However there is another new kid on the block, a place we had avoided due to the description in Ouse Boozer that portrayed a Slug and Lettuce type bar, but in fact is quite traditionally furnished and situated in an old timber framed building on Patrick Pool - a narrow lane between the market behind the Shambles and Swinegate/Church Street.
Pivo (I am told this is Czech for "beer" and pronounced "peavo"), describes itself as a "continental beer bar" and is about to celebrate it's second anniversary. A menu on each table gives a full description of the beers on offer with three traditional hand pumps normally dispensing a "locale", a guest from afar and a Brewdog. The (at least) 10 continental fonts have beers from the Czech Republic (Bernard), Germany, Belgium and the USA plus one dedicated to London's Meantime Brewing Company. The list of bottled beer available (about 60!) includes old favourites and relative rarities such as Mort Subite Gueuze. I don't know of anywhere else this far north that has Meantime on draught, and to top this the beer on offer was the IPA (7.2%) - unique to Pivo as a draught.
Amongst the other beers sampled were AppleBocq, an apple wheat beer, delicious and only 3.1%, the perfect summer beer (well the sun was shining when we visited), and Timmermans Strawberry (4%), full of real fruit flavour. At £2.70 a half we at first thought that this was a little OTT, but then a good glass of wine would be at least a pound more. There is a strawberry beer in the Sportsman at £2 a half, so this stuff must be expensive to source.
This is certainly a bar to divert to, right in the centre of York, but not far from Bruges either! (map)
pics: 1 & 3 from Pivo's website