skipton station is served by the West Yorkshire Metro Airedale line from Leeds and Bradford via Keighley. Monday to Saturday is half-hourly from both cities. On Sundays it is hourly to and from Leeds only.
If you require to come from or go to Bradford Forster Square on Sundays you must change at Shipley.
Also, Mondays to Sundays there’s a service by Northern Rail from Leeds to Morecambe and Carlisle.
These trains call at Skipton, and are about hourly and are also limited stop to and from Leeds.
Skipton is also served by many bus routes in lots of different directions.
From Skipton station cross the car park in front and turn right into the Broughton Road.
This leads into Belmont Street which crosses over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on a hump-back bridge.
After this immediately turn left into Coach Street. The first street on the right is Albert Terrace.
However go on for a few more metres, then turn right into Albert Street; the pub will be seen on the left.