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Showing posts from 2024

At Home In Accrington....

Despite being only about 30 miles from home, I had never been to Accrington in my life. Until last weekend that is, when the small Lancashire town was the setting for Halifax Town's home game against Barnet with the club's Shay Stadium currently being out of use. So we caught the train over and found some excellent and good value beer in some great places.... There was a bustling and eager throng of Halifax Town supporters when I arrived at the railway station just before 11.30 on a sunny Saturday morning, the air heady with the anticipation of a familiar day out but in different surroundings. The train was a few minutes late coming in, and then it took around 40 minutes from Halifax to Accrington. It was standing room only for most of the way, until Burnley Manchester Road, when some nimble footwork bagged some seats as the passenger mix changed, the Burnley supporters alighting for pre-match pints before their club entertained Brighton at Turf Moor whilst the usual noisy, Bla

It's All Bright Over Bill's Mother....

A long away trip where the detail of the journey would make a blog in itself, this was a rare visit for me to the Midlands to check out some of the pubs and beers of the country's second city and take in a vital match for both teams involved in the football at Kidderminster.... It was an early start for a Saturday. The alarm went off at 6, then it was a quick shower, get dressed, finish packing the bag, a quick brew and a slice of toast. The taxi arrived just before 7 as, with the local trains on strike, it was a case of heading into Halifax to meet some of the lads and then catch the 7.30 bus to Rochdale. The ride over the hills and the drop down into Greater Manchester was spectacular in the bright early morning sunshine, but due to the the bus's basic suspension and the state of the surface of the roads, it was a relief when the bus pulled into Rochdale's Interchange, and the shakes and rattles stopped. Then it was across the road to the tram terminus where a few minutes

Squawks, Wetsuits, And The Hat....

Or another Good Friday in Manchester! In which a gang of us take a whistle stop tour around some of the best pubs in the city with some good beer the common factor, including an early contender for best of the year so far, plus a couple of pints from a much-loved brewery who are closing down.... There has been a long tradition in Brighouse of a trip each Good Friday to a nearby city like Leeds, Manchester, York, or Wakefield to enable the participants to take some of the best real ale of some of that city's finest pubs. The original trips began before I moved to the West Yorkshire town, with the participants featuring a core cohort of regulars from the old Red Rooster in nearby Brookfoot, with a number from other parts of West Yorkshire. Over the years, which often incorporated visits to obscure pubs in obscure suburbs of the designated destination. Over the years, the trips became the stuff of legend, and on one occasion an incredible 43 people turned up! Over the years, the Craft

Ringing The Changes And Staying The Same....

A return to an old favourite and a visit to a new cycling-themed bar, both situated in Halifax, followed by a trip out to a micro pub situated in a market hall a few miles away up the Calder Valley.... Situated on Powell Street in Halifax town centre opposite the Victoria Theatre, the  Victorian Craft Beer Cafe (opening image)  or simply the  Vic  or  VCBC  for short was the first of the modern craft bars in the town when it welcomed its first drinkers back in 2014. Opened by Simon and his wife, Pang, it seems incredible but the Halifax beer drinking scene it joined was so different then to what it is now. The town centre pubs at that time were by and large traditional drinking houses, lager-driven sports bars, or cheap late night venues, and whilst there was some real ale to be found, most discerning drinkers would head a little further out of town to the likes of the Three Pigeons, the Cross Keys in Siddal, or the Big Six in King Cross. Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, Halifax The Vic brou

The New Custodians....

News has just broken that Kirkstall Brewery will soon be taking on the lease of The Tetley, the former head office building of the famous Leeds brewery in their latest act of support for the city's brewing heritage.... There is something quite fitting about Kirkstall Brewery getting involved with The Tetley. The contemporary arts venue and restaurant had been fashioned from the former head offices of the brewery that for years provided the beer that slaked the thirsts of many of the city's residents as well as those from further afield. Fast forward to now and we see the increasingly confident, relative upstarts coming to the rescue of a building that once symbolised the former brewery's domination and standing the city in their latest rescue act as would-be custodians of the local brewing heritage. Tetley's brewery was a proper landmark for years in Leeds, part of the local furniture, dominating its site on Hunslet Road beside the River Aire and the area around, with t