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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 2011: The Kings Arms, Silsden, West Yorkshire

It‘s that time of year again: over the past few months members of Keigley and Craven branch of CAMRA have been busy visiting the very best pubs in the area completing surveys to help decide the winner of this year‘s prestigious award. The first round began in October. This involved members surveying all the pubs in the branch area listed in the 2011 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. The top six then went forward to the final round which was completed through January and February. Surveying criteria include not just quality of beer (and cider and perry if available), but also atmosphere, style and décor, service and welcome, clientele mix, sympathy with CAMRA aims and good value. Coming out on top against stiff competition was the Kings Arms in Silsden.

A well-run community pub, this large stone structure situated on Bolton Road at the top end of Silsden town centre was taken on over seven years ago by Lisa Keeley and Francis Huggins. Both are real ale drinkers and over the ensuing years the beer range, customer service and the community appeal of the pub were developed and improved upon until, in summer 2009, local CAMRA members awarded it the Pub of the Season Award. Inclusion in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide has also occurred for three years running. In these difficult economic times the Kings Arms has truly gone from strength to strength.

Multi-roomed, the Kings has a single central bar in the main drinking area with a welcoming open fire. There are two other rooms used for folk music on Tuesdays, quizzes on Wednesdays, open microphone evenings on Thursdays and Sunday offers play your cards right and bingo. A large upstairs room is available for hire and serves for meetings, socials and the King’s own beer festivals.

The pub‘s regular beers are Theakston‘s Best Bitter and Saltaire Blonde with three other hand pumps offering changing guest beers, many from members of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Brews from Timothy Taylor, Wharfebank, Little Valley and Goose Eye have been sampled recently. Another hand pump offers something which is still a rare sight in the local area, traditional cider or perry, Weston‘s Traditional Scrumpy being available at last visit. Francis also stocks a small range of Belgian bottled beers for those with a more continental palate.

LocAle accredited, the Kings always stocks at least two local real ales and sometimes all five beers on offer are from breweries based within 25 miles. The pub is also Cask Marque accredited. A car park is situated at the back for those wishing to drive. A pleasant secluded garden is on the side of the pub and there are paved seating areas front and back as well as a designated smoking area.

The Kings is a true community pub with local custom the mainstay. but it is rapidly becoming a destination pub with its regular music evenings, sporting events, group meetings, quiz nights and organised trips to local breweries. Recently, food has become available Tuesday to Saturday 12-6 and Sunday 12-4. Special evenings featuring Tex Mex and a Sausage Feast have also been held. The Kings Arms offers everything a pub should, excellent beer quality in comfortable surroundings with friendly and efficient service.

Public transport is available via regular bus services 762 (Keighley to Ilkley), and 903 (which serves Keighley, Addingham and Airedale Hospital). Steeton and Silsden railway station is approximately 1½ miles from the pub and is passed by both bus routes.

The Kings Arms, 9 Bolton Road, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 0JY Telephone: 01535 653216

Keighley and Craven CAMRA members extend an invitation to join us for our Pub of the Year Award Presentation on Saturday 30th April at 2.30pm. This will be during the Kings Arms Beer Festival which runs the 29th and 30th April and the 1st of May.

Colleen Holiday

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