I’m typing this in between running out and in again, hanging out washing and bringing it back between the showers [or retrieving it from the hedge where it’s blown off the line.] That’ll teach me to talk about what an easy winter we were having, weather-wise. [Apologies for the Americanism, and to Frank Sinatra for saying weather-wise this is NOT such a lovely day.] OK, in the end I’m just going to leave it out there to get an extra rinse every now and again .  .  .

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0752-1024x768.jpg

One of the benefits of this weather is that we’ve seen more birds sheltering from the wind in the garden – like the beauty shown here, that was eating the seeds the wood pigeons and jackdaws had scattered from the bird feeders. I’ve mainly been sheltering in pubs, but then you’d expect no less of me! That’s when I’ve not been away; or in meetings about the upcoming ‘summer of cycling’ in Otley; or working on our own UCI-related project; or planning events/projects for our 10th anniversary (– Oh yes it is!) More about that later, but it does all mean that real content in this month’s newsletter might be a little more sparse than usual, so it looks like I’m apologising again – but then, again, you’d expect no less of me!


The remaining few membership cards for 2018-2019 [only about half a dozen or so, I think] are now for sale in Browns Gallery in Otley. That’s right by the traffic lights on the junction of Wesley Street and Boroughgate, just down from the bus station. Sadly, The Black Horse Hotel is closing this weekend – we believe temporarily, but are waiting for more news as below – so we can’t offer any new discounts there until we know who the new owners are. However, the drinks discount at the Royalty; the food at the Yew Tree; the food AND drink at Stew & Oyster; and vinyl and T-shirts at Groove Pad still make it a bargain at a fiver for the remaining 19 weeks. Valid to the end of July, and if you can’t save 26p a week, you’re definitely not trying – that’s just 1 drink, at 10% off (and a cheap drink at that!


Corks at Korks

Well, a planning application has been made for “Demolition of existing industrial extension to rear of listed building, formation of new two storey pitched roof extension, and internal alterations.” You can see all the details on the Leeds City Council planning and development public access site, which also includes all comments and objection documents. To be honest, the application doesn’t tell you very much, although you can infer that the music venue is going, and a huge bar that sells pizza, at least, is arriving! The application is made on behalf of ‘The Otley Bar Co Ltd’ which appears to have two directors – First is Allan Harper, who resigned as a director of Potting Shed Trading Ltd in August last year, a month after Otley Bar Co was formed. The full record of his 17 Directorships can be found on the Companies House website. Likewise, the 31 directorships of his co-director Christopher Hanley Pickles, who also left Potting Shed last August, can be found on the same site. The planning application status is ‘current’, although somebody told me last week they thought work had started already. If I find out any more, I’ll let you know.

 .  .  .  AND THE BLACK HORSE .  .  .  ?

Still waiting on this one, I’m afraid, and getting slightly mixed interim messages. Not sure whether it’s closing this weekend [17th] or at the end of March, but either way it will be only temporary. I’ve heard unofficially that Enterprise are close to exchanging contracts, and that because it’s still going to be run as a pub and hotel – ie. sold as a ‘going concern’ – that’s still within the ACV rules. I’ll let you know more as soon as I know the details.

 .  .  .  AND THE BAY HORSE?

Now this one is likely to be much more troublesome! As you well know, the recent history of The Bay Horse since it was offloaded as part of a batch from Punch to New River has been nothing but disastrous. No-one has been able to make a reasonable living out of it, and it’s been open and closed more times than [a thing that’s open and closed a lot]! We’re in the process of drafting a letter to the owners to ask them whether they’ll consider one or more alternative options that could bring this lovely little pub back into full-time profitable use. That might be an MRO [market rent only] deal; a tenancy with no drinks tie; or even a sale of the freehold – or any other option they would like to discuss. As with the two above – we’ll keep you informed of progress.


‘One green barrel . . .’

