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Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to the staff at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to Nicci and Darren at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Brown Cow, Keighley

Most of my friends and acquaintances know that I take more than a passing interest in beer and pubs and like to pass on snippets of news when they see me. A few months ago one of my neighbours told me they’d discovered a lovely little pub just outside the centre of town. Had I been in? I was pleased to report that I had and that I was already a great fan of the place. We were talking about the Brown Cow, Keighley, Keighley and Craven CAMRA’s forthcoming Pub of the Season.

The presentationRun by Barry and Carol Taylor, the Brown Cow is a haven of calm and sanity in what can be the more raucous end of town. Even though the pub is small, it feels bright and airy and is always spotlessly clean. Conversation and traditional games (dominoes, cards and pool) provide the main entertainment. If you want Sky sports, a headache-inducing disco beat or bad language, then you’d better go somewhere else. The noisiest it gets here is when the compiler of this magazine’s crossword gets a bit carried away on the piano.

Add to that a selection of 6 well-kept cask ales, four of which come from Timothy Taylor and what more could you want? Real cider? Well, yes, they sell that too. A no-smoking area? Round the bar to the right. As for the two guest beers, expect the unexpected. Barry and Carol like to support Simpson and Simpson from near Selby, who go by the name of … Brown Cow Brewery, but beers are sourced from all over. Yorkshire breweries (and amongst those, our most local ones – Naylor’s Gonzo’s Black Porter from Cross Hills is on as I write this) feature most regularly but just to keep us on our toes, Barry and Carol will occasionally slip in something exotic, like St. Austell Tribute.

Barry had been ‘serving’ beer for Timothy Taylor for years, but using a wagon and never getting beyond the cellar. It had always been his ambition to move one step down the supply chain so when the Brown Cow became available in Autumn 2003, Barry and Carol took the plunge, opening for business on 7th November. Initially things were a bit quiet, but word has been getting around and sometimes now it’s buzzing. Why not drop in yourself sometime? It’s a great little pub –just ask my butcher! For pub opening times etc. see advert elsewhere in this magazine.

Richard Candeland

Pub Of The Season, Winter 2005/6, presentation took place on Thursday 8th December.

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