THIS MONTH’S MEETING, Wednesday 6th of June


Back to the now usual Wednesday night for the June meeting, following the extremely successful beer tasting event that replaced our meeting in May. A report on that ‘masterclass’ was in the May Newsletter if you missed it – and if you missed the event itself hard luck! It was brilliant! Anyway, we’re now at that time of the year where we brave the fringes of Otley and visit the pubs up the hill at one side of the river or the other. This month we’ll be walking over the river from the centre of town and up Billams Hill and Newall Carr Road to THE ROEBUCK for the meeting itself at 19:15 [you can of course drive if you prefer – and you promise to stick to alcohol-free drinks!] Then we’ll stay for another social drink before heading back down the hill to The Yew Tree at about half past eight, so we don’t interfere too much with The Roebuck’s quiz night. [Of course, you can always stay on and take part if you’d rather do that than come with us!] from there, we’ll gradually fade away into the night  .  .  .



The month of special events in Otley to celebrate Thomas Chippendale’s 300th birthday is now well and truly upon us! Here are details of the first three major events – the remainder will appear in the June Newsletter:

Saturday June 2nd, 18:00 – 22:00 at Stew & Oyster on Manor Square – ‘Celebrating the Birth of Thomas’. A birthday party that will include 4 short sets of songs between 6 and 8pm from local Otley choir Sally’s Army, a mixture of 18th century repertoire and more modern songs with a Summer theme. There will be specially brewed Chippend’Ale from Otley brewer Paul Briscoe; an 18th century prize quiz; birthday cake; an exhibition of high quality photographs of Chippendale furniture that you can buy [ – the photos, not the furniture!]; people in Georgian period costume and more. Entry to this event is TOTALLY FREE, so get down there early to make the most of it!

Tuesday June 5th, 19:30 – 21:30 at All Saints Parish Church on Kirkgate – ‘Musick for a Summer Evening’. A celebration of Thomas Chippendale’s Christening Day in the church where he was baptised, with a varied programme of 18th-century music performed by local artistes. It will feature soprano Joanne Dexter, cellist Mark Webb, and the Chippendale Singers amongst others.A specially-commissioned baptism cake will be available during the interval and a bar will be open on the night. Tickets are £10, and are available from ticketsource.co.uk or from Otley Courthouse.

Thursday June 14th, 19:30 – 21:45 at All Saints Parish Church on Kirkgate ‘Junk or Jewel: What’s in YOUR attic?’ Ever thought you owned something worthy of the Antiques Roadshow? Bring your heirlooms for free valuation by Hartley’s Auctioneers and Valuers of Ilkley. Entry to the event is £5, but valuations will be undertaken FREE. All items to be discussed by the experts must be booked in advance as numbers are limited. Click here to download a (safe pdf!) evaluation form, or pick one up at Otley Core (11 Orchard St, Otley LS21 3NX), Otley Courthouse or Otley Parish Church Office.

These other events will be happening in Otley during June and beyond as well, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to join in:

Chippendale’s Otley; Easter-October
Pick up Visit Otley’s new (safe pdf!) map FREE and take a self-guided tour of key early 18th-century locations that Chippendale himself would have seen as a boy.

Tercentenary Flower Bed; June-September
Wander through Wharfemeadows Park by the River Wharfe and enjoy the specially commissioned flowerbed to commemorate the Chippendale anniversary.

The Life of Thomas Chippendale; June 1-30, 10:00-18:00, All Saints Parish Church, Otley LS21 3DR, FREE An exhibition of Chippendale’s life, from his early years in Otley to fame (but not fortune) in London.

Other events in June include Otley Carnival on June 16 which will include a Chippendale Float and the 25th Anniversary celebrations of popular Border Morris Side Wayzgoose on June 9th where there should be dancing harking back to the early 18th Century.

Do come and join us as we celebrate Chippendale: Otley’s famous son.



Otley pubs and beer got a couple of mentions in both our local CAMRA magazines recently. If you don’t know them, they are – Tyke Taverner, ‘The beer consumers’ magazine for Bradford and beyond’; and New Full Measure, ‘supporting real ale and cider in Leeds’. Both are in glossy A5 format, are usually available free in a number of Otley pubs, and make for interesting reading.

In New Full Measure Spring 2018 edition, they reported that Otley Beer Festival presented £7,000 to their chosen charities from the profits of the November ’17 festival. That makes a running total donated to charities over the years of £91,300 which, as NFM says, is “pretty cool”! In ‘Brewery News’ they mentioned Paul Briscoe and described the recipe for his beer ‘Chippend’Ale’ brewed specially for the Chippendale 300 celebrations in town. Finally, they also mentioned the closure of Korks Wine Bar after “around 35 years”, saying “Otley is not an easy place to compete, with up to 17 bars in relatively close proximity.” They didn’t mention that Korks provided splendid food as well as an extensive wine list as well as their beer, all of which will be sadly missed, but they did point out that it had been a live music venue that had hosted Otley Folk Club.

