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Review and LocAle Spotlight from Alesman magazine Spring 2011.

In this, the 100th edition of Alesman, I thought we should review what LocAle is...

LocAle is an accreditation scheme run by many branches of CAMRA to promote pubs selling locally brewed real ale. The aim is to reduce beer miles and support local breweries. In the Keighley and Craven branch area, which covers pubs from Oxenhope in West Yorkshire to Cray in North Yorkshire, a radius of 25 miles applies. As long as the outlet sells at least one real ale brewed within 25 miles of the pub at all times and keeps it in good condition, then accreditation will be given. The list of breweries that qualify throughout the branch area is available using the links in the menu-bar on the right. Posters, window stickers and pump toppers are provided for advertising purposes and the pub will be listed in our newsletter ‘Alesman’ and can be reached via the menu-bar on the right.

To celebrate our local pubs and breweries this edition will feature past Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pubs of the Year. This accolade has been awarded by branch members since 2008. The winners include a town pub, a Yorkshire Dales village inn and a village pub in the Aire Valley. All are LocAle accredited and listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

The 2008 winner was the Brown Cow in Keighley which is an imposing stone structure situated on the northern edge of the town centre. Barry, Carol and their team run this welcoming open plan pub which boasts comfortable drinking areas and a separate room for events and meetings. A friendly relaxed atmosphere awaits you as well as a blazing open fire in the winter months. Six hand pumps adorn the bar serving Timothy Taylor Ram Tam (Dark Mild in summer), Golden Best, Best Bitter and Landlord with the other two dedicated to ever-changing guest beers. Most of these come from local breweries that qualify as LocALe beers with the current count well over 1000. The Taylorís beers are of course LocAle with the brewery situated just down the road. Numerous beer quality and CAMRA awards adorn the walls as well as interesting posters and mirrors from current and defunct breweries. A try before you buy scheme is promoted and is an excellent way to determine if youíll like the beers on offer. Thereís no loud music, television or karaoke and quiz nights, group meetings and family events make the Brown Cow a true community pub. Itís a ten minute walk from Keighley Railway Station and only five from Keighley Bus Station.

The Brown Cow, 5 Cross Leeds Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 2LQ Opening hours: 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 12 noon on Sundays.

In 2009 the Old White Bear at Cross Hills came out tops. A rambling white-washed building dating from 1735 its history includes it being a hotel, brothel, council meeting place and a dance hall. Beams used in the pubís construction were taken from a ship named the Old White Bear which took part in battles against the Spanish Armanda. Thick-walled and multi-roomed, the Old White Bear offers welcoming open fires and a long single bar serving two drinking areas. A back room serves for the local darts and dominos teams as well those wishing to play the traditional Ring the Bull game. There is also a separate restaurant area.

Neil, Ruth, Mark & Tricia run the pub which sells local real ales crafted at Naylorís Pinnacle Brewery, just around the corner. Beers on offer are: Pinnacle Mild, Blonde, Bitter, Black & Tan and Craven Brau as well as seasonal ales. Before winning Pub of the Year the Old White Bear was presented with Pub of the Season Awards five times over the years. Food is served daily and special themed evenings held regularly. A well-run community pub the Old White Bear has a dedicated clientele but always welcomes strangers. There are regular bus services from Keighley, Skipton and Colne.

The Old White Bear, 6 Keighley Road, Cross Hills, West Yorkshire BD20 7RN Tel: 01535 632115. Opening hours: 11am -11pm daily

The Maypole Inn at Long Preston rose to the occasion in 2010. Located between the market towns of Skipton and Settle, this three hundred year old stone building was opened to the public by its first landlord Ambrose Wigglesworth in 1695. Built in the middle of the village next to the green with its maypole of course, the pub sits along the A65 in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. A vibrant community inn run by Robert, Elspeth and Rosie it boasts a comfortable lounge and public bar with warming open fires and a well-appointed restaurant. Robert and Elspeth are as far as we know, the longest serving licensees in the Keighley and Craven branch area which covers well over 200 public houses and the Maypole has been listed in most of CAMRAís Good Beer Guides since 1986. The central bar serves local beers Timothy Taylor Landlord, Moorhouses Premier, and two changing guest beers, most of which qualify as LocALe beers being from nearby breweries. Traditional ciders are also available on hand pump. Bed and breakfast is offered via six letting rooms and home made food is served lunchtime and evenings. Darts, dominos and various pub games are popular with locals and thereís a comfortable outside drinking area. Pennine bus services run past the pub and the Long Preston railway station is a few minutes walk away.

The Maypole Inn, Long Preston, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 4PH Tel: 01729 840219. Opening hours: 11am -11pm Monday to Friday, 11am-12 midnight Saturday, 12 noon to 11pm Sunday

NOTE FROM April 2015: Although local beers are often available at the Maypole. the new licensees can not guarantee they will always have an accredited LocAle on pump at all times, so the pub is no longer on the branch's accredited LocAle list.

Cheers, Colleen Holiday


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