Remembrance of pints and Cups past

The Yew Tree
The Yew Tree
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Yew could do worse than Tree-t yourself to a pint in this pub

For Marcel Proust it was a dunked buttery biscuit, for yours truly, basking in evening sun out back of The Yew Tree Tuesday evening, a pint of pale ale.

A pint of Caledonian’s Golden XPA, to be precise, one sip of which instantly cast me exactly four years adrift, to Edinburgh 2010.

Spent swathes of that May to June basking outside this or that pub in one of Britain’s (until wise Scots vote YES on September 18 and rid themselves of Eton rule forever) greatest drinking cities with a glass of something similar to hand.

Pale ale all but ubiquitous as lager in that corner of these isles, and as a result you will rarely raise a wrong ‘un to your lips.

Pleased to say, my first pint of same in this Walton-le-Dale pub was easily the match of most any which came my way that year – and believe me when I say that the exceptions were truly exceptional.

A reboot of the Edinburgh brewery’s famous IPA, the XPA packed fresh, citrussy flavours with hoppy scent a malty wallop and bittersweet farewell – at the death my only wish was for more.

Wishes, however, are the stuff of fairytales not pub columns, so bravely I stifled my sobs and tucked into the guest ale, another Caledonian, ‘Road to Rio’, brewed specially for the 2014 World Cup.

No regrets here either. A great ale which combines lemon and spice to winning effect and again had me begging for more once the draught had been drained.

Refurbushed and re-opened May last year, The Yew Tree is a pub to which return visits will be made, both to enjoy the casks and the food which, obviously made with care, was tasty and fairly priced.

Plenty of seating outside puts it front and centre for summer months, the spacious yet cosy interior clean and welcoming for when the clouds gather.

As gather they will – even in the cloudless skies of Edinburgh four years ago...

Ever seen England drubbed by Germany in the World Cup amid a thousand baying Scots (between them sporting as many German replica shirts as you’d have seen in downtown Berlin that day)?

The pale ale comes in handy.