These are the York pubs in – and out – of the Good Beer Guide 2020

Mike Edmondson and Ellie Gibson behind the bar of the Ackhorne. Photograph: Richard McDougall
11 Sep 2019 @ 7.35 pm
| Food & drink

Even in a city as blessed with as many great pubs as York, only a select few can make it into the drinkers’ bible.

And now we know which have been hand-picked for Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2020.

This year 14 pubs have made it into the guide, which is compiled by local members of the Campaign For Real Ale.

That’s two more than were chosen last year.

The guide focuses on the best pubs that serve real ale. It also lists every brewery – micro, regional and national – that produces real ale in the UK, and their beers.

You can order it here for £14 (or £12 for members).

So which pubs made it into the 2020 guide that weren’t in the 2019 edition…?

The Ackhorne

Photograph: Richard McDougall

9 St Martin’s Lane
The historic inn found on narrow cobbled St Martin’s Lane is back in the guide this year. “A friendly pub, full of character and atmosphere, which appeals to a wide audience,” the editors write. It has recently been taken over by Mike Edmondson and Ellie Gibson. They said: “It is great to be back in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide as we have always aimed to provide good quality beers to our customers. We want to be a pub for locals, supporting local businesses.”

The Gillygate

Photograph: The Gillygate on Facebook

48 Gillygate
Refurbed in 2014, the Gillygate is a spacious pub with a number of bed and breakfast rooms too. It is also home to lots of activities, including speed quizzes and Fringe comedy. The editors say: “It currently offers four real ales, but plans to expand the range to eight in time.”

Golden Ball

Photograph © Google Street View

2 Cromwell Road
York’s first community pub gets a deserved place in the Good Beer Guide. “A fine, welcoming Victorian street-corner local,” the guide says. It has a nationally important historic interior and was extensively refurbished by John Smith’s in 1929.


Photograph: Pivni on Facebook

6 Patrick Pool
This was the bar that started the Pivovar group, which now includes the Pavement Vaults and a half share in The Market Cat among its outposts. Along with rotating cask ales “there is also a changing range of seven craft keg beers mostly from Europe, the US and the UK, four real ciders and over 40 varied bottled beers,” the guide notes.

Volunteer Arms

Thriving… the Volunteer Arms on Watson Street. Photograph © Google Street View

5 Watson Street
“It has a real community feel, while welcoming to all,” says the guide. “With five permanent beers and two changing guests, the beer range is excellent for a suburban pub.”

And here are the pubs that have dropped out since 2019… the Eagle & Child, House of the Trembling Madness, and York Tap.