Tuesday 18 November 2014

BRAPA - Huddersfield and Brighouse

New pub ticks have not quite been has prolific as I'd have liked over this past week but on the good side, I achieved two in Huddersfield before Friday's gig and two more tonight in Brighouse.  I took pity on Dad last Saturday (he's been doing a lot of Bridlington travelling recently) so Sheffield was cancelled was favour of an enjoyable (but barren) local York crawl.

502 -  CHERRY TREE, Huddersfield - My view here is that for a 'Spoons pub in the wonderful real ale town of 'Uddersfield to get in the GBG, it must be good.  This was hard to fully put to the test on a busy Friday evening, but I was impressed with the barmaid serving 4 people at once (might be a record) and remembering how much change i needed.  I'd forgotten my 50p off CAMRA vouchers, that might really have bamboozled her.  The beer quality was excellent and they had a real emphasis on the new American craft craze but at least many of these were handpulled.  My Mordue Americana was black in colour but still too powerfully hopped.  Overall, this was pretty standard Spoony fare but with my sister's train delayed, it was time to take advantage of my spare hour.

The Cherry Tree (honestly!)

503 - HDM BEER SHOP, Huddersfield - HDM stands for Hand Drawn Monkey, one of the more exciting new breweries I've discovered over the past two years, and luckily for me, their brewery tap in Huddersfield was a new addition to the 2015 GBG, and what a good one too.  The bar was one of the highest I've ever seen, not good for a short arse like me, and two of their beers plus two guests and a ridiculous amount of bottles made for a mouth watering feast.  The barmaid (who seemed to be wearing her Dad's sweater) was nice and quirky with her "Movember didn't work for me" gag.  There were some stools round here but it was the left hand side of the pub that had settees and comfier seats.  Food in cabinets like special hot dogs looked tempting, there was also a degree of hipster student about the place with art competitions and the like advertised on clipboards, but it stayed on the right side of pretentious.  I would go back.

HDM Beer Shop - quirky, fun and great hand drawn ales

It'd be nice to think the The Parish, where I saw the bands, could be a pre-emptive pub ticks with great ales on like Tim Taylor Landlord, Golden Pippin and Magic Rock guests plus usual a music themed one (i.e. a collaboration between a brewery and a famous band).   The ale was good, so come on Huddersfield CAMRA, give it a chance.

Me blending into the furniture at the Parish.

Tuesday night saw me back on the West Yorkshire BRAPA trail with Brighouse next on the A-Z list having completed Bradley last time out.  This was only a two pubber so even though I wavered with an additional trip to either Hipperholme or Kirkstall, I remained sensible and got back in time for the pointless England v Hull City's reserve left back friendly match.

Another top poster effort which didn't get the social media recognition it deserved.

504 - RED ROOSTER, Brighouse - Technically half a mile north of the town in the area of Brookfoot, I walked along a canal/busy main road to get here.  This was built in 1900 for the local wharf men who ferried coal around and such like.  Whatever the details, I was soon reaping the benefits over 100 years later with a stunning range of ales.  I chose a Welsh beer with a New Zealand flavour, not what you'd expect to find here.  It was a quiet locals pub on my visit, barman was functional but the locals lacked that friendly spark I'd seen in say, Denholme, but then with my green action man jacket on again, it was probably just as well.  I joined two less locally local men in watching a bit of Sky Sports News, but this was otherwise a very traditional pub.  Worth the short walk from the town.

It's a Cock-a Doodle-Doo from me at the Red Rooster

505 - RICHARD OASTLER, Brighouse - Back in the town centre, my foot having finally proved it's fitness after a more sustained recovery spell.  Although some young lads were being escorted into a police van just outside on my arrival, it didn't affect my entry to my second new Wetherspoons in 5 days.  The blonde bubbly barmaid served me an excellent local ale from Elland based on the 90's rave scene, but did I spot a hint of hatred in her eyes as I passed her my 50p off CAMRA voucher?  Probably not.  Downstairs, this 'Spoons was the kind of unremarkable lacking in any real character place, similar to the one in Ryde IOW slagged off by the 2014 GBG I visited in May.  However, this was a former Methodist chapel and there was a stunning circular top level area, which still has the original pews.  Sadly, the general public aren't allowed up there.  What a waste!

I was home nice n early for fish & chips and the boring football, but I was so close to hopping on a Headingley train to get my final Kirkstall trip.  It is an easily attainable one though so I'm sure I'll get lots of opportunities.  

Attention now turns to Saturday's North Yorkshire outing with Birstwith the main reason for my trip up to the Nidderdale area, including Harrogate, but I'm looking for 5 or 6 new pubs but only have 4 at present.  So a bit of 'book-work' is needed before then.  More archives coming soon....