 .  .  .  but perfectly formed! That’s Baildon Beer Festival, and the 18th iteration will be on Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th of May in the Moravian Church Hall, Westgate, in Baildon. I realise this is a bit early to be letting you know, but you might want to put it in your diary now. There’ll be 20 Real Ales & 3 Real Ciders, Admission is a mere £2, and it’s FREE for CAMRA & SPBW members.  Snacks, Programme and returnable Glass provided. Friday 4pm – 11pm, Saturday Noon – 11pm. When I went last year, the weather was glorious so I walked over from Otley, sat outside in the sun and rehydrated myself with probably a half pint or two more of the beers on that rack than I should have done! This time we might have a bit of a more organised Pub Club visit, so there’ll be people to stop me doing that again!! [Will I never learn? Naah – probably not! Although whether I’ll drink that Stonehenge Sign of Spring on the middle shelf there again, I’m not sure – it’s bright green, which is just slightly offputting!]


Don’t forget one of our own! The Old Cock in Crossgate will be putting on its usual Easter beer festival, this year with over 30 ales from Norfolk. The festival will last for 5 days, have 13 pumps on the go at once, and to keep you fed there’ll be Norfolk Turkey and Bacon pies as well.


But then why would I want to learn, when Del Hall from Ohio lost more than 15 pounds in a week when he gave up food completely for lent – and drank nothing but beer! The idea was apparently inspired by the fasting rituals of 18th century Bavarian monks, and although he might have water or coffee first thing in the morning, he really is just drinking beer for the rest of the day. Del works at Fifty West Brewing Company in Cincinnati, so he probably knows a bit about beer already, and claims that this is all about breaking an ‘addiction’ to food, as well as replicating what the monks did. He has a Youtube channel [of course] where he explains why he’s doing it, but you can read the short version on the LadBible website.


[I was struggling to type that S-word, as I’m writing this the day before our United play theirs in a ‘true 6-pointer’ at the top of the Championship. You’ll know the result by the time you read this, and you know I’ll either be elated, or deflated – but anyway -] I know you probably won’t ever go there, but they do say there’s the odd pub worth visiting, especially down Kelham Island way, and this article from The Guardian points you to the best craft beer pubs in town. Rather reassuringly, most of them seem to be in traditional old pub buildings, although there are one or two micros and shops, but we can’t win ‘em all [Oh no! Why did I have to say that?]


Just a quick plug for a programme on BBC iPlayer. Series 4, episode 7 of ‘Inside the Factory’ will be on there for about another 3 weeks, and it’s all about brewing. It takes place in Burton upon Trent in Britain’s biggest brewery, and Gregg Wallace follows the production of Britain’s best-selling lager from raw barley to finished cans. Cherry Healey learns how to manipulate the 4 basic ingredients to produce a whole range of different beers, and how the temperature of the beer when drunk, the amount of frothy head and even the shape of the glass can affect the taste! Finally, historian Ruth Goodman finds out why Burton became the centre of brewing in Britain in the 19th century, and why an occupation that used to be carried out mainly by women was for so long taken over by men. [I love the way BBC’s promos don’t mention the name of the brewer or the lager. I’ll give you a clue – they both begin with C.]


Talking of Carling [which we were], their company website makes a great play out of how ‘local’ it is. The make out that it’s Britain’s No1 seller because it’s brewed “using only the best British barley, lovingly grown and harvested across the country” and they say “We’re proud to be made local (sic) right here in Burton-on-Trent.” Whatever that means! But this article from The Guardian quotes a British Craft Beer report that will say that “98% of drinkers do not believe a global firm such as Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev or Molson Coors [yep – that’s the other ‘C’ above] can make craft beer. We know there’s always been an undercurrent of snobbery amongst craft beer brewers and the millennials that made it a global phenomenon, and their attitude to traditional beers and large brewers. But if a major international brewer buys a small craft brewery, and continues to sell the same product, with the same name, why should anyone complain? There might be arguments about loss of experimentation, and certainly about cornering the market, but does that mean that BrewDog for instance is now NOT a craft brewer, thanks to their multi-million pound international expansion? And can anyone really blame companies like Camden Town or Meantime for taking millions of pounds from major breweries that want to make and market their beers? I almost hate to find myself agreeing with someone from Heineken, which owns Maltsmiths, Lagunitas and has stakes in Beavertown and Brixton Brewery, who said consumers could decide for themselves. The brewer’s head of craft development, Jan-Willem Heeg, said: “Whether it’s ‘craft’ is really in the eye of the beholder.” And I have to say I’ll decide what I want to drink by whether I like the taste or not! I certainly won’t chose to drink a beer just because the brewer’s output is tiny, or not to drink one because the company brews beers all round the world. Mind you – if there is a correlation between taste and either of those, I might find the choice has been made for me!


