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Well, we held the AGM; we made some new friends; we discussed some new ideas for next year; and we even got a new volunteer to take on some of the work! But more of all that when the minutes come out, and we can all express our thanks properly. The sad news was that one of our stalwarts and hard working office bearers handed in their resignation at the same time – although they are staying on the committee for now. More of that, and the shakeout of responsibilities and tasks still to be allocated, at a later date.

img_20161016_080211158For now, we can just sit back and enjoy the delightful sights and smells of Autumn in the Wharfe Valley – which unfortunately come with shortening days and cooling temperatures. [And especially unfortunately for me, they come with sinusitis, headaches and toothache for the past 3 weeks as well! So to cheer me up, can anyone tell me what the multi-headed toadstool is, in the middle of these shaggy inkcaps?] At least the sun came out on Sunday afternoon, and the temperature was warm enough to sit outside your favourite pub and watch the sun go down.



We must have all managed to keep clear heads after the AGM on the evening of Thursday the 13th, because we all met up again at The Black Horse Hotel on Friday the 14th at 12:30, for the official launch of imgp0859version 2 of the Ale Trail. The wonderful OTLEY PUB CLUB banner was in pride of place on the bar. Many of the sponsors were also there, and it was great to be able to thank them personally. If it weren’t for their financial contributions, it would be impossible for us to produce the Ale Trail – which is widely recognised as one of the best town tourist information leaflets in this part of the world.

Otley Pub Club Chairman Andy FitzGerald formally launched the Ale Trail [though it has been seen around local pubs for several weeks], and thanked all the sponsors. Otley Pub Club President, Greg Mulholland MP, then presented a framed copy of the leaflet to the Otley Town Mayor – Cllr. Ian Jackson.



As a nice link between the time of year and the launch of the Ale Trail, I happened to see a Mid-Wales Travel coach parked up Burras Lane on Saturday, with a sticker in the front window proclaiming “Autumn in Yorkshire”. When I spoke to the driver and guide, they said their Welsh tourists were staying in Bradford, and touring round Yorkshire towns and villages to see our glorious countryside in the colours of Autumn. They had already been in Otley for a couple of hours and would soon be leaving, so as well as feeling pleased that they’d chosen Otley as a place to see, I gave them a batch of Ale Trail leaflets – either for the current tourists to see what they’d missed, or for the next batch to use when they arrived!



Many pubs in Otley have historic photographs of the town, and they look beautiful as well as making us all feel nostalgic for a past we never knew. But John, the landlord at The Red Lion would like to do something a bit different. He wants to show the personal side of the history of Otley – the events and the individuals that have made up the history of the town, rather than the streets and the buildings.

If you have any old photographs that you would be willing to let John use in his pub, please let him know. Obviously he will accept copies rather than your treasured originals – unless you want to loan those to him too. Sporting photographs, school photographs, club outings, family holidays – anything and everything that shows individual people of old Otley. Really old ones would be nice, but even those from the mid- to late 20th century, with faces that Otley people would still recognise, would be brilliant for visitors to look at.

If you have anything at all that you think John might be interested in, give him a call on 01943 464500, or email him at



TYKE TAVERNER [Bradford Area] If you remember Hey’s Brewery in Bradford [it closed 50 years ago!!], you might be interested to know that Bingley Brewery have brewed a special beer in its memory. Hey’s Gold was launched last month, was available at the Calderdale Beer Festival, and has been on sale at The Sparrow and The Record Café in Bradford’s Northern Quarter.

FULL MEASURE [Leeds Area] Report of the ‘revitalisation’ meeting at Joshua Tetley’s old brewery site seemed to indicate that CAMRA is in danger of disappearing, unless they can get their own purpose and aims sorted out pretty quick!

By the way, if youst-arnold still prefer your real ale to your craft beer and you think Leeds is now only suited to beardy blokes under 40, a survey of 86 bars in Leeds in July found that 80 had real ale on offer. 211 different beers from 118 different breweries – 49 of which were from Yorkshire. 29 bars had more than 6 ales, with The Duck and Drake having most at 11. The most popular individual beer was Leeds Pale, in 15 pubs.



That heading makes this quiz from The Guardian sound technical, but it isn’t. It’s just fun, so why not have a go? I scored a pathetic 6 out of 10 – in a multiple choice quiz! About beer!!



Roger is one of the world’s leading beer writers and tasters. He is the author of 20books on the subjecroger-protzt, including the best-selling 300 Beers to Try Before You Die, and has also edited 20 editions of the annual Good Beer Guide. Back in 1995 he beat us to the use of the phrase The Ale trail, when he wrote a book about ale, its history and its incarnations.

It was a great opportunity to see him locally, so I went over on Saturday to see his talk ‘A Pub Crawl Through British Culture”. He gave an hour’s talk on the history of different beer styles, as well as giving tips on how to taste and appreciate those different styles. [We did all get 4 free drinks to taste along with him!] The two main messages I came away with [possibly because they were what I wanted to hear!] were these – 1) the current ‘limit’ of 14 units of alcohol is arbitrary and ridiculous – especially when compared with the recommended weekly amounts in other European countries; 2) alcohol consumption has actually dropped in this country over the last 50 years, despite the Government and media implying that it is increasing; and 3) beer is actually good for you! [If treated with respect, of course.] And as Roger will be 80 in three years’ time, but is still fit and healthy and travelling the world drinking, and talking about, beers, I for one believe every word of it!



