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Showing posts from March, 2018

Tales from the North Riding....

An evening with a brewery that's riding high....

Scarborough has always had its fair share of decent pubs, built to cater for the hordes who descended on the town from the West Riding and beyond, but increasingly beers from one of the town's breweries have been making waves and gaining rave reviews in pubs and bars up and down the country. These are from the North Riding Brewery, which started life in the back of the North Riding pub just a cricket ball's throw from the Scarborough cricket ground on North Marine Drive. Brewing still takes place at the pub, but in 2015 a new brewery with a 10 barrel plant was built to cater for growing demand and interest. The beers have increasingly been on the bar in some of my favourite pubs, and when I saw that there was a Meet the Brewer night coming up at one of them, I made sure I got myself a ticket.
And so the other evening, I and another 20 or so gathered in the magnificent former Ladies First Class Waiting Room at the Stalybridge…

Stick In The Square....

Real ale and real music, just like it says on the tin....

A couple of months ago, I read an article in Uncut magazine about Stick in the Wheel, a folk band based in Walthamstow, London. The photos of the band featured were unsmiling, serious, uncompromising; no sign of any jolly ploughmen here. Indeed, lead singer Nicola Kearey was quoted as saying she didn't even like folk music. I hadn't heard anything by them at that point, but the article was a good read, and the band came across as interesting enough to make me want to investigate further.

And so, after a little bit of digging via You Tube and Spotify, and liking what I heard, when I discovered they were appearing in Halifax in a few weeks time I made it my business to get myself a ticket. And so the other night I rocked up at the wonderful Square Chapel to see them.

Stick in the Wheel are a five piece: Nicola on vocals, Fran Foote on vocals and accordion, husband Simon on percussion, Ian Carter on guitar and vocals, and …

The Beers from the West....

A cold week was forecast, but that didn't deter me from taking a short winter break in the Lakes. And as I set off it was cold, but the sun was shining, I had plenty of music to catch up on, and the views as I drove up the A65 through the Yorkshire Dales were winter scenery at its best.

I had a short pit stop at Ingleton, calling at the Masons Arms for the first time in almost 40 years I would guess. In those days it sold beers from one of the two Lancaster brewers, Yates and Jackson (the other was Mitchells*), both now long lost to brewing. They owned a number of pubs in the area, notably Ingleton and Bentham, not surprising when you consider the area has a Lancaster postcode! Of the two, Yates and Jacksons were in my opinion much the better, and in those days of fewer free houses, fewer breweries, and even fewer that travelled out of their area, it was always a novelty to seek them out. Today the Masons is a comfortable roadside freehouse and was full of Sunday diners when I cal…