Following two rounds of surveys, the winner of the Keighley and Craven Pub of the Year 2014 is... Members of Keighley and Craven CAMRA found it so hard to differentiate between the top two pubs, that it has been decided to have joint winners. Well done to Francis Huggins and Lisa Keeley of The Kings Arms on Bolton Road in Silsden and Barry Smith and Carole Taylor-Smith of The Brown Cow on Cross Leeds Street in Keighley! The award will be presented to both pubs on Saturday May 17th, the Kings Arms in the afternoon and the Brown Cow in early evening.
The eighth Skipton Beer Festival is moving. As a result of problems which arose at our previous venue, we have rescheduled the event for the weekend 29th to 31st May at Rendezvous Hotel in Snaygill, about a mile from the town centre on Keighley Road. Full details of the festival can be found on the Skipton Beer Festival web-site.
There have been 7 successful festivals in Skipton Town Hall which has a great location on the High Street. Unfortunately due to a structural problem with one of the main fire exits in the Town Hall, the fire limit has been reduced dramatically making the festival there no longer an option. The festival has attracted so many visitors in the past we did not want to disappoint hundreds of people by turning them away when the fire limit was reached. We are please to have been able to find an alternative venue at such short notice.
The Brown Cow, Keighley, still in the capable hands of Barry and Carol but now free of tie, has won our next Pub of the Season - Spring 2014. Offering seven real ales and a regular cider, the Cow is a comfortable and relaxing place to enjoy a pint just off Keighley town centre. Join us for the presentation on the evening of Wednesday 19th March 2014.
Back in the Autumn things did not look good for several pubs in the Keighley and Craven area. Now, thanks to new licensees and, in some cases, new owners, five pubs which were closed at some stage last year have re-opened (or are about to re-open). Find out more and pay them a visit...
The tiny village of Appletreewick features once again in our Pub of the Season, with the Winter 2013 award going to the New Inn. A long-standing Dales free house, the New Inn offers great beer (one of the few regular outlets in Keighley and Craven for Old Peculier), real cider and breath-taking views. The presentation took place on Saturday 11th January 2014.
Next July the Grand Départ of the Tour de France comes to Yorkshire. The proposed route passes through Keighley and Craven on both days (5th and 6th July) and provides a great opportunity for fans to not only see our beautiful countryside but to visit some of our excellent pubs. There are over 40 pubs on our section of the route and a further 50 or more within three miles of it, to which you can retire after watching the race pass. And if, like our webmaster, you hope to ride the route in advance of the day, but spin it out over several days, check out our gazetteer of where to find a beer and possibly a bed.
Towards the end of September CAMRA‘s new on-line pub guide, WhatPub.com, went public. Billed as the definitive on-line guide to real ale pubs in the UK, it features 47,000 pubs, around 36,000 of which serve real ale. In the Keighley and Craven area, around 160 real ale pubs are listed, which members of the branch make every effort to keep up-to-date. Most show opening hours, descriptions and beer lists and some have photographs. Some clubs and restaurants selling real ale are also listed.
The release is the culmination of a two year project by thousands of CAMRA volunteers nationally, who have gone out to gather and collate the required information. As well as having a full web-browser interface, WhatPub is also optimised for tablets and mobile phones to allow you to find the nearest decent pub when on the move. As well as basic details, most entries show additional features and facilities such as whether food is available, whether families or dogs are welcome etc. A map showing the pub‘s location is shown along with directions where necessary and a list of pubs nearby. If you want to keep up with what‘s happening at a particular pub, links to the pub‘s own web-site and social media pages are also listed, where relevant.
Next time you‘re away from home and want to find somewhere for a drink, or if you want to just confirm what time somewhere near you opens or serves food, WhatPub should be your first port of call.
Every now and then Keighley & Craven CAMRA present an “Improved Pub Award” to an establishment in the branch area which members consider merits special recognition for an increase in the range and quality of cask-conditioned ales on sale, or, in some cases, starting to sell such ales where previously there were none. On 29th October we awarded the Airedale Heifer in Sandbeds (on the old Keighley to Bingley road) such an award. The Airedale Heifer acts as the Bridgehouse Brewery tap and on the evening of the presentation was serving two Bridgehouse beers alongside two guest beers from Ossett brewery, all in fine form. Earlier in the month it was the turn of the Willow Tree, Riddlesden, near Keighley. Once again a popular local, this pub was re-opened a year ago, after a long period of closure. At least two LocAles are always available.
