The Rook & Gaskill isn’t a new pub on the radar for us: we have been locals and friends of this establishment ever since we’ve been in York. And for good reason; landlord Paul Marshall always has a good beer selection on the go, always has time for a natter and when the outdoor wood fired oven is blazing, always has a belting food menu on the go.
So when we heard that there was a face lift coming along, we were very interested to say the least. I mean, how do you improve perfection? Well, we knew it was in safe hands, as it wasn’t a renovation done by a faceless brewery only after money; it was being done by the landlord himself. Paul has done something rather special. Behind this normal-sized bar we now have a wall of 20 taps. Yes. Count them, twenty. Taking the keg pumps off the bar has opened it all up, making everything look far more spacious and where have those taps gone… to the back bar. Twenty taps, serving everything from a standard lager to a double IPA.
Paul has stated that this will not only help the quantity of beers available but also the quality, as the beers will come from a bespoke fridge mere centimetres behind the tap itself. This also cuts down on waste, allowing him to get better returns. The fact he has so much tap real estate to play with allows him to take the odd chance on a beer, get that 9% USA special we’ve all been dreaming of, and do it at a good price too. It also means that now there are so many taps, it allows one or two to be really special: they may not make the Rook any money as such, but what they will offer in choice is simply unequalled. I think only the York Tap has a higher tap count in the city and in all fairness we think that they (rightly so) concentrate on the commuter market more than the beer connoisseur, which gives the Rook a great reason to say they have the best beer selection in York.
So far, we see only good things for the Rook & Gaskill and with the incoming beer (literally delivered as we were there) we can guarantee this is going to be THE place to be if you want a choice of great beer.