Next local branch event

The next event is a Skipton Beer Festival 2018 planning meeting on Thursday 14th December at the Narrow Boat, Skipton at 7.30pm.

Branch chair Colleen (right) presents a plaque celebrating 10 years appearance in the Good Beer Guide to Francis and Lisa at the Kings Arms, Silsden.Attention, Branch Members!

Record National Beer Scoring System Scores for Pubs in the branch area and potentially win prizes. For more information, click here.. If you know what you‘'re doing, go straight to enter cards.

Winter Pub of the Year and other celebrations

Our Winter Pub of the Season was agreed at the most recent (December) branch meeting and is: the Counting House, Silsden. Located in a former bank, the Counting House only opened in March 2016. Four cask beers are usually available, often featuring a dark beer. A full article will appear here in the New Year.

Also in Silsden, on 18th November, branch members were proud to present a plaque to Lisa, Francis and the staff at the Kings Arms, to celebrate their tenth consecutive appearance in CAMRA‘s Good Beer Guide. Well done! Picture above right: Colleen (right) presents the plaque to Francis and Lisa.

The CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018 front coverCAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018 launched

September 14th 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...

Other CAMRA books worth checking out are CAMRA‘s Wild Pub Walks (published May 2017), which features a walk in our area, and CAMRA‘s Yorkshire Pub Walks (published March 2016), which includes several walks in the Bradford/Keighley/Yorkshire Dales area.

Settle Brewery celebrate top spots in Regional beer competition

Congratulations to Ian Simpkiss and the team at Settle Brewery, who walked away with two gold medals in the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) North East regional beer competition in August. Settle Mainline came top in the Cask Standard Bitters and Pale Ale class, while Settle Nine Standards No. 3 Porter scooped the gold in the Cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category. The No. 3 Porter went on to win Bronze in the overall competition, which was held in York Barbican on 18th August. View the full results. Mainline can be found in several pubs in the branch area, particularly in and around Settle and No. 3 Porter is often available on the “dark pump” at the Talbot in Settle.

New canalside pub wins Summer award

On 25th July 2017, branch members turned out in force to present the Boat House in Skipton with our summer “Pub of the Season” award. The Boat House only opened as a pub in Spring 2016, so winning this accolade so soon is a major achievement. Five cask beers mainly from local breweries are available, one of which is usually a dark beer. One pump is reserved for Tiller Pin, a beer brewed especially for the Boat House by Wishbone Brewery in Keighley. Cider and perry and food are also available. The Boat House, accessed via an arch off Coach Street or along the canalside from Coach Street bridge, looks out onto the canal basin, one of the best views in Skipton.

Awards! Awards! Pub, Club and Community Pub of the Year

Club of the Year 2017 presentationSpring is when Keighley and Craven CAMRA present our annual Pub and Club awards of which there are three. The first was Club of the Year, presented to Oakworth Social Club by Graham Cundall (photo left).

Branch Pub of the Year 2017 goes to the Kings Arms in Silsden. The award will be presented to Francis and Lisa Huggins on Tuesday 9th May and the pub will go forward to the regional competition. For more information about the place, check out the Pub of the Season article for Summer 2013 when they were awarded our seasonal prize - the pub is so well-run, there has be no need for Francis and Lisa to change much since then!

Branch Club of the Year 2017 has been awarded to the Oakworth Social Club, Oakworh, a thriving social club a couple of miles out of Keighley Town Centre It now goes on to the regional Club of the Year competition. The award was presented on Tuesday 25th April - see photo.

Our newest award, Community Pub of the Year, will be presented to the Foresters Arms, Grassington on Saturday 6th May. This award commemorates the life of branch member, Lynda Smith who died in December 2015, and who was an ardent supporter of good community pubs and good cask beer. The Foresters, tucked away off Grassington Square, is popular with both locals and visitors. With 5 regular cask beers and a couple of guests on offer, including the hard-to-find Tetley Mild and Black Sheep Riggwelter, it scores on the beer front and has a great clientele mix and atmostphere.

Skipton Beer Festival 2017 logoSkipton Beer Festival 2017 (just about) sells out

The 11th Skipton Beer Festival, held in Ermysted‘s Grammar School refectory, took place from Thursday 20th April to Saturday 22nd April. At closing time on the Saturday evening, only about 60 gallons of cask beer remained, out of the 70 or so casks we started with. The cider also sold out and the foreign bottled beers went well. Thanks to all those who came and made it another brilliant event. Beer of the Festival and the like will be announced shortly. For more information, check the Skipton Beer Festival website.

Iconic Traditional Dales Pub wins Pub of the Season

Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pubs Officer (right) presents Steve and Joanne Hodgson (left) with Pub of the Season Winter 2016 at The Falcon, Arncliffe, January 2017In January we award our Winter Pub of the Season. This year‘s winner is the Falcon Inn, located in the pictoresque Dales village of Arncliffe in Littondale. The Falcon, run by Steve Hodgson and his wife, Joanne is unique in our area as the only pub serving beer from the cask via a jug. Two beers are available, Timothy Taylor Boltmaker (served via jug or handpump) and a guest ale, served via a second pump, often from Dark Horse Brewery. The internal layout is unaltered in decades with two tiny rooms around the bar and a separate lounge off the corridor. Food is simple and wholesome and a warm welcome is assured. The presentation was made on Sunday (29th January) and the whole Dale and 20 CAMRA members arrived to join Steve and Joanne in their celebration.

