Wakefield Express’ pub of the week: Harry’s Bar

Harry's Bar landlady Louise Waters
Harry's Bar landlady Louise Waters

We need your help with our new pub of the week page.

We would like you to nominate your favourite local so that we can feature it in the paper.

Malcolm Bastow, of Five Towns Brewery

Malcolm Bastow, of Five Towns Brewery

To start the ball rolling we paid a visit to Harry’s Bar, off Westgate. It was Wakefield CAMRA’s Pub of the Year in 2014.

As you walk in to the bijou bar you are greeted by an array of ales and an ever-changing art exhibition.

The pub has nine handpulls. On Friday March 20, I saw local beers from Fernandes, of Kirkgate; Bob’s White Lion, of Ossett; and two from Five Towns, of Outwood.

This was just a flying half-hour visit so I settled for Five Towns’ Old Norrell, a strong pale beer that I’ve enjoyed before. Then my focus turned to the artwork on the walls.

The current display is by Lisa V Robinson.

Her colourful designs will be on the walls for the next two months. I enjoyed them. But to be honest, I’m more of an ale aficionado than a culture vulture.

Landlady Louise Waters told me the pub’s connection with art began about five years ago. The pub hosts regular art and ale events and is a pit stop on the Wakefield Art Walk.

The landlady said: “Quite a few of the Art Walk people are regulars in Harry’s. But, being in a pub, it opens up the art world to people who are not from the art community.”

The pub also has craft of a different kind, namely craft beer. Taps for Copper Dragon’s Radka pilsner and a lager from Freedom have recently been installed.

Louise added: “I just wanted to make us more different than the rest of Wakefield. It gives variation to have one or two kegged beers. The eventual aim is not to supply, if any at all, the big commercial lagers. I want to go along more the route of a speciality place, like we do for real ale but to extend it to lager and become craft-related.

“We want to be a bit different than anybody else. There is no place quite like Harry’s in Wakefield.”

We also spoke to Five Towns Brewery’s Malcolm Bastow about the two beers he had on at Harry’s Bar when we called recently.

The first was Harry’s Beer, which is on permanently.

Malcolm, who runs a purpose-built brewery from his home in Leeds Road, Outwood, said: “Harry’s Beer is a pale session beer. It’s brewed at 3.9 per cent and is made with perle and citra hops.”

The beer the Express sampled was Old Norrell.

“It’s named after one of the lead characters from the book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. They’ve shot part of a TV adaptation of it in Wakefield.

“It’s a 5.5 per cent strong pale ale, which is hopped with nelson sauvin, mosaic and sorachi, which gives it a citrussy, lemon finish.”

How to contribute to the pub page:

The Wakefield Express would like you to tell us which pubs we should be focussing on.

They can be big or small pubs or clubs like The Six Chimneys on Kirkgate or The Red Shed on nearby Vicarage Street.

Or they can be city or country hostelries like The Hop on Bank Street or The Reindeer at Overton. They can be old like The Black Rock or new like The Robin Hood at Altofts.

Contact: editorial@wakefieldexpress.co.uk or 01924 433013.