Northern Tavels 2019

PAUL and TERRY (in) HORBURY (PaTH)

Friday 8 March 2019

Sometimes it really is better to let the train take the strain. PV’s journey went according to timetable and he arrived at Wakefield Westgate by 2.00 pm to be greeted by JA on the platform. A short drive took them to John and Lynne’s home in Horbury. TM on the other hand suffered the indignities of a congested M1 complete with delays for accidents and a chipped windscreen for good measure.
Refreshments had thoughtfully been laid on and after a short rest to get over the travel trauma it was time to use the old farts bus passes and head into the city and the start of the pub tour of West Yorkshire.

Fernandes Brewery Tap

5 Avison Yard, Kirkgate, Wakefield

WF1 1UA

Well, after all the hype, it had to be the first port of call for the Wakefield pub virgin.

Tucked around the corner from the main road, the tap is now owned by Ossett who have maintained both the brewery and the Fernandes range of beer. The bar is above the brewery and the more recently installed Bier Keller (not open at time of visit) and first impressions were very favourable – eight beer pumps adorned the counter. Wood screens subdivided the main room and the main fittings were signs from lost pubs. Come 5o’clock free food – bread & dripping, pork pies, Scotch eggs and sausages arrived on the counter. A very comfortable (this will be a recurrent description) pub with excellent beer choice. The Black Voodoo is a full flavoured chocolate vanilla porter.

Fernandes

Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Polaris

3.9

Fernandes

Ale to the Tsar

4.1

Fernandes

Black Voodoo

5.1

Rat

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Black Rat

4.5






Discussions between the knowledgeable two suggested a ‘pub on the corner’ which had recently re-opened; and JA knows the new owner who in a different life used to work with him.

Polka Hop

60 George Street, Wakefield

WF1 1DL

The pub is not on a corner, although to be fair to TM, it is not far from one. The seating is on old school benches around similarly simple tables. The real fire made the place warm and comfortable and the natives were very friendly. There are five cask beers and a number of craft brews available. The Dualism is Centennial and Equanot hopped and the Thunderbridge lovely and dry.

Yorkshire Heart

Nun Monkton, North Yorkshire

Lighthearted Pale Ale

3.3

Chin Chin

South Kirkby, West Yorkshire

Dualism Pale Ale

4.3

Small World

Shelley, West Yorkshire

Thunderbridge Stout

5.2






Wakefield Labour Club (The Red Shed)

18 Vicarage Street, Wakefield

WF1 1QX

The home of the Wakefield Labour Club is an old army hut painted red; well what do you expect? As they are rather thin on the ground down South, this was PV’s first visit to a Labour Club and he found the unpretentious nature of the establishment and the friendly clientele a nice change to the Henry’s propping up the bar in his elaborate local Con Clubs.

Rather Spartan, the basic nature of the seating was made up
by the 5 beer range.

Conwy

Colwyn Bay, Gwynedd

Clogwyn Gold

3.6

Lymestone

Stone, Staffordshire

Heart of Stone

4.4

Stancill

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Porter

4.4

Thornbridge

Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire

Jaipur IPA

5.1






Harry’s Bar

107b Westgate, Wakefield

WFI 1EL

This Wakefield institution brought us back into the comfort zone. The single room pub was getting busy but PV spotted a fellow anorak and Phil welcomed us to share his able.
Train spotting talk came easier to some than others but contributions were made by all and general bollocks kept us happy until it was time for the bus home. Phil’s recommendation of the v2 Feige proved correct; the figs on the pump clip indicating the adjunct.

Stancill

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Black

3.7

North Riding

East Ayton, North Yorkshire

Mosaic Pale

4.2

Five Towns

Wakefield, West Yorkshire

v2 Feige

6.5






Saturday 9 March 2019

Set up by robust full English we headed off to Huddersfield by bus.Unfortunately the hoped for views on the journey over the moors did not materialise – it was raining and the bus widows quickly misted up. After a short tour of the city centre for some maps, we headed for the first pub of the day.

Grove

2 Spring Grove Street, Huddersfield

HD1 4BP

And what a pub it is. Occupying a corner site (yes this one was actually on a corner) this multi roomed pub is full of unusual artwork and trinkets but more importantly an array of 19 handpumps. The cask beer choice is only the start – there are also 19 assorted craft beer fonts and a lengthy bottled beer list (chained to the tables for security). The choices were dispensed in lined glasses and 1/3 rd pint measures were available for the tasters and tickers who frequent this beer drinker’s paradise.