Black Sheep Resolution pump clip - Drink qality Beer!“Try January” - don't stop drinking, try something or somewhere new instead!

The media are full of nonsense about “Dry January”, staying dry for a month after the excesses of Christmas and New Year. This does nothing for licensees, their pubs and the breweries who supply them. Instead, go “Tryanuary”. Rather than stop drinking, try something new. If you drink lager, try real ale. If you drink golden ales, try a mild or a stout. And so on. Alternatively, just try a few different pubs to the ones you regularly visit. With the latter in mind, here are a few random suggestions of excellent pubs in our branch area which are normally off the radar:

The Bay Horse, Oxenhope - rescued from possible closure a couple of years ago, this community pub offers a good range of beers. It's on the 500 Bronte bus route which runs hourly from Keighley and Hebden Bridge until mid evening, so no need to drive.

The Goat‘s Head, Steeton - another community pub and a free house. Four beers are available, including a varying guest beer. If you fancy a meal, tie it in with a visit to Steeton Hall, which also sells a range of cask beers. Both pubs are very handy for Steeton and Silsden railway station and on various bus routes, so again no need to drive.

The Hare and Hounds, Lothersdale - Joe and Tracy Currie have been running this village local since 1996. It‘s a bit off the beaten track, unless you‘re walking the Pennine Way, which passes the door, but is well worth a visit. (They‘ve recently had a new carpet fitted, so if you are in your walking boots, please take them off at the door.)

The Royal Oak, Settle. Run by Country Village Inns, a tiny pub chain whose only other pub is in Ingleton, the Oak was substantially refurbished about three years ago. Featuring LocAles, it retains some historic panelling and a fairly unusual revolving door.

The Grassington House Hotel, Grassington. Ofter ignored by real ale drinkers, this upmarket hotel is well worth visiting. Hetton Pale Ale from Dark Horse brewery is always available alongside Thwaites Original and sometimes Wharfedale Blonde.

The Crown, Addingham. Three guest ales are usually available in this privately owned free house (bought out of PubCo ownership a few years ago). Check out the snug and “smoke room”, which earn the pub a listing on CAMRA‘s regional inventory of historic pubs. (Go through the door to the right of the bar to find them.)

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley, December 2016All change at some old favourites

Phil Booth, licensee at the Boltmakers Arms Keighley for the past 11 years, left the pub on 19th November. The “Bolts” closed for a minor refurbishment and re-opened on Monday 12th December under the management of Kathy and Craig Smith, who many of you will know from the Goat‘s Head at Steeton. At the other end of the branch area, in Settle and Giggleswick, we say farewell to Barbara Reynolds at the Hart‘s Head and to Russell and Rosie East at the Talbot Arms.

Russell and Rosie took over the Talbot in September 2011, after it had been closed and boarded up for several months, and since re-opening it at Easter 2012, have built up a great reputation for beer and good-value food. The Talbot has featured in the last three Good Beer Guides and is our current Pub of the Year. The new licensees, Tony and Janette Clarke (and their family), took over the Talbot on a wild and wet Monday 21st November. Tony has been in the licensed trade in and around pubs since his mid teens, his most recent position being at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. Tony and Janette plan to maintain the 5/6 hand pumps and to continue to source their beers from the Yorkshire, South Cumbria and East Lancashire areas.

Barbara took over the Hart‘s Head in 1997 and since then it has featured in many Good Beer Guides. The pub has been bought by Cricketers Inns, who also own the Plough at Lupton, near Kirkby Lonsdale and the Crown and Kettle, a cask ale pub in Manchester. Regular beers are now Thwaites Wainwright and there are four locally sourced guest beers, often from Recoil, Settle and Kirkby Lonsdale. An extensive refurbishment took place in April 2017.

What‘s new

December 2017 - New Alesman advertising rates (from Spring 2018 issue)

December 2017 - LocAle Spotlights for Winter 2017 from Alesman

September 2017 - CAMRA‘s Good Beer Guide 2018 launched

September 2017 - Local brewery grab two gold medals at Regional beer competition

August 2017 - LocAle Spotlights for Summer and Autumn 2017 from Alesman

July 2017 - New Canalside pub wins summer Pub of the Season award

May 2017 - Awards, Awards! Pub, Community Pub and Club of the Year 2017

February 2017 - Clubs Corner - more beer news from local clubs

February 2017 - Iconic Dales Pub awarded Pub of the Season

January 2017 - Forget going dry in January, here are some alternative suggestions

December 2016 - All change at some old favourites

November 2016 - Clubs Corner - beer news from local clubs

July 2016 - Clubs in Keighley and Craven that stock real ale

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