Albion Inn, The

1 Rating

Type: Bar

94 Stanley Road
Eastmoor, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, WF1 4LR
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1924 376206 | map

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4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

‘Albion’ is an old name for Great Britain, or sometimes England. This is reflected in the self standing Pub Sign that is in the corner of the pub car park nearby the outside drinking area. A single square wooden beam about 12’ tall, supports a rectangular frame, inside which the traditional swinging Pub Sign sits. The sign reflects the Pubs name, a puffy chested John Bull character wearing a union jack waistcoat standing proudly next to a bulldog.

The Pub itself is a 1930’s Estate Pub, it sits back slightly from the road, is brick built, and whose design reflects the Coaching Houses so often seen in the previous century. A large two storey, symmetrical arrangement, the front facing wall of which is slightly curved in design. The ground floor is predominantly bedecked in white tiles and it has two entrances either side of a centrally located single storey building that protrudes from the front of the building, and atop which outside is mounted a flag pole that always (appropriately) flies the English Flag of St. George. The two entrances give access to either the nicely furnished Lounge or the more basic Tap room; work clothes are allowed in the latter, but not the former – an old rule not often seen in the UK these days, which hints at the busiest sessions in the Albion.

The Albion is a Samuel Smiths house, though you would never know that from outside. For some reason Samuel Smiths removed their familiar ‘white rose decal and gold letters on black signs’ from all of their 200+ houses some years ago. Why? Probably just for the hell of it knowing Sam’s. Inside you will find a mix of retired people, shoppers, locals from the nearby Eastmoor Estate and often workers during lunchtimes (in the Tap Room at least). A mixed but down to earth clientele, there are no pretensions here, which is exactly how I like it, you come here to drink and chat, not to pose.

The Bar area is centrally located so as to serve both the Tap Room and Lounge. The beer range is nothing exceptional, but this is the only place in Wakefield where you can get Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter (OBB) from the wooden cask, so in that respect alone, it is well worth the visit. (Note: Samuel Smiths OBB is never sold to the Free Trade in the UK and is only available in Samuel Smiths houses). Four Handpumps, two facing the Tap Room and two by the Lounge, all serve Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter from wooden casks. This beer polarizes; you either love it, or hate it. I for one love its malty profile. OBB is the only Cask beer that Samuel Smiths currently produce. It is little known that the prices in Samuel Smiths houses are often exceptionally low and always represent great value. The Albion is no exception, a Pint cost me all of £1.22!!! A real bargain! To put this in context the average price in the rest of Wakefield during my visit was £1.85 (it ranged from £1.60 - £2.10). In addition to the cask-conditioned OBB, the Albion sells other Sam’s products, albeit brewery-conditioned. Samuel Smiths make all of there own drinks; Milds, Bitters, Lagers, Ciders and Stouts, they are truly independent in that respect. Dark Mild (3.6%) and Sovereign Best (5.0%) Bitter are available on tap, as is Ayingerbrau Lager (4.5%) for the masses, Cider Reserve (?%) is the option for Cider drinkers but the best of the rest for me simply has to be “Sam’s own Guinness”. SS Extra Stout, served using mixed gas dispense, is absolutely superb. Thick, creamy, lots of roast malts and dark chocolates in a full-bodied jet black Pint with a very smooth light brown head that lasts forever. And at around £1.30 (!!) a Pint, this can be as much as 50% less than the price of a Pint of Guinness (typically £2.40), and for me it beats the pants off of it. Extra Stout is not available in all of Sam’s houses, so it is a treat to drink it here in the Albion.

Also, in the bottle from coolers behind the bar; I spied SS Old Brewery Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Taddy Porter, Oatmeal Stout and I spied a few bottles of the Organically produced Lager, India Ale and Winter Welcome.

It can get smoky in here at the Bar, especially in the Tap Room during busy lunchtimes, but there is a small no-smoking area for refuge if you want it. The service is friendly and very sharp, “another pint love” was the call from the Landlady several times during my recent visit here just as I got to the bottom of my glass, and “aah, go on then” was typically my response.

Samuel Smith's are Yorkshires Oldest Brewery, they are fiercely independent, very secretive at times, and they answer, quite literally, to no-one. Founded on Tradition, Quality and Value; whilst the Albion is not admittedly one of Sam’s historic houses, it does major on the latter two. The Albion is a real local boozer that serves a great Pint in a relaxed drinking environment, the OBB (on Cask), and the Extra Stout (on Nitro) alone make the visit worth while and a drinking session here will not break the bank.

Last Visit: Tuesday 6th April, 2004

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Albion Inn, The in Eastmoor, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4 out of 5 with 1 ratings
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