With so many pubs and restaurants in Otley, it’s sometimes difficult to choose where to take your mum for a meal. It’s a great excuse every year to thank her for everything she’s done for you in the past, so pick one out and make a fuss of her. There are a few options in the ‘Pub Stuff’ at the bottom, so choose one of them and have a good day out with all the family.


Otley-based company apollo 3D are building the World’s first explorable 3D town – and yes,  it’s Otley! The completed 3D Experience will be a fantastic way of encouraging visitors to the historic market town and surrounding area. So far they have ‘3D captured’ 15 pubs – which we especially like, because you can have a virtual ‘walk through’ the interiors and see what they’re like before you even cross the threshold! But there are also 2 restaurants, various offices and businesses. Accompanying the internal 3D walkthrough there will eventually be ‘3D from a drone’ to capture the streets, and a superb navigational experience. You can find the full list of businesses with 3D and explore them from their Facebook page at Otley 3D


There are only 27 weeks left now until West Yorkshire hosts the biggest annual cycling event of them all – the World Road Race Championships. Otley Town Council, the Town Partnership, Otley BID, Otley Cycling Club, Otley Pub Club and shopkeepers and business owners round town are getting together to see what we can do to encourage all the international visitors to visit Otley. We think it’s going to be exciting, we think you’ll like it, and we hope you’re looking forward to the end of September as much as we are. [It kicks off on the same weekend as Otley Folk Festival AND Otley Town Crier Championships. It’s gonna be great!]


What’s that got to do with Otley Pub Club? Practically nothing, but I thought you might be interested in a series of single malt whisky tasting evenings in Otley – tasting the new Game of Thrones-themed malts! They will take place on two consecutive Friday and Saturday nights, at Chez Vin, 24 Newmarket, Otley, starting at 7:30 pm. The cost will be £20, and there will be just 10 places available at each tasting – so get yours booked early! You can phone 01943 466143, or call in to the shop. [The final series of GoT starts on April the 15th.


As I’ve said on a number of occasions, we sometimes struggle to contact every single one of the pubs to ask what they’ve got coming up. So the best option if you’re looking for something to do on a particular night, and there doesn’t seem to be anything here, is still to check the social media links below nearer the time. There’s always something to do in an Otley pub – eat, drink, listen to music, watch sport on TV, compare dogs, talk about the weather, discuss the rights and wrongs of feeding bread to ducks – the list is endless! Just pick a pub, drop in, and do it!


  • DJ vinyl night on the third Wednesday of every month
  • Cycling Spring Classics, starting with Milan – San Remo on Saturday March 23rd, all on TV in the bar. Check further dates on their Facebook page


  • ?


  • Looking for something different for that someone special, why not give them a Groove Pad gift voucher.  Now available in store.
  • Tuesdays Open mike night from 8:00pm
  • Sundays live music from 2:00pm
  • Guinness has been added to their range.
  • Offer to OPC Premier card holders is 10% off clothing and vinyls on production of the card.  They will also be stocking one of each of the OPC T-shirts/hoodies for customers to order through them, as well as stocking the Premier cards themselves!


  • ?


  • Otley’s newest bar and venue, right on the main street in Kirkgate.


  • ?


