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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

Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub Of The Year 2008: The Brown Cow, Keighley, West Yorkshire

A bastion of responsible drinking!Over the past few months, branch members have been busy surveying local pubs with the sole objective of choosing a Pub of the Year. All of our local entries in the 2008 Good Beer Guide were visited, with the results leading to a final round of the top six pubs. Criteria included quality of beer, service, atmosphere, general décor, clientele mix, value for money and support of CAMRA aims. To achieve this award, the winning pub would have to receive the highest overall score, and that pub turned out to be the Brown Cow in Cross Leeds Street, Keighley.

Situated just outside of Keighley town centre, the Brown Cow is a sturdy and imposing stone structure. Venture in and a well appointed bar leads to an open plan layout with distinctive drinking areas and a multi use back room. There is a welcoming coal fire in an establishment that is tastefully decorated with brewery signs and mirrors, the landlord’s collection of police hats and a smattering of miniature brown cows.

A smile and a bit of banter from Barry and Carol Taylor and their staff ensues as you choose from six hand pumps offering excellent Timothy Taylor and ever changing guest beers.A bastion of responsible drinking! If you’re not sure which to buy, a sample will be offered. Also available is an interesting selection of bottled foreign beer. Locals will chat with you, you can play cards or dominoes and there are books, magazines and papers to read if you prefer to be on your own. No loud music, television or karaoke. Quiz nights, beer tastings, group meetings, family events all make this a true community pub.

The Brown Cow became the first pub in Keighley to go completely non-smoking, well ahead of the ban in the rest of the country. There is a no-bad language policy making this a friendly and pleasant place to socialise. Cask Marque accreditation, a BBPA Beautiful Beer Award, regular inclusion in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide as well as various CAMRA awards tells you of the effort that Barry and Carol have made over the past few years to create this excellent pub.

Local CAMRA members will gather at the Brown Cow on Wednesday 14th May at 8.30 pm to present the Pub of the Year Award. All are welcome to join us in a celebration of the best of the best in this traditional public house.

Colleen Holiday
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