AN award-winning York pub will be relaunched next week with one of the biggest beer ranges in the city, just in time for its 200th birthday.

Landlord Paul Marshall has spent £5,000 on a major refit of the bar at The Rook and Gaskill in Lawrence Street, to allow the addition of 20 new beer lines.

It will take the total number of beers or ciders on the bar at any time to 30, which he thinks is bettered only by York Tap beside the railway station.

A relaunch event will be held next Wednesday evening,[DEC 13] with several local brewers joining customers to sample the new range. The pub dates back to 1818 under previous names.

The Rook and Gaskill was named York Camra’s pub of the year in 2016, and Mr Marshall had also received that award in 2012 at his previous pub, The Waggon and Horses in the same street.

Mr Marshall said: “You can’t stand still in this industry, you need to keep moving forward and I wanted to do that here. The Rook is a great pub and I didn’t want to interfere with the ambience we have by doing a drastic refurb inside, but this allows us to really improve our beer range.

“We look forward to seeing our regulars back in to try the new beers, and we’d love to see new customers along as well to see what is available. We have something for everybody now, and if you don’t like beer we also have good wines and gins and decent food.”

Mr Marshall and his wife Mandy moved to York from Lincolnshire in 2008, and ran The Waggon and Horses for almost six years before moving across the road to The Rook and Gaskill in 2014.

He said: “York is a brilliant city for pubs. There’s nowhere else with so many pubs in such a small area doing so much good beer, so we have to be at the top of our game all the time.”

The refit involves the creation of 20 keg beer taps on a wall behind the bar, which will include two Bavarian beers never before available in York. A large walk-in fridge behind the taps will mean the beer travels a much shorter distance between the keg and the glass. That, in turn, will reduce beer wastage during the line-cleaning process, which Mr Marshall said would save him around £4,000 a year.

The Rook and Gaskill was originally known as The Wheatsheaf, and is first recorded in the city archives in 1818. It was subsequently known as The Princess Victoria, The Victoria, The Queen Victoria, The Queen’s Head, then The Queen, before gaining its current name in 2002.

It is named after sheep thieves Peter Rook and Leonard Gaskill, the last people hanged at Greendykes in York, in 1676.

Following the investment,the pub will have ten cask beers and 20 keg beers or ciders. Permanent products will include Kozel, Bitburger, Adnams Mosaic, Camden Hells, Camden Pale, Aspalls, Scheiderweiss, Theakston’s Barista Stout, and Edel and Fels, both by Bavarian brewery ABK.

Nick Love, pub protection officer for the York branch of Camra, said: “The Rook & Gaskill is a pub with a great reputation for real ale and the new craft beer wall will be a great addition to give beer drinkers a fantastically wide choice of the very best beers rom across Yorkshire and further afield. Any pub with a commitment to serving great beer gets out support, during tough times for pubs generally across the UK.”