Monday, November 18, 2013


Never mind your apps, here's my guide to this year's Good Beer Guide to send you on the path to pub righteousness. There are no changes in Huddersfield and Bradford but quite a few in Leeds and Manchester. The book also features a West Yorkshire village I've never heard of before - Goose Eye.

Hudds has Grove, King's, Rat, Slubbers, Sporters, Star, Vulcan and White Cross in the good book.

Elsewhere in Kirklees, the gaudy and loud Brambles is a newy in Holmfirth (the Nook's still in from last year). The Flowerpot in Mirfield is another newy, joining the town's Navigation and Old Colonial. The Pear Tree drops out. Dewsbury loses the Huntsman and Shepherd's (West Riding and Leggers are still in ). No changes in Linthwaite (The Sair, arguably the best pub in the world), Marsden (Riverhead), Meltham (Will O'Nats) Slaithwaite (Commercial).

In Bradford, entries are the Castle, City Vaults, Corn Dolly, Fighting Cock, Ginger Goose, Haigy's, New Beehive, Sir Titus Salt and Sparrow.

In Leeds, in come the Friends of Ham (hip but nice), Ship (forgettable), Stick or Twist (Wetherbarn), Templar (a classic old boozer full of classic old boozers). Still in are Hop, Foleys, North, Palace, Scarborough, Veritas, Victoria, Whitelocks.

Away from Leeds centre, Fox and Newt in Burley, Arcadia, in Headingley, and the Grove and Midnight Bell, in Holbeck are still in.

In Halifax, the smashing and revamped Shears is in, but Dirty Dicks (shame) and New Prospect depart. Still in are Big Six, Sportsman, and Three Pigeons.

Elsewhere in Calderdale, the Barge and Barrel, in Elland, returns to the book (Drop Inn still in from last year). Todmorden's newie is Calderdale pub of the year and piemaster the Masons, joining the Polished Knob and Staff of Life. No changes in Brighouse (Red Rooster, Richard Oastler)

Splendid Sowerby Bridge still has the Jubilee, Puzzle, Shepherd's and Works, but loses the White Horse.

The lovely Crescent, in Ilkley, is a newie (along with regular Bar T'at). The Fleece falls out in Otley but town's Bowling Green, Horse and Farrier, Junction and Old Cock are still in.

Manchester newbies are the Crown and Kettle (which has improved since last year), Font (studenty), Joshua Brooks (ditto), Molly House (first 'village' pub to feature in guide?), Rising Sun (a bit characterless), and Wharf (ditto). Out go: Wheatsheaf, Smithfield, Piccadilly, Peveril, Old Wellington, Jolly Anglers. Still in are: Angel, Bar Fringe, Cask, Castle, City Arms, Knott, Marble Arch, Micro Bar, Paramount, Port Street, Sandbar, Waterhouse.

A few changes in real ale/craft beer hotspot Chorlton - Beech Inn, Marble Beer House, Parlour and Sedge Lynn are new entries, joining Bar, Electrik and Pi. Out go Horse& Jockey and Oddest.

Salford's Crescent drops out of this year's Guide but another old favourite, the King's Arms, is back in. The Eagle is another new entry. The Mark Addy and New Oxford stay in from last year. The Racecourse and Star drop out.

Tameside is good for an ale crawl with Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge each having four entries. In Hyde - Cheshire Ring, Godley hall (new), Queen's Inn and Sportsman. Mossley has Britannia, Commercial (new), Dysarts and the Rising Sun, while Stalyvegas has the Society Rooms (new), Labour Club (new), Refreshment Rooms and the White House.

They've reorganised the Sheffield entries, creating a new Kelham Island section featuring Fat Cat, Harlequin, Kelham Island Tavern, Riverside, Shakespeares, Ship Inn, and Wellington. Most of these pubs used to be in the central section which now features the Bath, Dev Cat, Henry's, Hop (a newie), Old House, Red Deer, Rutland, Sheff Tap. A newie in Shef South is the splendid Broadfield, an ex-student grothole now very good for food and ales. The best pub in Sheffield, the Sheaf, is still in the south section.

Loads of changes in York with some great pubs dropping out, such as the Golden Ball, Three Legged Mare and Blue Bell. Guy Fawkes and Rook&Gaskell also leave. In come Old White Swan, Pivni, Snickleway, Volunteer and York Tap, joining regulars Brigantes, Maltings, Minster, Phoenix, Slip, Swan and Waggon&Horses.

In Wakefield, new entries are an old favourite, Henry Boons, plus the Inns of Court. Regulars are Alverthorpe, Black Rock, Bull and Fairhouse, Fernandes, Harry's, Hop and Red Shed.

PS Goose Eye is near Oakworth. The Turkey Inn is the entry - looks a corker.

The final 16 for Camra pub of the year have been chosen - Wales' champ is the Albion, see below. Yorkshire's is the Old No7, in Barnsley, decent but not spectacular. The Baum in Rochdale, reigning national champ, is Greater Manc pub of the year again. Winners announced in Feb.