Skip to main content

A Halifax Beer Trail....

A meet-up with friends from out of town last weekend made me think that there has been no recent actual suggested tour around the pubs and bars of Halifax town centre. Here's the route we walked for starters....
It had taken ages to come up with a date that worked for all of us, but we had finally settled on last Saturday. Which is why, just after 1pm, I was sat on a barstool in the Three Pigeons awaiting the arrival of whom I call Alex but known to the online community simply as Quosh and Chris, who had last appeared in this blog when we visited the currently-closed Donkeystones Brewery Tap with the legendary Simon Everitt, aka BRAPA. Their train from Huddersfield was running slightly late, but I hadn't been in that long when the lads arrived. Handshakes were exchanged, and Chris even came bearing gifts: Having read my recent blog about visiting Bromley, he had dug out a book he had at home called The Bromley Boys, which chronicles a season following Bromley FC in the days when they were struggling in the lower leagues. Cheers, mate!
A pub classic....The Three Pigeons
From there it was a short walk to the Square Chapel bar, where we had a swift half of Donkeystones Coffee Stout(which was very nice, but trumped this weekend when I had an excellent Orange Sour from Pomona Island!), with the striking ceiling design the main topic of conversation, after which we went into the Piece Hall. Chris had not been before, so he was snapping busily as we walked to Loafers, where we enjoyed its heady mix of vinyl, coffee, and beers from Magic Rock. And they had the new Nick Cave album in stock, too, so I got myself a copy!
Stunning...The Piece Hall, Halifax
We walked through the Piece Hall and went out via the top entrance, and up on to Wesgate, where we turned left and called in at the Meandering Bear. This was a new place for both of my companions, and we enjoyed the chilled out, early Saturday afternoon atmosphere. A few familiar faces were present behind the bar, including owner Michael. Alex remarked that I seemed to know everyone! I took the lads over to see the mural featuring Kieron Higgins' poem of the story of the Meandering Bear. We had a very pleasant chilled out half hour in here, but it was time to move on....
Chilled out...The Meandering Bear
We walked on Westgate past the splendour of the town's Victorian market hall, past the wonderful Duke of Wellington's Regiment memorial statue, past the bus station, and finally on to the Stod Fold bar at the entrance to the industrial marvel that is Dean Clough. Whilst I think sometimes the brewery's beers hold a bit back for those of us who are hop monsters, they certainly know how to run a good, friendly bar, and it went down well with the visitors.

From there, we moved on to The Grayston Unity, around 10 minutes walk away, bang opposite the splendid Victorian Town Hall. The bar, which opened what seems a lifetime ago, but only back in May 2016, was pretty busy with the usual eclectic mix of people, and we had another pleasant stop over here. The fact that with a capacity of just 18 this is the smallest licensed music venue in the country never fails to impress visitors to the town. You may have noticed that I haven't really mentioned many particular beers; to be honest, we were that busy talking that I have forgotten what we were drinking!

We bade our farewells to the Grayston, and just over 5 minutes later, we were at the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, the bar that started off the transformation of the Halifax beer scene a few years ago. As usual, there was an excellent selection of beers on both cask and tap. It was busy, and as usual there were plenty of people I knew on both sides of the bar. The Victorian went down well with both Alex and Chris, but after a pretty quick half, it was time to move on.

A few minutes walk away, we arrived at the Alexandra, but for the first time since we had met at the Three Pigeons, we sat down, grabbing some of the comfy seats situated by the window and enjoying our beers in comfort. Next door beckoned, and we landed at the Lantern, which was heaving as there was a set by former Inspiral Carpets' singer Tom Hingley in the downstairs bar, which sounded pretty good, so we hung around for a few songs and enjoyed our halves.

It was time for our final port of call, which was KĂžbenhavn, and here we opted for pints after an afternoon of restraint. The bar was fairly busy, as the time had moved on to Saturday evening. We reflected on what had been a most enjoyable afternoon with good beer and conversation, and after a short while, we walked down to the station where I bade the lads farewell as they needed to get their train back across the Pennines.

And as they departed, I thought that had we had more time we could have visited more places. Other than the Three Pigeons and the Stod Fold it was all pretty close together. To make it more comprehensive you could start at the Cross Keys at Siddal, then go down to the Shears at Paris Gates and then go to the Three Pigeons. Likewise, you could move on to the Ring O'Bells by Halifax Minster after the Pigeons before going to the Square Chapel.

But that's for another time....
Great company...Alex, aka Quosh, and Chris....

Follow me on twitter: @realalemusic


Popular posts from this blog

The Best Buffet Bar None....

One place I am definitely looking forward to visiting again when they re-open is the Buffet Bar in Stalybridge. And whilst it will be great to pay a visit as soon as it is possible, that first visit back to the famous bar on the Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield trans-Pennine route will no doubt stir up in me a huge dose of mixed emotions.... Stalybridge Buffet Bar is one of the few remaining Victorian railway station buffet bars left in the country, and is probably the best-known. I started visiting the bar regularly in 2006, when my job meant I was working about a mile and a half away in Hyde. Back in those days, the bar was owned by John Hesketh, who had spotted the potential of the rambling old Victorian station buffet as a real ale mecca. It had originally opened in 1885, and had meandered on over the years quietly serving customers on the trans-Pennine route, but back then it was not known for its beer. John's idea of a good selection of real ales in an atmospheric bar cr

The Town That Thinks It's A Village....

My time has been a bit limited recently for venturing too far afield, so last weekend I made the short journey to Elland to check out a few of the town's pubs and bars. Here's what I found.... Elland is a small market town in West Yorkshire, located between Halifax and Huddersfield beside the River Calder. It goes back a bit, being recorded as Elant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and over the centuries the town grew as a result of the woollen industry, with the town becoming home to several large mills. The coming of the Aire and Calder Navigation and the railways further helped the growth of the town. The subsequent decline of the woollen industry in the town meant that there were a number of empty mills left standing, and those that didn't burn down were put to other use, such as the home of Gannex, the now-defunct textile company whose raincoats were worn by the rich and famous, including former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. More recently, several mills have been converte

A Calder Valley Ale Trail - UPDATE August 2020

T he definitive guide to the pubs and bars that line the railways in the towns and villages of the beautiful Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, now with an update in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.... August 9th, 2020. The idea for a guide to the pubs along the railway line along the Calder Valley came about as I got fed up with people going on about the Ale Trail from Huddersfield to Stalybridge. I reckoned that the scenery along the Calder Valley was generally more attractive than its southerly rival, and whilst there were some excellent pubs along that route, there were equally some mighty fine pubs in Calderdale. And there was clearly a demand for such a guide: the number of page views I have had for this blog, which has been updated a few times over the years, is several times higher than my next most popular. I had been thinking for some time though that it needed a fresh look and a re-write; the inserted sentences and deleted entries means that it doesn't quite flow