On 10th February, members of Keighley and Craven CAMRA were pleased to present James and John Mitchell with a plaque celebrating 10 consecutive appearances of the Cricketers Arms in Keighley in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. The Cricketers on Coney Lane is a family-run free house serving two regular beers from Yates brewery (in Cumbria) alongside three guests from around the country. Recently re-decorated, the pub is warm and welcoming. Purchased from Timothy Taylor by John Mitchell and Worth Inns in 1996, it has been managed by John‘s son James for almost ten years. The photo shows branch secretary Fred Baker (left) presenting the award to James.
The dates and location of the 9th Skipton Beer Festival have been confirmed. Organised by the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) the festival will offer up to 80 different British real ales, cider, perry, bottled foreign beers, English wines, food, prize draws, souvenir merchandise and CAMRA membership offers. Milds will be featured with the ever popular Mild Trail. The new location is The Refectory, Ermysted‘s Grammar School, Gargrave Road, Skipton BD23 1PL. This is approximately 7 minutes walk from both the railway and bus stations. The festival will be open on Thursday 28th May 2015 at 3 p.m. and will continue until Saturday 30th May, opening at 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission charges will be £1.50 on Thursday and £2.50 on Friday and Saturday, pay on the door (no advance tickets). Card-carrying CAMRA members will get in free at all sessions. Unfortunately, despite us being in a school, there will not be any facilities for children, so the festival is for over-18s only.
For more information go to the Skipton Beer Festival web-site nearer the time (it is not yet up and running), telephone the Branch Contact on 01756 796167, follow Keighley and Craven CAMRA on Facebook and Twitter (links in the left-hand menu) or follow Skipton Beer Festival on Twitter.
On Tuesday 16th December, members of Keighley and Craven CAMRA presented Heather and Mark and their staff at the Turkey Inn, Goose Eye with the Winter 2014/5 Pub of the Season award. Nestling at the foot of Goose Eye Brow, the Turkey is a warm, welcoming pub serving food all day. Regular beers come from Goose Eye (Bitter and Chinook) and Timothy Taylor (Golden Best and Landlord) and these are supplemented by a further four guest ales, usually including another Goose Eye beer (Barm Pot at the time of the presentation). Heather and Mark bought the pub in 2011 when it was temporarily closed and have made substantial improvements since. In 2014 the external stone-work was cleaned and the rotting leaded windows were replaced with replicas still bearing the logo of Aaron King, a local Keighley brewery which closed in 1958. Photo right: Branch secretary Fred Baker (right) presents the plaque to Heather and Mark.
In mid September the Keighley News revealed plans by supermarked chain, Tesco, to turn the Royal Oak in Mill Hey, Haworth into a convenience store. A loophole in current planning legislation would allow them to do this without requiring planning permission, although permission was being sought firstly for a cash machine in the wall (which was rejected), and subsequently for major structural changes to the building (including partial demolition). The good news is that Tesco has now withdrawn their plan. The Keighley News reported that Tesco‘s pulled out after their second application had been turned down for conservation reasons. However, the future of the pub is still far from secure. It is open and trading and has been selling some interersting guest ales of late, but pub-owning company, Enterprise, have still to decide what to do with it. Members of Keighley and Craven CAMRA are sure it could be a viable pub business in the right hands.
At a national level, CAMRA has identified similar activity by supermarkets as a major threat to pubs. In the last year alone, dozens of pubs across the country have been closed and converted to stores using this loophole, some of them thriving pub businesses prior to their acquisition by one of the supermarkets and many of them potentially viable. Pubs matter! Check out CAMRA‘s Pubs Matter Campaign for more information on this national campaign.
On 15th November 2014, Barry and Carol at the Brown Cow, Keighley were awarded joint runner-up in the Yorkshire CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year competition. The award, which conicided with a beer festival at the pub, was presented by former Yorkshire CAMRA Regional Director Mick Moss. Each Yorkshire CAMRA branch (there are 17 of them!) nominates one pub and these are assessed by a team of judges who visit each pub anonymously over a period of several months. Six main criteria are used including Quality of Beer; Atmosphere, Style, and Décor; Service and Welcome, Value for Money and Community Focus. The Brown Cow was pipped at the post by the Kelham Island Tavern in Sheffield, a former national winner. The other joint runner-up was the Old No. 7 in Barnsley.
September 11th 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 the image (left) to buy...
Keighley Beer Festival took place over the weekend 25th to 27th September at Central Hall on Alice Street in the heart of town. Customers enjoyed the opportunity to try around 60 real ales and about a dozen traditional ciders and perries. A selection of foreign bottled beers was also on offer, including some rare offerings from across the Atlantic. There was a pleasant atmosphere throughout, with plenty of choice still available at close of play on Saturday evening. Beer of the Festival as voted by the customers was Peasholm Pale from the North Riding Brewery in Scarborough, with Bad Kitty from Brass Castle in Malton (which won Beer of the Festival at Skipton earlier in the year) coming second. Customers also chose The Hogfather, produced by Orchard Pig in Somerset as Cider of the Festival.
Keighley and Ilkley MP and Community Pubs Minister, Kris Hopkins popped into the festival before it opened. Kris had been invited to be a member of the panel judging the Yorkshire and the North East entry in the bitter category for CAMRA‘s Champion Beer of Britain 2015, which was hosted by the beer festival, but due to the recall of parliament was unable to participate. The panel went onto select Timothy Taylor Boltmaker as the winner, with another local beer, Goose Eye Bitter selected as runner-up. Boltmaker, which won the national competition this year has thus won its place in next year‘s final, to be held in Olympia inAugust.
If you came to the festival, thank you for your support and we hope you enjoyed yourselves. If you didn‘t, you can see what you missed on the Keighley Beer Festival 2014 web-site, where the beer and cider lists can still be viewed. Also, check out the write-up in The Keighley News
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 and the full results.
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.
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. 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. Details of the 2015 event will be posted as they become available on the Skipton Beer Festival web-site.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.