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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, and anything that brings life back to a fading high street with only pound shops, takeaways and boarded-up shopfronts as the alternative has to be applauded'. 

The Micropub Association website currently lists 168 members, and we can now add another to that number, as the second one opens in Calderdale. This is the Market Tavern in Brighouse, located not surprisingly beside the market and close to the canal in the centre of town. This was originally an old store room for a nearby butcher's shop, and is being brought to life by Andrew, who seems to be known to all as 'Snap', and Debbie.

I got a sneak preview the other night when, noticing lights on in the building, I wandered up and peered through the window. I spotted people inside, a little dog barked at me through the window, and Snap, to whom I'd been introduced a few weeks previously, invited me in for a look around. I was introduced to Debbie, and also present were Alan and Alyson from Calan's, no doubt offering sage advice. Calan's incidentally is sadly still shut following the recent Calder Valley floods, awaiting repair work to start and insurance to be paid out. The Market Tavern though was looking great and getting ready to open its doors within a few days.

And so to opening night. I got there about 7, there were quite a few in. Quite a few familiar faces and friends, who, like me, have craved a place in the centre of Brighouse where you could go for a bit of a natter, drink great beer and just generally chill out. We used to have The Olde Ship, but since that has moved away from providing that type of experience, we have had a massive gap in the heart of the town.

The beers on at the Market were very good; from great breweries who brew great beers. Vocation - whose Heart and Soul was the first to go - Abbeydale - Moonshine was the next - Salopian, and Great Heck. All at a reasonable price, with some decent cider, and Warsteiner on draught and bottles from the likes of Budvar for those who veer towards the lager style.

Nice, comfortable seating, tasteful light and airy decor add to the ambience of the place. It is actually bigger than anyone who remembers the anonymous building it was before would expect it to be. There is also surprisingly a little beer garden out at the back. 

It is very rare on a work night that I go home, drop the car off, and then venture any further than the Dusty Miller at Hove Edge. However, the lure of the Market Tavern's opening night drew me there, and will no doubt do so again. Good luck to Snap and Debbie, a massive amount of work has been done in getting their venture off the ground. And on this showing, it is going to be a fantastic addition to the local beer scene, of which they should be proud. It should join the dots up between those great real ale pubs just outside the town; The Red Rooster, The Beck, and The Commercial/Railway, by offering something a little different from all of them.

Time to go after a lovely evening, and guess what? I wandered across the road for my first fish and chip supper in years. And that was somehow appropriate, as my visit to The Market Tavern was like a return to more traditional times....

The Market Tavern is located off Bethel Street in Brighouse, beside the market at 2 Ship Street, Brighouse, HD6 1JX. Opening Times: 2pm - 10pm Wednesday and Thursday, Noon - 10pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. 

The Market Taven


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