Tyke Taverner’s May/June 2018 edition showed excellent taste in reproducing an article from one Bob Brook, Secretary of Otley Pub Club, about the Chippendale celebrations in town during June. [At the top of the front cover it even said “Celebrate the Chippy issue”!] And as if that weren’t enough, they had another article later in the magazine from the same Bob Brook advertising Otley Pub Club’s Yorkshire Day/Yorkshire celebrities project, and I’m very grateful to them for spreading the word!

So you see, both magazines really are worth reading – they are packed full of interesting stuff and at 32 and 56 pages respectively FREE for those two editions, they’re definitely a bargain!



Suffolk brewery Adnams is collaborating with store giant Marks and Spencer to make beer from leftover bread. This article in The Guardian explains how the crusted ends of loaves, left over after M&S have made sandwiches, are used to brew three new beers. It isn’t a new idea, and I’m happy to say that bread-based beers called TOAST had their recipes refined by Hambleton Ales of Ripon, and that now a Pale Ale, an IPA and a Lager are all being produced by Wold Top brewery of Driffield. Why am I happy about that? Well, for a start both breweries are in God’s Own County. Then there’s the environmental advantage – roasting barley to make beer is an energy-intensive process, so using one third bread to two thirds barley makes a substantial saving. [One quarter to three quarters in the case of Adnams ‘Used Our Loaf’ range.] Finally there’s the original benefit perceived by Toast founder Tristram Stuart, founder of the food waste charity Feedback. Stuart was inspired to use leftover bread to make beer by a Belgian brewer who follows the same process. Toast Ale is now also brewed in the US, South Africa, Iceland and Brazil, and all distributable profits go to Feedback to help end food waste.

Now everybody knows that the four ingredients that go into every brewing process are grain, hops, yeast and water. We’ve just seen how the grain can be replaced by bread [which does of course already contain grain] but now it seems beer might be able to be brewed without hops as well! This article from discovermagazine.com describes how, when brewing an [American-style) IPA, specific hop species are typically added at the fermentation stage to impart a hoppy, aromatic flavour. But that distinct flavour comes at a cost. Not only are the hops themselves expensive – some, like Amarillo, being specifically copyrighted – but the amounts of water and energy needed to grow and transport them add even more expense. But now researchers from the Joint Bioenergy Institute in California have spliced genes from Mint and Basil into brewer’s yeast. This means that not only does the resultant hybrid yeast produce the alcohol during fermentation – it also provides the hoppy, aromatic flavour to the end product. [Producing a much wider range of allegedly desirable flavours than the hops themselves – like ‘Fruit Loops’ and orange blossom!]



The Brewery, that is! The Otley Brewing Company Ltd, from Pontypridd in South Wales was always known to us here in Yorkshire since it was founded in 2005 – for pretty obvious reasons. Indeed [if memory serves me – and if it doesn’t, I just know someone will put me right!] it was on at least one occasion the only brewery from outside of Yorkshire allowed to take part in the Otley Beer Festival. Not surprisingly, many people – both local residents and visitors – thought that Otley beers from Otley Brewery must originate here. But they didn’t, and now it looks as though they might be gone for good.

The brewery was owned by Nick Otley, who put it on the market in 2016 when it was bought by a company apparently called All Beer Co, although according to beertoday.co.uk Companies House reveals no record of such a firm. Mystery still surrounds the closure, and sales manager, Russell Creemer, told Wales Online: “We’ve always gone through a financial management company in terms of sorting out the bills and our wages, but as far as the new buyers go there’s never been so much as a phone call or e-mail to introduce themselves. Up until now we’ve carried on coming to work, sold beer and that’s it — clearly the money we made hadn’t been reinvested in the business.”

A sad state of affairs, especially for the four staff involved who apparently can’t be placed in any of the pubs that Nick Otley is still operating. But it might just be good news for someone up here. Do you fancy opening a brewery in Otley? There surely must be some available and suitable premises in town somewhere, and there might be a very suitable company name now going begging at Companies House!



