Congratulations are due to Timothy Taylor, Keighley‘s longest established brewery, on Boltmaker being awarded Champion Beer of Britain 2014. The 4% bitter (formerly known as Best Bitter) joins the brewery‘s other regularly brewed beers, Golden Best and Landlord, as holder of this prize. Click here for more details.
Our latest Pub of the Season. award goes to a popular Dales inn. The Clarendon at Hebden, just East of Grassington, offers home-cooked food, up to 5 cask beers and guest accommodation. The award was presented to Hayley and Ashley Crampton on Tuesday 15th July 2014.
Keighley Beer Festival returns for another year (the 26th) in its usual slot at the end of September. Running from Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th, the festival will once again be Central Hall, Alice Street, Keighley BD21 3JD. Bringing you over 50 real ales, traditional ciders and a selection of foreign bottled beers, this will be our third year in Central Hall. More information on the Keighley Beer Festival web-site.
Earlier this summer the Grand Départ of the Tour de France came to Yorkshire. The route passed through Keighley and Craven on both days (5th and 6th July) and provided 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. If, like our webmaster, you hope to ride the route having enjoyed the spectacle on the day, but intend to spin it out over several days, check out our gazetteer of where to find a beer and possibly a bed.
The final weekend in May brought beer and cider lovers from far and wide to the 8th Skipton Beer Festival. Relocated at the last minute (because of structural problems at the town hall) to the Rendezvous Hotel, Snaygill, a mile out of town, with transport to and from the venue provided by a vintage bus, the festival was pleasantly busy and moderately successful. Full details and the beer list can be viewed on the Skipton Beer Festival web-site. Our thanks go to Rendezvous for offering us a venue at such short notice, and also to our main sponsor, Copper Dragon Brewery, for sticking with us when it all initially went wrong.
The Beer Engine on Albert Street opened its doors to the public on 8th May 2014. Just around the corner from the Narrow Boat, the Beer Engine has 5 handpumps serving an ever-changing range of beers with the initial selection all being from Yorkshire and Lancashire. Further information will be put onto WhatPub as we get it.
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 (left) and Barry Smith and Carol Taylor-Smith of The Brown Cow on Cross Leeds Street in Keighley (below)! The award was presented to both pubs on Saturday May 17th, the Kings Arms in the afternoon and the Brown Cow in early evening. The Brown Cow was also presented with a special award for 10 consecutive years in CAMRA‘s Good Beer Guide.
In Spring 2014, City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, with a little help from Keighley and Craven CAMRA, published a selective colour guide to pubs in Keighley and the Worth Valley. Featuring photos and descriptions, the guide can be obtained from tourist offices or downloaded from our publications page..
Not unrelated, Wharfedale brewery have launched their own ale trail, the Alesway. Featuring 15 pubs, 13 of which are in the Keighley and Craven area, the trail is a colour leaflet (download from the web-site or pick up in the pub). Visit 10 of the pubs for a free t-shirt. More details here.
The Brown Cow, Keighley, still in the capable hands of Barry and Carol but now free of tie, has won our latest 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. The award was presented on 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.
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.
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.
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.