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Beer of the Week (w/e 23rd January 2022) with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

The Lion & Key, Hull

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
48 High Street
Phone: 01482225212

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Lion & Key

A somewhat tarted up old pub, old features with a modern flavour and an excess of 'historic clutter' displayed, but saved by an impressive bank of handpumps with about 11 varying ales from micros on offer at time of visit. The food is also very good. Worth a visit, even in an area containing some good pubs.

On 11th September 2020 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2478 recommendations about 2423 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rob Hunter left this review about The Lion & Key

What a find! Looks like a small traditional feeling pub but in fact there was plenty of seating plus a pleasant outdoor area to the rear. And wait for it... 14 pumps at the bar for cask ale! Several of these were from their own Cathead brewery, and there were a few from Titanic and Hilltop Brewing Co.

I had a half of the Liquorice Stout which set me back £1.50 and was rather nice. Service was pleasant, polite and swift, despite there seeming to be only one young barmaid running the bar at lunch time.

As has been mentioned before, this is apparently one of three pubs run by the same people in close proximity.

Toilets are upstairs. The downstairs has been opened out but still feels like separate rooms. Overall, a gem of a pub.

On 29th June 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 621 recommendations about 521 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Lion & Key

One of three pubs in close proximity run by the same people (along with Walters and WM Hawkes), the Lion and Key is the one that perhaps best captures the middle ground between traditional pub and modern bar. You enter into a very smart front seating area with plenty of high quality, comfy seating options to the right around a nice fireplace, flanked by some fine wood panelling and a number of shelves full of all sorts of clutter. It's a cosy space that certainly lends itself well to a session and it was a shame it was so busy on a Saturday evening that I was unable to bag a seat here. Moving through, you emerge into a bare boarded area with the servery to the right and a few high tables and stools opposite. The bar has a high wooden counter and beautiful modern dark wood bar back. A window at the far end of the bar was signed for a 'Snug' and had presumably been relocated from elsewhere, as there didn't appear to be an actual snug back there. The pub has been liberally decorated with all manner of items without coming across as too over the top. The ceiling is covered with pump clips and suspended from it are a couple of large cartwheels acting as light fittings plus a big clock. High shelves are packed with various bits including lots of breweriana, old tankards, adverts, horseshoes and horse brasses, scales, bottles, first aid kits and the like. Meanwhile, the walls are almost entirely obscured by some great old adverts, posters, playbills and so forth. To the rear there is a covered patio with some decent stool and bench seating and a load of old road signs and adverts on show. The place was really buzzing early on a Saturday evening - probably the busiest pub I found in Hull, which meant there was a good atmosphere but tricky to find somewhere to enjoy your pint in comfort.
The pub has its own brewery - Cat's Head - and three of their beers were on handpull - Pale Ale (£2.90), Christmas Jumpers and Strawberry Blonde. Guests were plentiful, with a choice of White Rose Original, Blonde and Beyond the Blonde, Great Heck Mount Hood, Hilltop HTP and Classic Bitter and Cottage Pullman. More Cat's Head brews were available on keg dispense, including a rather heavy sounding Imperial Stout. I thought I should try one of the house beers, so opted for the Cat's Head Pale Ale, which was good value and in decent shape but rather lacking on the taste front.
I really liked the look and feel of this place which seemed well set up to cater for a broad range of customers and offered one of the stronger ale ranges you're likely to find in the city. I'd be keen to give this one another try, perhaps at a slightly quieter time to soak up the place a bit more, but this stood out as one of Hull's better ale houses.

On 19th February 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2690 recommendations about 2690 pubs]

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Aqualung . left this review about The Lion & Key

This was only the second of two original pubs visited in Hull and for me was easily the best of all hostelries visited. I made two visits here both late evening and managed to find a seat even on the Friday. As noted below there is bric-a-brac everywhere, countless pump clips all over the walls and ceilings
and a bank of hand pumps that I failed to count and failed to note the beers but I suspect most of them were from Yorkshire and some were from the in house Cathead. On the first visit I had the Neepsend Chinook Stout (£3.60) which was really outstanding and I was gutted to find it gone the next night. However the same brewer's Stout (£3.50) was on and that was also outstanding.

