Next local branch events

The next branch meeting is on Tuesday 6th June at Cafe Choux Choux, Station Forecourt, Keighley, starting at 8.00pm.

What‘s new

May 2017 - Support CAMRA‘s Manifesto for the 2017 General Election

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

March 2017 - LocAle Spotlight Spring 2017 from Alesman

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

February 2017 - Iconic Dales Pub awarded Pub of the Season - full article uploaded

January 2017 - Please check out our revived Facebook page, launched 26th January 2017

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

December 2016 - All change at some old favourites

December 2016 - We welcome the re-opening of some closed pubs

November 2016 - New Alesman advertising rates (from Spring 2017 issue)

November 2016 - Clubs Corner - beer news from local clubs

November 2016 - LocAle Spotlight Winter 2016 from Alesman

October 2016 - LocAle Spotlight Autumn 2016 from Alesman

September 2016 - CAMRA‘s Good Beer Guide 2017 launched

August 2016 - Asset of Community Value awarded Pub of the Season

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

April 2016 - Red Lion Silsden presented with Improved Pub award

April 2016 - New CAMRA book features many Keighley and Craven pubs

January 2016 - Wharfedale “Pub Crawl” (This web-site‘s longest standing page!) brought up-to-date to reflect recent pub changes.


CAMRA Election 2017 ManifestoCAMRA‘s Manifesto for the 2017 General Election

On the 8th June, the UK will go to the polls for the General Election. We need your help to ensure Candidates in both the Keighley and Ilkley and Skipton and Ripon constituencies know how important beer and pubs are to you as a potential voter.

CAMRA is asking General Election Candidates to pledge their support for Britainís pub goers and beer drinkers by committing to do the following if elected:

CAMRA Election 2017 ManifestoRead CAMRA‘s full manifesto here.

By working together in 2015, we persuaded 1,160 Candidates to pledge support for beer and pubs. As a result of this, we had 211 MPs who had promised to speak up in Parliament on our behalf. We need to make sure that beer and pubs stay at the top of the political agenda in the next five years. Please ask your local candidates to pledge their support.

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. The new licensees are Dean and Susan. Regular beers are now Black Sheep Best Bitter and Ilkley Mary Jane and there are three to four locally sourced guest beers. A refurbishment is planned for the spring.

Closed pubs re-open their doors as another new bar arrives on the scene

The Autumn has proved to be a busy time for some of our closed pubs. We welcome new licensees at the Railway in Skipton, the Bay Horse, Sutton-in-Craven and the Marquis of Granby, Riddlesden all of which closed earlier this year. The end of October also saw the long-heralded re-opening of the Royal Oak in Haworth as the Mill Hey Brewhouse, following closure in 2015 by the pub-owning company and the devastating flood on Boxing Day 2015, which created a large hole in the wall. Now in private ownership, the Mill Hey Brewhouse has been practically rebuilt from the bottom up. Four cask beers are available. Directly behind the Brewhouse, you will discover the latest new bar in our area, the Three Barrels Bar and Chaplin‘s Function Suite, which offers two cask beers. Finally, on the 24th November the Waggon and Horses above Oxenhope, which was temporarily closed earlier this year, re-opened its doors.

The CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2017 front coverCAMRA Good Beer Guide 2017 launched

September 15th 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...

Asset of Community Value awarded Pub of the Season

A popular community local, the first in our branch area to be designated an Asset of Community Value, has been awarded branch Pub of the Season for Summer 2016: the Willow Tree, Riddlesden, perched high above the Aire Valley at the top of Riddlesden village, builds on the Improved Pub award it gained in October 2013. Run by Sean Cassidy since it re-opened after a long closure in October 2012, the Willow Tree serves 4 beers, 3 of them usually from Bridgehouse, and has a great community focus. Sean manages the pub for leaseholders Julie Kelly and Marie Townsend and is now aided by assistant manager, Rebecca Whitely. Julie and Marie are behind the tasteful refurbishment which was completed in January this year. The award was presented on Wednesday 21st September 2016.

The Red Lion, Silsden. Keighley and Craven CAMRA Improved Pub award April 2016Red Lion, Silsden gains Improved Pub award

On Tuesday 12th April, branch Pubs Officer, Richard Candeland presented Luke Reid at the Red Lion, Silsden with an Improved Pub award. Luke, assisted by partner Megan and his parents Paul and Julie, took over the Lion when it re-opened following a refurbishment on August Bank Holiday 2015. Under his hand, what was a struggling pub has been transformed into a vibrant community venue serving 4 real ales in consistently good condition. The Improved Pub award is presented only occasionally and was last awarded by the branch in September 2014. Read more... (The picture shows from left to right: Richard, Luke, Megan, Julie, Paul.)

Yorkshire Pub Walks coverNew CAMRA book features many Keighley and Craven pubs

On 17th March, Keighley and Craven CAMRA, with the help of Rosie and Russell at the Talbot Arms and the Settle Town Mayor, Ian Robinson, were proud to host the launch of Yorkshire Pub Walks, the latest publication from CAMRA books, and the sixth in the “Pub Walks” series. Written by CAMRA member and keen walker, Bob Steel, the book features 25 short walks from around Yorkshire, some rural and some in urban areas. The walks have been selected for their scenic or historic interest, but also include recommendations for three or four pubs to visit on the way, all of which are guaranteed to sell well-kept real ale. Four of the walks are in the Keighley and Craven area: three in the Yorkshire Dales and one in Brontë country.

The pocket-sized book is well-presented with lots of stunning photographs, easy-to-follow maps and clear text. If you like walking and enjoy a beer and live in or are visiting Yorkshire, the book is for you. Alternatively, it would make an ideal gift for someone who likes to mix a bit of exercise with a decent pint. The book retails at £9.99 and can be purchased on-line via the CAMRA shop. A limited supply, some signed by the author, will be available at the forthcoming Skipton Beer Festival.

The photo shows author Bob Steel and Settle Mayor, Ian Robinson at the launch of the book.

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