Whilst the main focus of the Keighley and Craven Branch of CAMRA is to promote and support real ale, we campaign on other related issues. These include:

LocALE logoPromoting locally brewed beers

In October 2008 we launched our own version of the national LocAle campaign. We regularly review which pubs are up to LocAle standard and publish write-ups championing LocAle pubs. More details...

Tamsin Candeland, branch member, does her best to point out how to recognise a good real ale pubPromoting local real ale pubs

Cask real ale is a unique product, which by its very nature, needs to be drunk in pubs. Consequently, we feel it is very important to promote all the pubs in our area which sell cask beer. We do this in a number of ways. We award a half-yearly “Pub of the Season”, based on our members votes, to a pub we think worthy of the accolade. (Before 2014, the award was presented quarterly.) The Queens Arms, Litton is our Pub of the Season for Summer 2023.

Starting from 2008, we have awarded a “Pub of the Year”. This is based on members‘ surveys of a shortlist of 25 or so of our best pubs, with a second round of judging to decide the overall winner.

We have published various guides to the real ale pubs in the area: one previous guide covered Yorkshire Dales South while separate free leaflet guides for Skipton and Keighley town centres and for the Worth Valley are currently available. And of course, we try to promote our pubs via this web-site and via our thrice-yearly newsletter “Alesman”.

The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Pub of the Season Winter 2014/5Supporting community pubs

As a branch we support those pubs which have a true community focus. These may not necessarily be havens for real ale, although some of them obviously are. In 2016 we launched our Lynda Smith Community Pub of the Year, to celebrate the best community pub in our area. The first award was presented to the Kings Arms in Silsden in May 2016. The 2017 award went to the Foresters Arms in Grassington, the 2018 award went to the Bay Horse, Oxenhope and the 2019 award to the Albion in Skipton. We felt it unfair to make an award in 2020 and 2021 as COVID meant we could not get round all the candidates that did so much for their communities. The Bay Horse, Oxenhope won again in 2023.

Look out also for Cask Ale Week, which is a nationally organised event supported by CAMRA. Participating licensees organise their own events during Cask Ale Week, and as CAMRA we can provide publicity material and help promote the events via this web-site and other channels. If you are licensee and wish to take part in Cask Ale Week or indeed would like our support in promoting a pub-based event at any time of year, contact us and we will try to help.

Promoting clubs

Our area has quite a few clubs which stock real ale and keep it in consistently good form. Although by definition clubs are “members only”, you can still visit some of these e.g. by buying a temporary membership on the night, or by being signed in by a member. Check WhatPub, CAMRA‘s on-line pub database for details. We have presented a Club of the Year award since 2015, the current holder being Riddlesden and East Morton United Services Club (aka The Applegarth Club).

Cider and perry logoBeer festivals

We run a beer festival each year in Skipton. Watch the Skipton Beer Festival web-site for more information. The branch, and our volunteering colleagues at national level, are watching COVID closely and are hoping to hold a festival in 2022. If we do it will be the 14th Skipton Beer Festival and the 40th organised by our branch.

Sadly we have not had a beer festival in Keighley since September 2014. This last Keighley festival, our 26th, was held at Central Hall, Alice Street. The picture left shows our bar manager checking the quality of the beer before the festival opened.

Cider and perry logoPromoting real cider and perry

Whilst Yorkshire has never had a strong culture of cider drinking, CAMRA nationally promotes cider and perry brewed in the traditional manner from real ingredients. A small amount of traditional cider is available locally and we always have a range of traditional cider and perry available at our beer festivals. CAMRA celebrates Cider and Perry Months in May and October. For a list of permanent local cider outlets, click here. Please keep us informed of any new outlets....

Promoting “endangered“ traditional beer styles

Over the centuries, beer drinkers in the United Kingdom have enjoyed a wide variety of different beer styles. At some times certain beer styles e.g. stouts and porters and later mild dominated our drinking culture and these have since diminished in popularity to be replaced by other styles, more recently bitters and then golden ales. These changes in taste are often led by fashion, and more recently mass advertising, rather than the quality of the beers and many classic products in styles which are less trendy today are still available. Indeed, over recent years many of the new breed of smaller brewers have been quite innovative in recreating some lost styles and have, in particular, increased the availability of traditional stouts and porters. In Keighley and Craven, mild was, as recently as 25 years ago, available in a substantial proportion of the pubs in the branch area but this is less the case now. Milds are great beers to drink, and there are a good number of cask mild outlets in the area still selling it today. Find out where you can drink Mild and other “Scarce Beers” such as Old Ale and Strong Ale in Keighley and Craven and go out and try some today!

Read Graham Cundall‘s article on threatened or “Scarce” beer styles....

Campaigning links

Campaigning home

LocAle - Promoting locally brewed beers

Promoting real ale pubs

National Beer Scoring System

Supporting community pubs

List a pub as a community asset

Beer Festivals

Cider and Perry

Promoting “endangered” traditional beer styles

Where to drink Mild and other “endangered” beer styles in Keighley and Craven

Local pub guides


Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017

Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017

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