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07-02-2011, 09:12
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On Sunday, an intrepid group of drinkers curtailed their usual town centre meanderings for something a little more adventurous and set off, in various ways for the Dog & Partridge at Sowood. For those unfamiliar with the pub, the easiest way to get to it is by bus from Huddersfield, the 536 conveniently stops outside the pub and gets there just in time for 1200 opening, but be warned it is only a 2 hourly service. There are other ways to get there of course, and others in group were more daring and walked there,or in one case ran, in the teeth of near gale force winds to sample what was on offer.

The pub itself sits high above Outlane, surrounded by fields,and commands wonderful views over Kirklees and Calderdale, but this was hardly a day for sampling them. All we wanted was to get out of the rain and wind and sample some beer. It is a unspoilt gem of a place, with just 2 rooms, our group managed to fill the bar, leaving the bewildered locals to graciously take up residence in the smaller side room. It has been in the Collins family for many years, previously being run by Mabel, and after she passed on, by her son Frank. It is still known to many as 'Mabels'.

To say the 21st century has not reached here is something of an understatement. It is one of the few pubs I have visited that does not possess a till for example, a beer glass making a more that adequate replacement. It does however have a reputation for great beer, and on our visit had Taylors 'Landlord' and Black Sheep on the bar, supplemented on our visit by Mallinsons 'Lindley Pale'. We had promised Frank, we would drink the barrel before we left, and we managed that in around 2 hours, with the help of some of the locals who seemed to like it so much that a deal was struck for more Mallinsons to be delivered as soon as possible.

After settling in we had chance to check out the pub. Full of quirky memorabilia and pictures on the walls reflecting both the history of the pub and Frank's own interests. The smaller room has 4 cases of model buses should that be your thing, and a piano, which Frank took time out from serving to play for a while, and pretty good he is too.

Even when the Mallinsons and Landlord ran off, he still managed time to change one of the barrels for a Springhead beer, no doubt supplied by one of the regulars, Lord Baume of Elland.
Too soon it was time to bid farewell and head back into town and continue our drinking in more familiar surroundings but all who visited spoke of being impressed by the place, and vowed to return. Hopefully in better weather.

Thanks to Frank for putting up with the sudden influx of customers, and for his generousity in allowing us to take his pub over for a few hours. It was much appreciated.

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