IT has been a busy old week on the York beer scene, as the lull of winter gives way to the business of spring.

Around the city, drinkers can enjoy new beers, the restoration of an old pub name, and a refit at a well-loved city-centre favourite.

Illogical though it sounds, let’s begin with a finishing touch. Or, to be more accurate, with a Finnishing Touch.

That’s the name given to York Brewery’s newest creation, an ale flavoured with juniper berries and brewed in the style of a Finnish ‘sahti’ beer.

It is the latest in York’s Off The Wall series, which is running throughout 2014.

The hops are from Slovenia and the grain base includes all four of barley, wheat, oat and rye malts, and the result is unlike anything the brewery has produced before. It’s an amber ale with a discernible dry, fruity spiciness and a robust ABV of five per cent.

It was launched at three special events this week, at the brewery itself on Tuesday and the Yorkshire Terrier in Stonegate on Wednesday and should be available now in all the York Brewery pubs, along with their other new beer, Dragon Slayer, a 4.3 per cent golden ale brewed ahead of St George’s Day next month.

From York Brewery it is a short stroll round to Micklegate, where an historic York pub building has gone back to old ways.

Rumours has been part of the Micklegate Run since 2002 but before that it was The Falcon for 300 years, drawing praise from Francis Drake, no less.

Historians will therefore be pleased to see the pub has now been renamed The Falcon Tap, a far more fitting name than Rumours ever was.

Thankfully, the wooden falcon placed above the frontage in 1880 survived the Rumours era and now sits proudly alongside the new signage. There were two ales from Copper Dragon on the bar on Wednesday night including the excellent West Coast pale, alongside a long cocktails list.

The Falcon Tap will be joined in the coming months by Micklegate Tap, which is due to open later this spring in what was formerly Harry’s Bar, then The Bedroom, then Bohemia.

That will complete (for now at least) a series of changes on that side of town, following the conversion of The Living Room last month into Missoula.

Beer is but one of many priorities here, alongside cocktails and food, but it is taken seriously nonetheless. A colleague and I popped in after our visit to The Falcon Tap on Wednesday and enjoyed three American stars: UnderDog Atlantic Lager from Flying Dog, Shipyard Pale Ale and Anchor Steam Beer.

Across the city-centre in Patrick Pool, beer lovers may have had a shock this week to see Pivní closed and workmen filling a skip with fittings and furnishings.

Fear not! This star of York’s beer scene has been undergoing a moderate refurbishment and – all being well – it will have re-opened last night.

Having found Pivní closed on my day off on Tuesday, I wandered over to Nunnery Lane instead, to The Old Ebor.

This pub continues to impress and had a selection of excellent ales that wouldn’t have been out of place anywhere in the city. I was tempted by the Atom ale from Hull but went instead for Kismet, a blindingly good pale ale by Half Moon Brewery in Ellerton.

We can’t end this week without congratulating the team behind BeerTown last weekend in Malton.

There were some fantastic beers, including Longbow by Brass Castle, an unhopped, “medieval-style” ale, and Full Nelson, a “Maori pale ale” by Tiny Rebel in South Wales.

Head back to Malton this weekend for the spring festival at Suddaby’s at The Crown Hotel in Castlegate. Or, if you’re near a JD Wetherspoon’s pub, you can enjoy the beginning of their international beer festival, which runs from today until April 13.

Twitter: @pintsofview