On 2nd August 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Lion & Key

Old Town alehouse in a building with a narrow frontage, with a traditional-style interior crammed full of bits and pieces but notably the vast array of pump clips / beer mats on the ceiling and an imposing bar-back. Excellent selection of 14 real ales on handpump, from near and afar, but I risked a Kissing with Confidence from Revolution (£1.70, half) which was in good form. As with several other nearby establishments it is not as authentic as it appears, but definitely worth a visit in any case.

On 17th April 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6687 recommendations about 6687 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Lion & Key

Ex Irish pub, full of crap inside and possibly the most amount of mounted pump clips on the ceiling I've ever seen. What else was there…a jumbo cart wheel on ceiling, a lovely bar back with Edwardian style ‘Direct Importers, Tinned Fruit and Choice Preserves’ signage and a Flavor Flav jumbo clock on a chain. To the rear is a patio with awning. 16 pumps, I gave up writing down what was on each one, suffice to say it wasn’t exactly Doom Bar or GK IPA stuff. Having heard that there was an in-house brewery (Cat Head) I decided to try their mild and it was a horrific phenol brew, more like Cat Piss. Hastily switched over to beer brewed by people with tastebuds and got a Great Heck Dave, much better and in very good nick. The dreadful homebrews aside, this was an interesting place with plenty to see and plenty to drink, so is worth a visit for that alone.

On 12th April 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4219 recommendations about 4206 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Lion and Key

The good pubs on our crawl were beginning to come thick and fast, and this one was no exception, 16 handpumps with only a couple offline was a sight for sore eyes and the numerous pump clips covering the ceiling and underside of the staircase were testament to a great ale philosophy here. It has a good real pub feel about it here and is a must visit in Hull.

On 21st March 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1468 recommendations about 1451 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Lion and Key

Quite an eye opener when you walk around the back and see 16 handpumps across the full length of the bar. The two young barmaids were very patient and there was no problem in handing over a couple of samples, before I chose the right beer for me. The pub was also busy on our Friday afternoon visit with customers dining. Mrs A and myself went for the Cathead Pale Ale and Wold Top Spring Fling, both were top class.

On 21st March 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3036 recommendations about 3036 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Lion and Key

A very solid alehouse with a high ceiling covered in pump clips and an impressive wooden staircase leading to the loos.The front section is comfy ,while the bar supporting the 16 handpumps has an impressive bar back with signage of Direct Importers,Tinned Fruit and Choice Preserves although I failed to discover the connection with the pub.The walls are covered with old tin and enamel brand advert signs and above the bar room a huge wagon wheel is suspended from the ceiling.There is even a beer garden through some french windows. The ale selection on my visit was Yates Undercliff Experience,Dark Side of the Wight and Holy Joe,Black Country Pig on the Wall and Fireside,Revolution Kissing with Confidence,Sperrin Third Party,Wentworth Speckled Wood,Great Heck Dave,Milestone Honey Porter,Cathead Pale Ale and Dark mill (house beers)and a good Wold Top Spring Fling.Thats a good range with a mix of styles which means this pub would get another visit from me and should be included on any ale tour of the Old Town.The welcome was most friendly ,food is served (mains £8.50-£12 ) and its the sister pub to the nearby Wm Hawkes so expect a similar real ale range there if you plan to hit both pubs.

On 20th March 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2230 recommendations about 2230 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Lion and Key

Quite hard to believe that this pub used to be a fake Irish pub called Durty Nellies, but it now functions as a proper Ale house with a lot of character. Plenty of pub memorabilia on all wall surfaces and probably one of the most impressive beer mat collection you are likely to see which totally covers the complete ceiling space.
The long bar area at the back of the pub has 16 hand pumps along its length most of which were in operation for our visit. The selection included brews from Milestone, Yates Brewery, Woldtop, Revolution, Black Country Ales and a couple from their own brewery.
The couple of the Black Country ales I tried were in good nick and this was a good characterful pub to enjoy them in.

On 20th March 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1779 recommendations about 1721 pubs]

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