The Comfort Zone is an American style EPA, the Chew Chew a Salted Caramel Milk Stout while the Little Wolf was surprising brown for a coffee IPA.

Kirkstall

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Pale Ale

4.0

Bone Machine

Pocklington, East Yorkshire

Comfort Zone

3.8

Zapato

Marsden, West Yorkshire

Pale (Hazy PA)

4.0

Fallen

Kippen, Stirlingshire

Chew Chew

6.0

Marble

Manchester

Little Wolf

6.3






Head of Steam

St Georges Square, Huddersfield

HD1 1JF

Located at one end of the neo-classical edifice which is Huddersfield station (there is another pub at the other end of the building) this pub is one of the stops on the Trans-Pennine Express beer tour. On entry drinkers are split into two groups, craft keg to the left, real ale to the right. Full of supporters enjoying their pre-match warm up, it was at first difficult to find a seat, but the place soon cleared as kick off approached (come on Bournemouth).

Leeds

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Pale

3.8

Leeds

Gathering Storm Stout

4.4

Small World

Shelley, West Yorkshire

Long Moor Pale

3.9






With time marching on we decided not to bother with the other pub on the station and instead caught a train to Bradford Interchange. The Bradford city hall building is impressive and it was interesting taking the reopened tunnels and staircase to the centre.

Sparrow

32 North Parade, Bradford

BD1 3HZ

This former shop was transformed into a micro-pub in 2011and is now owned by Kirkstall brewery. In addition to the three pumps assigned to the owners beer there are three guests, one of which is usually black. Welcoming and friendly we settled down for a pie and a pint – well PV had a pork pie to tide him over until the evening meal.

The Made in the Shade was an excellent porter.

Kirkstall

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Single Hop (Amirillo)

4.5

Track

Manchester

Made in the Shade

5.6






Record Cafe

45-47 North Parade, Bradford

BD1 3JH

Just over the road from The Sparrow, this micro sells beer, records and ham! Busy and loud there was little seating available and we just had a swift pint to slake our thirsts. There was no black beer on cask and no one went near the craft keg.

Two Roses

Darton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Jester

4.0

Thirst Class Ale

Reddish, Greater Manchester

Hoppy Go Lucky

4.4






Departure for Leeds was from Bradford Forster Square Station and the route looped north to Shipley before turning east along the Aire Valley. Leeds station is smart and modern and there was much building work going on – who says there’s no money Up North?

Northern Monk Refectory

The Old Flax Store, Marshalls Mill, Holbeck, Leeds

LS11 9YL

As you can guess from the address, this brewery and tap is located in a converted mill on the re-generated river side. The ground floor brewery can be viewed through glass doors before ascending to the tap above. Ultra modern, with VERY LOUD music we instantly raised the average age of the clientele by several years. However, the staff were helpful to the old codgers and we settled uncomfortable on the benches to try the one cask beer among the gas. PV went off piste with a keg porter. Boy was it cold!

Northern Monk

Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Eternal Session IPA

4.1

Northern Monk

Northern Star Porter

5.9






Cross Keys

107 Water Lane, Holbeck, Leeds

LS11 5WD

This North Bar Group pub is in a traditional style but really more of a restaurant. The modern bar staff were not overly welcoming and with no seating readily available it was just a quick one. At least the beer was up to standard.

North Bar

Brewer and location unknown

Session Pale

3.8

Five Points

Hackney, London E8

Railway Porter

4.8






It was then back to the station (past the wind tunnel), the train back to Wakefield and meet up with Lynne.

Jolly Tap Real Ale Cafe

43 Northgate, Wakefield

WF1 3BH

This former newsagents is now The Jolly Boys Brewery tap and follows the now familiar trend of micro pubs. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and it was good to see the one of the Jolly Boys drinking his own beer. He advised we compare and contrast the Blonde (English hops) and La Jolla Blonde (American hops) – the English hops imparted a softer finish. Cafe by name and cafe by style, we managed to find enough room on the bench tables for all four of us to have a few beers before our restaurant reservation.

Jolly Boys

Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Jolly Blonde

4.0

Jolly Boys

La Jolla Blonde

4.0

Jolly Boys

Jolly Collier Porter

4.3

Jolly Boys

Jolly IPA

5.5






Our evening meal was at Corarima (10 Cross Street), a newly opened Abyssinian restaurant. There was no alcohol available but the Jolly Boys Cafe is just up the road and had some bottled Chinook Blonde which went down well with the excellent meal.

