Wednesday 15 April 2015

BRAPA - Hipperholme

One of the many beers I tried in Cock o the North (pub 622)

Hipperholme is, this year at least, listed under Halifax in the Good Beer Guide but lying somewhere between Halifax and Brighouse, it seemed very much a place in it's own right as I hopped aboard the 548 bus on a sunny Tuesday evening.

621 - Travellers Inn, Hipperholme - Ten minutes and two miles later, I was walking down a steep hill where I found yet another Ossett pub (the theme of the moment), again this one was of the traditional ilk like recent Elland and Sowerby Bridge efforts.  The locals seemed friendly, I'd already been nodded to and grunted at by a few in the street by the time an elderly chap let me get served first.  I went for Ossett's new regular ale, Inception which I'd read about last week and it was very drinkable, maybe a touch watery.  The barmaid was good, service with a smile.  It was busy in, with a good mix of age groups and sexes, so I sat at the (temporarily) sun drenched benches outside.  Although these were on the road, it wasn't busy as not much traffic was coming down the hill by this time.  Annoyingly, the sun started moving behind the pub so I kept "following" it til I was almost 'off the bench'.  A few more locals nodded and said things like "aye" and "reet", places like this always make me feel like a posh York idiot.  I could hear the strains of laughter and chat coming through an open window as I took my empty glass back in, you've got to love Ossett brewery pubs when they are as good as the last three midweek West Yorks ones I've visited.

My first outdoor BRAPA pint of 2015 was here.
I was aware my next pub was lurking in some industrial park, but not to the extent my stupid GBG app had me believe.  The pushpin was all wrong, and after ten minutes of searching, I found the pub on the main road a lot less hidden than I'd feared.  Luckily, it proved a classic.

622 - Cock o' the North, Hipperholme - Some places are so unique, they have to be seen to be believed.  This was one of them.  I entered the "pub", more like a large barn or industrial unit, with a beer garden across the car park from the entrance.  I was greeted by a characterful landlord, resplendent in sunglasses despite the relative darkness indoors!  He sold the product well, their own "Halifax Steam" brewery which in a rare moment of negativity, the GBG describes as having beers that are bit too chilled!  Even more intriguing.  I briefly explained BRAPA for my reason for being here, but he then asked me what my drinking 'strategy' was (i.e. start from your left and work you way along!), I was a bit flummoxed and ended up opting to get the last bus at 19:50 so I could try a good number of halves - well, the place had impressed me and I may never return.  The quirkiest feature of the pub was the huge tropical fish swimming in tanks which make up the bar, crazy stuff!  A toddler was enjoying watching them, and again there was a great mixture of people with a group of students, a businessman on a laptop, a young family and a few grizzled locals.  Not to mention me perching in the centre, looking around in awe!  I tried a Jamaican Ginger ale, a guest one called Peaches, a Child Catcher (I waited til the toddler had gone to order this) and finally, a nice stout called Old John, just when I thought they only did pales.  Only the Child Catcher seemed too chilled, a bit harsh of the GBG I think.  The music also deserves a mention, a right mixture with the Dickies one minute, a North Eastern folk song the next.  An incredible place, I'd really recommend it.

Tropical fish and plenty more at the remarkable Cock o' the North
The bus and train back went more smoothly than imagined, I had my now standard Chicken Royale with extra bacon n cheese from BK, and I was back home before 10pm.  Job done!  


I must get into a habit of leaving my cards in pubs.  I forgot in both last night, must do better on Saturday.

So yes, 'outer Bedford villages day' on Saturday and I am now fine-tuning bus times, taxi numbers etc. and working out which pubs are highest on the priority list.  

Not only is Dad up for helping me with the next leg of East Yorkshire (Goodmanham - it's somewhere near Market Weighton if that helps), friends are asking about our "Goole day" (also including Snaith, Rawcliffe and maybe Thorne too) so we are looking well set on that front.

Next Tuesday, we can put Halifax to bed with our 'Halifax : North night' as we had to Swalesmoor and also Bradshaw, a place I'd almost done back in the late summer of 2014 before the new GBG decided to pool it all in Halifax.

I'll also try and get the next archives out on Monday night which I'm designating "archive night" now.  These blog entries garner a much higher readership than ones such as this, probably cos I talk marginally less bollocks.  Ho hum.  

I'll be back on Sunday, Si


  1. The kids often have a pre-season friendly at Goole, if it takes two trips. Thorne would be an easy one for that potential happening, as it is an easy train ride in. Could even combine it with Brough if the Buccanneer is in these days I suppose.

  2. Thanks Tom, I think we'll be able to do it in one day but if not, I'll remember the "tiger cubs" option. Haven't seen the (Nick) Buccaneer in the Guide for many years now!

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