Sunday, 15 March 2009

In Them Thar Hills


Delph, Diggle, Dobcross, Greenfield and Uppermill. Names that would gladden the heart of any brass band follower and also any beer follower that likes a drop or two. Saturday saw a merry band of stalwarts visiting an area of our CAMRA branch which isn't that far away, but isn't that easy to get to, especially if you want to do a few pubs, other than by bespoke transport.

I won't bore you with a dizzying pub crawl, but instead select a few highlights from an interesting day. Great pubs first of all. Pick of a very good bunch was probably our first stop the Royal Oak, set high above Delph amid splendid scenery. They opened specially for us and we enjoyed superb beers from Skipton and Millstone. Mild played a big part in the day too, with splendid versions from Jennings, Moorhouses and Copper Dragon. Surprise of the day for me was the Tetley Bitter in the King William IV - the King Bill - as they say in these parts. Sour, tart, full bodied and delicious. It reminded me very much of the beer in its heyday, but it has to be said, the cellarmanship here was, as our Yankee friends might say, awesome.

We did of course tend to swoop on the pubs mob handed, though all had been advised in advance, but we were treated ourselves to a mass invasion while at the Railway in Greenfield, as a swarm of Carling drinkers dived off a train. Although pissed they were amiable enough, if a little noisy and I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted your maiden aunt to listen to the songs they sang. Still, we shouted above the noise and drank one of the day's highlights, Elland Beyond the Pale.

Any lowlights? Well sort of. Perhaps the two most disappointing beers for me were from two of our family brewers. Robinsons Dizzy Blonde in the Waggon at Uppermill was very well kept, but just lacked a sure touch with hopping to lift it, while for once, Lees Bitter seemed off the mark and a bit one dimensional in the Cross Keys.

The beer of the day? I couldn't put a micron between Jennings Mild and Moorhouses Black Cat. Both were at the peak of condition, served properly - and you know what that means - and just as fresh as a daisy. Lovely.

I had some lovely photos for you. Unfortunately my camera, which I definitely had in the last pub, can no longer be found. Dear day out.

9 comments:

Woolpack Dave said...

Ah, you see, Jennings, made in Cumbria it's bound to be good.

RedNev said...

Quite extraordinary! The last reasonable pint of Tetley's bitter I remember drinking was in the Little Angel in Whitby, North Yorkshire in August 1988. No wonder you were surprised!

Tandleman said...

Probably the last time you tried it!

Tandleman said...

Dave - It really was a great pint and I had a fantastic photo of it. Where oh where is my little camera?

Woolpack Dave said...

I spent quite a lot on a camera last year. I'm always leaving it in pubs. Fortunately I have an insurance policy by the way of Ann. On the way home she just loves the look of panic on my face when I remember where I last left it and makes sure I sweat a little before owning up to having picked it up.

So, you have my sympathy.

Tandleman said...

Thanks Dave. It didn't cost a huge amount. About £90 or so, but it is a bugger.

RedNev said...

No TM, the last time I tried Tetley's bitter was earlier this year in a GBG pub that sells only Tetley's beers. Calling it mediocre is probably a compliment. Tetley is the (pre-VW) Skoda of real ale.

Tyson said...

Lees Bitter was "a bit one dimensional." Same as usual, then:)

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

One of the best pints I've ever had was Moorhouses Pride Of Pendle at the Cricketers in Keighley - I just wish it was easier to find in London.