Sunday 10 March 2019

After the exertions of the previous day, it was a leisurely start to the Sunday and the day’s expedition did not set off until early afternoon. The walk to Ossett encompassed all four Seasons – snow, rain, sun and hail in short order but we reached the first pub relatively dry.

Brewers Pride

Low Mill Road, Healey Mills, Ossett, Wakefield

WF5 8ND

This free house is rather isolated from much housing but is near to an industrial estate (in which Ossett Brewery itself is located) and where previously there had been a large marshalling yard. Despite its isolation it was very busy but we eventually managed to seat ourselves in the bay window of the main bar. A rather comfortable old boozer offering very reasonable pub grub – the fish finger sandwich looked very appetising.

There are nine handpumps offering a good range of local beers.

Ossett

Healey, Ossett, West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Blonde

3.9

Mill Valley

Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

Luddite Rebellion

4.0

Goose Eye

Bingley, West Yorkshire

Bitter

3.9

Horbury

Horbury, West Yorkshire

Tiramisu

4.3






The next pub was back up the hill into Ossett itself

The Tap (Ossett Brewery)

2 The Green, Ossett, Wakefield

WF5 8JS

Previously the Mason’s Arms the pub is now owned by Ossett as their brewery tap. Again, this pub was busy for a late Sunday afternoon but we settled in among the dogs and children. The stone floor and local stone gave the impression of age but the pub is probably quite modern.
Ossett beers were to the fore but there were a couple of guests to try; most of the beers were brown but PV found a lighter hue. Lynne joined us here just in time for the baggies.

Rat

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

White Rat

4.0

Ossett

Healey, Ossett, West Yorkshire

Silver King

4.3






The bus took us back to Horbury.

Cricketers Arms

22 Cluntergate, Horbury, Wakefield

WF4 5AG

The ‘Crix’ is the current Wakefield CAMRA Pub of the Year and the freehouse offers 8 changing beers. It was slightly unfortunate our visit coincided with ‘open mike’ day and the pub was very busy and the loud music rather intrusive for a quiet drink. Then the performer changed and a there was a free table in the side lounge and we were settled in.
The offerings were mostly the usual pale beers but eventually a black beer was found and what a chocolate vanilla dream porter the nasty cat was.

North Riding

East Ayton, North Yorkshire

Cascade Pale

4.0

Wishbone

Keighley, West Yorkshire

Flux

4.1

Wilde Child

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Risk Avoidance

3.8

Brass Castle

Malton, North Yorkshire

Bad Kitty

5.5






Cherry Tree

Church Street, Horbury, Wakefield

WF4 5AG

This recently re-furbished pub is the tap for the on-site Horbury Brewery. This is modern drinking; smart and sterile and, with few people in, totally lacking in atmosphere. The owner, Jon Hemingway, was drinking in the bar and PV discussed the possibility of him supplying the beers for a ‘West Yorkshire’ bar at Farnham Beerex. As Jon did swaps with other local breweries he could supply 9 different beers and provided PV with his contact details.

Ashover

Clay Cross, Derbyshire

Font

3.8

Great Heck

Goole, North Yorkshire

Voodoo Mild

4.3

Horbury

Horbury, West Yorkshire

First Light

4.1

Iron Pier

Northfleet, Kent

Whiteout IPA

5.3






Lynne left to finish preparing the evening meal.

Boons

6 Queen Street, Horbury, Wakefield

WF4 6LP

This pub is the opposite of the previous establishment; tired and cluttered but busy, it was full of atmosphere. The beer choice from 8 pumps looked good but the boys were tiring so it was just the one pint on this occasion.
The Vocation Chop & Change is a single hopped beer where the brewery continually change the variety used – no note was taken of the hop variety in the version sampled.

Vocation

Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire

Chop & Change

4.5

Love Lane

Liverpool, Merseyside

Higson’s Porter

4.5






Then it was time to go back to base for Lynne’s chilli whose fame is well deserved.

Monday 11 March 2019

After breakfast TM set off for Hull and J&L dropped PV off at Wakefield Westgate. The train journey provided time to reflect on an excellent beer tour.
All the beers had been tightly sparkled but then all the bar persons had known how to serve the beer, giving plenty of time for the first pull to settle before the top up supplied. So what if the head exceeded 5% on occasion, not one beer had been badly kept. The best pub for beer choice was obviously The Grove but the favourite pub was much more difficult to judge; perhaps X but then what about Y or even Z; will just have to go again.