From June 23rd to July 1st there’ll be the usual mixture of long and short, hard and easy, factual and fantastical walks in and around Otley and further afield. The now legendary 4 pubs walk will take place on the first Saturday morning as usual – let’s see if we can beat last year’s numbers [45?]. If you like walking, and you like pubs, what more could you ask for? Meeting at The Junction on Bondgate, where a swift drink can be enjoyed at 10am before the walk heads off at 10:30 up to The Roebuck in Newall with Clifton. After another now much-needed libation the walk heads across the fields and down to the river at Pool in Wharfedale, where another pub visit [not sure which one just yet] offers the chance for a well-deserved rest – and another drink. Then, loins well-girded, it’s off up the hill towards the Chevin [by-passing the Dyneley Arms, sadly] and walking the ridgetop to The Royalty and rehydration. Then we can all go tumbling after walk leader Fitzy, down the steep slopes of the Chevin into Otley with 10 miles behind us – and back to The Junction for about 4:30 and a drink to thank them for opening early for us!

The full programme of walks can be seen on the OWF website, or picked up at pubs and shops around town. Don’t forget all walks are free, unless there needs to be a cost for transport, and all walk leaders are volunteers. But they do need to raise funds somehow, for programme printing and other related costs as well as expensive annual public liability insurance. So rather than charge up to £1 a mile for individual walks like some other festivals, OWF offers the chance to win a whole range of wonderful prizes in its end of festival raffle. Tickets are on sale during every walk, and there are already 30 fabulous prizes on offer this year, with lots more expected. Anything from a beanie to a Jacket, a head torch to a rucksack and 10 prizes from individual pubs [which is where we come in – although one of them is from Ilkley!!] So please don’t get upset if you’re asked to buy a ticket – all money is ploughed back into next year’s festival [unless it makes a loss!] and you can always politely say no.



I hope everyone either bought a copy of the Sun newspaper last Sunday, or saw the article by James Ellis of All about the Story, about Otley and the events coming up to celebrate Chippendale300. It was copied widely across social media platforms around Otley, so you probably did! [I’ve got a .pdf copy, but I know people are wary of opening them, so I’ve spared you the agonising decision! I’ve also just spent 30 minutes searching everywhere I can think of on The Sun website, but can’t find it. Sorry!]

 And Otley was first in the list of ’10 undeniably awesome Summer days out’ on the Leeds List website last week. This time it took me less than 30 seconds to find the link – so here it is.



While I was searching The Sun website to try to find the article on Otley mentioned above, I came across this news item from back in 2016! Yes, the actor voted sexiest man in Sweden 5 times and who apparently “love(s) to get naked” was already a Leeds United fan [and still is!] so he decided to come to Leeds to study. “I know that seems weird to come to the UK and not go to London” he says, “but I wanted to see the real England, and I saw it in Leeds. I recommend The Headingley Run — have a pint in every pub on Otley Road. That’s how you entertain yourself. Lots of pound-a-pint nights. Then I knew I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life.”

I wonder if what he decided on was to join Otley Pub Club; come over for an LUFC home match next season when our other Scandinavian friends from Norway are here; and join us for a few pints on the ‘real’ Otley run? Anybody know him well enough to ask??


GREEN BEER [Literally!]

There are so many beer/pub/Otley-related stories to tell, but so little time! So I just chose this last one as it had a bit of a personal relevance. This article from Vox.com is all about the real story behind St. Patrick’s Day’s green beer, which is apparently very popular on the day itself in the USA. It’s an interesting enough article, but it just allows me to post a photo of a green beer that I personally drank at the Baildon Beer Festival 4 weeks ago. It is called Sign of Spring, described by Stonehenge Brewery as “incredibly smooth and rich in both malt and hop aroma, the finish is delightfully fruity a pleasantly bitter”. It wasn’t my favourite beer of the festival – that would be a tie between Bingley’s Mosaic and Magic Rock’s Highwire – but I’d still give it a reasonable 3.25 out of 5 on my Untappd scale. The one thing it IS very good at is attracting attention from other drinkers!!



A bit more information from a couple of pubs, which wasn’t included in the last newsletter.


After agreeing a sponsorship deal with Old Otliensians rugby club, the Tavern welcomed the squad after their celebratory open-top bus tour round Otley. A great time was had by all, and the club presented a framed appreciation of the pub’s support. [See photo.]

This Friday June 1st, the pub welcomes the Motown, Soul and Funk classics performer Kevin Curtin, followed on Saturday June 2nd by female vocalist Amanda G. Don’t miss them! [You can keep up to date on all Tavern events on their webpage, or the posters in the pub windows if you’re walking past!


Coming up at the early Sunday time of 4:30pm on the 17th of June, Anglo-Swedish blue wave/acoustica band We Ghosts. Fronted by the song writing team of Swedish singer/guitarist J.J.Woodall and English singer/multi-instrumentalist John Christopher, we Ghosts blend elements of pop, blues, jazz, soul, reggae and rock in a refreshing and original way.


I just learned today that Gary has ordered a 25ft LED screen to show all the England World Cup games [presumably in the beer garden, so cross your fingers for good weather – and a long England campaign!]


Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

31 May 2018

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