View Full Version : Northern Beer Blog - Pubpaper 836 – Falling off the Wagon

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12-12-2015, 12:14
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We’ll after 11 weeks of not drinking, I finally fell off the wagon this weekend. **Of all places it had to be the Cross Keys at Siddal and the beer to befall this honor was Small World’s Long Moor Pale, a lovely session ale. **After living on non alcoholic beers and ale shandy, it’s so nice to drink proper beer again, even if I can’t fully appreciate the flavours, it actually tastes like an ale should, which is good enough for me right now. **It is things like this which lift your spirits when in recovery, *it may only have been a pint, but it is yet another step back into reality and that is where I need to get back to in the next 6 weeks.
That hour or so at Cross Keys opitimises what the pub is about, not full, but a steady flow of customers building up for later in the evening, good conversation, nice well kept beers and just a small rant from the landlord. *I also finally got to meet Chris Dyson after months of facebook interaction. *He is one of the best local beer and music writers around and recommend you visit him at http://chrisdyson55.blogspot.co.uk/. *I’m terrible with names, but good with faces, so I’ve been going there long enough now to know most people by face, but only about a third by name and one sign of a good pub is flowing conversation with people dropping in and out over it’s life and that was in full flow at the end of the bar on Friday. *
Before I move on, a small plug, If you are looking for good night out from New Year’s Eve, you could do a lot worse than pick up a ticket at the Cross Key’s for the Paddy Maguire Band, one of best bands in area. Tickets are £8, a bargain at the price (as you’ll be lucky if he finishes playing by 2nd Jan), with 6 cracking ales guaranteed on the night.
Moving onto Kings Cross and the William IV. **I’ve only really popped into the pub before while waiting for my takeaway from across the road and always found it decent pub. **Recently I’ve been meeting my wife for lunch there while on long term sick and the customer service is absolutely excellent there, the food great value as well. *One of the problems I have as a side effect of radiotherapy is swallowing food, even with enough painkillers to knock out an elephant. *Over a light lunch I can easily drink 2 pints of water to get it down. **Nothing is too much of a hassle for them, even offering to get me another glass of water whilst cleaning the table next to me and not blinking when I ask for half a ton of butter for my jacket potato. **The pub, which I call a proper traditional boozer (my favourite kind) has a steady flow of trade with a lot of regular customers, the beer is kept nicely and has a nice atmosphere, you can’t ask much else for a pub really, can you?
Heading into Sowerby Bridge, it’s good to see that The Bull on the Bridge Hotel & Sowerby Taps are now fully open. **I’ve still not had a chance to visit, something I need to remedy very soon as looks a really nice venue both up and down stairs. **The Bull on the Bridge is more contemporary than its sister venue below (why have I made the pub female?). **4 ale pumps adorn the bar which look like they adopt some of the beer range from downstairs along with the usual mainstream keg t-bars. *The transformation from the wreck they took over is fantastic and they need to be congratulated for the job done so far. **They don’t seem to be having any trouble getting customers from the town and further afield and are starting to develop a music scene there as well, never a bad thing.
Last week, I went on a random drive effectively following Tour De France route from Keighley to West Vale in reverse. **What you notice is how many buildings, now residential, were obviously pub premises in the past, probably not 50 years ago. ***The run from West Vale over to Ripponden still shows a healthy number of pubs and judging by car parks doing steady trade on a wet wednesday lunch, food no doubt leading this in the majority. **I also spotted in passing a new bar opened where the old El Gato Negro restaurant was on the junction at Ripponden, a village not short of pubs, called something like the “The Last Stop”. *But between Ripponden and two thirds of the way down Cragg Vale, you only have the Butchers Arms and White Horse on the summit of the hill. **Lower Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge all have a good choice of pubs (including the road up to the tops towards Howarth). *But 50 years ago you would have had 2 or 3 times the pubs on the same drive…..pity it is the sign of the times.

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