  • Easter Beer Festival – over 30 ales from Norfolk on 13 hand pumps over 5 days. PLUS Norfolk Turkey and bacon pies! Thursday 18th to Monday 22nd of April.


  • Quiz night every Thursday at 9pm! One gallon of beer or 8 drinks of your choice for the winning team, play your cards right with cash prize! Will you be the next winner?


  • Rock n Roll Bingo, Thursday nights from 7:30 to 10:30
  • Love Your Local – Help your local support their favourite charity. Pick up a newsletter and loyalty card at the bar.


  • ?


  • Quiz every Tuesday from 8pm: Only £1 per team, free supper, cash prizes!
  • Open mic night every Thursday, starting Feb 28th with host Billy Mitchell. Free drink for all performers.
  • Stewie’s Kitchen going strong. Roast beef dinner every Sunday from 12. Yorkshire pudding wraps, home made burgers, flatbreads, daily specials and more from 12 Tuesday to Sunday


  • Quiz every Thursday
  • DJ every Friday
  • DJ every Saturday too!


  • ?


  • ?


  • Closed for now


  • Closing temporarily until new owners take over
  • The existing offer to OPC card holders of 10% off food AND off room bookings has obviously lapsed with the change of ownership. We’ll keep you informed of any changes in future.


  • A proper fun pub quiz every Thursday night from 8 to 9:30
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off all drinks and food (Card holder + any party up to 6 in total.) Stew and a pint is about £11 – buy 5 of those and you get your fiver for your Premier card back in one sitting!


  • Taking bookings for Mothers Day – phone, FB message or call in.
  • Offer to OPC card holders has been withdrawn by Market Town Taverns, as they have their own loyalty card starting this year. So why not ask for one of them when you go in?


  • Check out the new menu.
  • Free pool every Wednesday from 4 til close!
  • Sundays Quiz has new prizes . Race Car experiences , Computer Tablets , comedy tickets etc .
  • Mothers Day Sunday 31st March. Early booking advised. Carvery £8.95 with free gift for mum!
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food (Card holder + 1 and not in conjunction with the Carvery or pensioners lunch)

JUNCTION (#keepingmusicliveandfree)

  • Tuesday 19/03 – SUNDOGS
  • Saturday 23rd – WHISKY PISTOLS
  • Tuesday 26th – ANDY MYERS
  • Thursday 28th – Open Mic
  • Saturday 30th – ROADKILL
  • Happy Mondays with 50p off all draught beers and ciders and also the chance to win a cash prize with Key Quest (7pm).
  • Quiz every Wednesday!
  • Not to mention our great beers!


  • Lunch Club, Mon – Thurs 12 – 3: 2 courses only £7:95
  • Steak Deal, Mon – Thurs, 12 – 9: 2 steaks and a bottle of wine just £30
  • Fizz Friday, Prosecco only £11:99 a bottle all day – saving £5
  • Mothers Day – now taking bookings. Treat your Mum to a traditional homemade Sunday lunch at The Fleece. Book a table and get a free glass of wine for your special Mum. Book early to avoid disappointment on 01943 514886 or via fb messenger. 


  • Sunday 31st March – Mothers Day: Taking bookings but you might not be lucky, as it is the busiest day of the year.


  • We are now taking bookings for Mother’s Day. We will be serving up our Sunday menu along with a few delicious specials. Early bookings advised to avoid disappointment. Click right here to reserve your table:
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off drinks at the bar [cardholder + 1]. Buy a card for a fiver, and after about 17 pints you’re in profit!











































Otley Pub Club

Stew and Oyster

Groove Pad Beer and Vinyls

The Rookery Bar and Venue

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –

Finally, my usual apologies for errors and/or omissions. If you are receiving these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club by email, but you no longer want them, just email the return address and let us know. On the other hand, if you stop receiving our newsletters in future but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Remember this email address for the future – , or get in touch via the website and we’ll make sure you’re put back on the mailing list right away. Thanks!

Bob Brook

OPC Newsletter Editor


written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!