The UK is losing 26 pubs every week. Many of these are still viable businesses but property developers can make a fast profit by turning them into offices, housing, supermarkets, fast food outlets, betting shops etc…and many of these can be done without planning permission, leaving local communities powerless to stop them. Listing a pub as an Asset of Community Value with the local council can make a difference in preventing a pub from closing. If your local pub is threatened, find out more about how to do this.
As Saturday 28th September came to a close, local CAMRA members celebrated the success of the 25th Keighley Beer Festival. Just over 1200 eager punters sampled around 70 real ales, 10 ciders and foreign bottled beers available over the weekend, nearly 100 more customers than last year. The festival was located in Keighley‘s Central Hall on Alice Street, the second year it has been near the town centre. Visit the Keighley Beer Festival web-site for more details about the Beer of the Festival and the like.
Only fifteen months after re-opening, the Talbot Arms in Settle has been awarded Keighley and Craven Branch Pub of the Season for Autumn 2013. Now a free house owned by the Palmer family (formerly licensees of the Maypole, Long Preston), the Talbot is run by Rosie and Russell East (Rosie is the Palmer). Offering 6 real ales in summer (4 in winter) and food all day, the Talbot also has one of the finest beer gardens in the branch area. The presentation took place on Saturday 21st September.
September 12th saw the launch of the latest edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the premier guide to pubs selling real ale in the UK. Listing 4500 pubs, both urban and rural the Good Beer Guide is revised and updated each year by CAMRA volunteers up and down the country. The Guide also has a comprehensive list of UK breweries. Local CAMRA members help select the 22 pubs which feature in the Keighley and Craven area. Click here for a local persepective.
The Keighley and Craven Branch Pub of the Season for Summer 2013 has been awarded to the Kings Arms in Silsden. A bustling community pub, the Kings has something for everyone. Two regular LocAle beers are complemented by four rotating guest beers and a traditional cider. The award was presented by Richard Candeland to Lisa, Francis (right) and their team of efficient staff on Tuesday 25th June.
CAMRA‘s recently launched “Britain‘s Best Real Heritage Pubs” includes one pub in the Keighley and Craven area. The Royal Oak in Settle, features thanks to a refurbishment completed in the interwar years in which it gained an idealised Olde Worlde panelled interior. What is possibly unique about the Oak is that plasterwork was used to imitate timber. Both the main bar area and the dining room feature the panelling, some of which is quite ornately ‘carved’. Another notable feature is the revolving entrance door. The book, which retails at £9.99, can be bought from the CAMRA on-line shop.
Pub of the Year 2013
Phil Booth and the staff at the Boltmakers Arms were awarded Keighley and Craven Pub of the Year 2013 on Thursday 30th May. The Boltmakers, one of Keighley‘s smallest pubs, is famed the length and breadth of the UK for the quality of its Timothy Taylor beers. The photo shows Colleen Holliday, Branch chair, presenting Phil (on the right) with the award. Phil‘s daughter Laura and brewers Peter Eells and Andy Leman from Taylors join in the celebration.
Skipton Beer Festival 2013, which was held last weekend, broke all records. Over 2250 customers attended the event and drank it dry, with every last drop of real ale gone when the festival closed at 8 p.m. on Saturday. First beer to run out was Mainline IPA from the recently opened Settle Brewery. Beer of the Festival as decided by customer votes was Drop Hammer, a strong dark beer from the Kirkstall Brewery in Leeds. More details will appear on the Skipton Beer Festival web-site in the near future.
The twin Yorkshire Dales settlements of Settle and Giggleswick not only boast 8 establishments selling real ale on hand-pump, they now also have two breweries, making them an ideal destination for real ale enthusiasts. Add in a scenic railway line and some spectacular walking and you have the makings of a great day out or weekend away. To help you enjoy this exciting destination we have put together a leaflet guide to the pubs. Settle and Giggleswick straddle the river Ribble and are well-served by the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway and the Leeds-Lancaster line, times available from the National Rail web-site. Click here to download a copy of the leaflet. Leaflets to other parts of the branch area are also available by clicking here.