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Showing posts from February, 2016

Welcome to the Market....

More often than not these days we hear about pubs closing, rather than opening. However, one sector of the pub trade that is showing an increase in numbers is that of the micro pub. 

The Micropub Association's definition is as follows: 'A small free house which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks.'  As I wrote in a previous blog, about Calan's in Hebden Bridge, the first to open in Calderdale, last year:

'The first was set up by Martyn Hillier at The Butcher’s Arms in Herne, Kent, back in 2005. This was in an old converted butcher's shop, and this tends to be the pattern, old shops and odd buildings lending themselves to being converted into a one-room pub. Possibly because the first one was in the county of Kent, a lot of them have been opened there. However, the model has gradually caught on and spread around the country over the past 10 years…

Will the Barge Sink...?

News has broken in the past few days that one of the most iconic pubs in Calderdale, the Barge and Barrel in Elland, is reportedly under threat, not this time from flooding, but from owners Punch Taverns, who wish to transform it into a destination foodie pub meaning that decades of commitment to real ale could be washed away.

This would be a further blow to a pub that has recently been hit by flooding, the loss of footfall due to the closure of the historic bridge beside which it sits, and bereavement. 

The Barge has been a real ale mecca for 30-odd years, since it became the West Riding Brewery's first and only tied house. It had originally been built to serve the customers of the long-closed Elland Station. It was called the Station Hotel and carried on quietly for decades, before having a few years as a disco pub(remember them?) called Barbados.

In the early 80's it became the Barge and Barrel, and attracted visitors from far and wide to sample the West Riding Brewery's b…