A pint-sized pub and its more spacious neighbour will join forces as a Little and Large double act next week to present a real ale and beer festival designed to promote Hull’s Theatre Quarter location as a destination for great food and drink.
The Hop & Vine in Albion Street, Hull, and the New Clarence round the corner in Charles Street have collaborated for three festivals in the last two years, winning the innovative marketing category at the HullBID Awards in 2022.
This time respective licensees Tony Garrett and Ian Ibbetson will also highlight some of the nearby restaurants, and in doing so will add the new dimension of international beers.
Tony, whose Hop & Vine is a compact basement bar with a two-seater beer garden, said: “If you’re enjoying a beer festival you need good food to soak up the liquid – and if you’re having a nice meal, you need the liquid to wash it down!”
Ian added: “Food is a big part of what we offer at The New Clarence and we’ll have all sorts of delights available during the festival but we also want to direct people to some of the great restaurants in this part of the city and encourage people to support the Theatre Quarter as a whole.”
The Hull Theatre Quarter Beer Festival will take place from Thursday 23 March until Sunday 26 March and will again be led by Tony and Ian. At the Hop & Vine, Tony plans to offer eight real ales all from Derbyshire and as many as 20 ciders and perries.
Tony said: “Last time I did a Shropshire selection because that’s where I’m from. It gave people a chance to try some beers that you don’t often see up this way. It worked really well and it made sure we were both doing something different.”
Ian will focus on brews from Yorkshire and will make the most of his space to offer a food menu featuring his famous Chilli Devil sauces as well as a programme of live music.
He said: “We’ll have maybe 40 beers over the weekend, many of them from new breweries, small independent producers. Yorkshire has over 100 of them and some are very tiny.
“We’ve found in previous years that some visitors go round with a pen and paper, crossing beers off their list as they aim to try them all during the festival. The big difference between us and most other beer festivals is that we bring trade into the pubs and they take trade out of them.”
The pair will also raise awareness of other beer options on their doorstep at the Old English Gentleman and Brew, a café specialising in coffee, tea and beer. Among the restaurants which are being recommended are The Omelette, Tanyalak for Thai Food, Blue Bay Mediterranean for Greek or Italian, Yinjibar for Chinese and Lena’s Ukrainian Kitchen.
Most of them offer beer and other drinks from their home countries which are exclusive in the city centre.
Lena Sutherland, who opened her Ukrainian Kitchen last year in the former Operetta Italian restaurant in Bond Street, said: “We will have our usual menu over the weekend as well as Ukrainian beer and vodka. We’ll also have live music on the Saturday with Ukrainian and British singers.
“As a result of the festival I have already made two new friends and I hope we can all work together with the other bars and restaurants to show people the fantastic food and drink destinations we have in this part of the city centre.”
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID Executive Director, said: “The Hull Theatre Quarter Beer Festival was recognised at our awards for its innovation and now Tony and Ian are showing sustainability with a fourth event, and one which also embraces other hospitality businesses in the area.
“There’s a great variety of food and drink which will hopefully pull in the crowds during the festival and keep them coming back for other events in the city centre.”