Zero hours contracts offer employees no guarantee of ANY work in a particular period of time, but they also mean the employee can choose not to accept any work that is offered! They are generally used by employers who might need to meet changing demand for their services, and by employees who don’t want to be tied down to the same working pattern every week. I last worked like this when I was at University, and used to deliver and collect cars for a local main dealer [except we had no ‘contract’ as such – I just turned up when they needed me, and got paid cash. A great deal for both of us.]

However, when a company chooses to keep all, or the vast majority, of its workforce on zero hours, it takes away the choice of workers who would like the stability delivered by guaranteed hours and salary. So it was a welcome move for some to see that Greene King is ‘in the process’ of offering new contracts to the 16,000 workers it inherited when it bought The Spirit Pub Company last year. But if you think that’s a large number, J D Wetherspoons announced in September that it would allow 24,000 staff to choose between a zero-hours contract and one offering fixed hours, after a successful trial. The new contracts would offer staff around 70% of the hours they had typically been working under ‘zero-hours’.

As zero hours workers have the same employment rights as regular workers (although they may have breaks in their contracts, which affect rights that accrue over time); as they are entitled to annual leave, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage; and as they are paid for work-related travel in the same way as regular workers; then giving them a choice might be a fair compromise. [I still love the way a Greene King spokesman called the 16,000 transferred staff ‘colleagues’ though. Employees, surely?]



You can tell beer is becoming big business when it’s featured in the magazine ECONOMIA -aimed at members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales [ICAEW]. In the July/August edition there was an article called “Fancy a Pint?” which talked about the massive range of beer styles now available in the UK, and the fact that you could almost always get one from a local brewery, no matter where you live. [The closest one to us that it mentions, is Magic Rock in Huddersfield. The nearest of its 7 ‘great pubs to visit for great beer’ is the Sheffield Tap at Sheffield Railway Station.]economia

It mentions the influence of CAMRA; the importance of Gordon Brown’s introduction of the progressive beer duty; and the need to retain traditional pubs as the only place to drink cask-conditioned beer, and to provide a safe, responsible and social place to do so. All in all, it’s a very sensible and informative article [as you might expect, in a magazine for the ICAEW!] and well worth a read. Not only that, but the restaurant reviews in the same issue also ‘pairs plates with a pint in the best beery restaurants’. Blimey!



If you thought the ‘craft’ beer movement was just for pretentious geeks, seeing the tagline “Adventures in the Global Craft Alcohol Movement” under the title of a beer magazine called Ferment, might just have you reaching for the sick bucket. Nevertheless, its regular contributors include Industry-leading experts, writers, beer tasters, reviewers and illustrators. Earlier this year, in an article about bottle conditioned beer, they described how to pour from the bottle to make sure the drink in your glass stays crystal clear. But at the same time, they explained that some beers should actually be cloudy – like Hefeweizen and many Belgian beers. Again the correct way to pour out the yeast and mix it into the drink is included.

And, as they confirm, yeast isn’t bad for you! Brewer’s yeast is a rich source of B-complex vitamins, proteins and minerals such as chromium. So really, if you want to drink it – go ahead. It won’t do you any harm. Just make sure you do mix it in well while pouring, as drinking just the yeast isn’t the most pleasant experience – and you might need that sick bucket again!

(Back issues of Ferment are available on the ISSUU free-to-read publications website.)

On the same subject, I might have mentioned before that vegetarians and vegans have never been happy about the use of isinglass [made from the swim bladders of fish] as a clearing or ‘fining’ agent in beer. A local magazine called ‘The Pub Paper’, which covers the whole of upper Calderdale, recently contained an article about just this issue. The Good Beer Guide for 2017 reports that a growing number of brewers are now looking for alternatives. Roger Protz [yes, the same!] says “Drinkers shouldn’t be alarmed – there’s no fish in their beer!” But silica and Irish Moss are now being used as clearing agents by The Marble Brewery in Manchester, and the University of Nottingham is using a mixture of ‘spent’ and new hops to attract the yeast in the cask, so it drops ‘bright’.  Protz himself quotes the beers at Moor Beer in Bristol as one example of IPAs and other beers being served cloudy in pubs, with no complaints from drinkers. As he says – “Not only are drinkers happy – but so are fish!”



Back to another issue of Ferment: Adventures in the Global . . . well, yes, that’s enough of that! They shone “A spotlight on one of the best beer cities the north of England has to offer”. [NB, there are only 17 cities in the North, and I’ve no idea how many of them are ‘beer cities’, so I’ve no idea how much of an accolade that really is, but to continue . . . ]northern-monk

They do say that “with so many bars, restaurants and breweries to choose from . . . it is safe to say we love Leeds” so that’ll do for me!  They go on to say that Northern Monk is “one of the most exciting breweries in the UK at the moment”; the North Bar “lives up to its strong reputation”; Friends of Ham are “the top players when it comes to [the pairing of] craft beer and charcuterie”; the beer at Bundobust “is akin to some of the best beer bars around . . . and the food will blow your mind”; and the Black Swan “caters to everyone’s tastes”! Of course there are many, many more they could have mentioned, and everyone has their own favourites, but it’s always good to see Leeds getting appreciated in a national magazine. It’s just a shame they never made it out to Otley!



Loads of the puhalloween1bs in town are having parties on the Saturda
y before Halloween [the 29th of October], so if you do fancy going out, you’ll be spoilt for choice! All of them will welcome you in fancy dress (FD), and some of them have
prizes (P). Here are the ones I know about –

YEW TREE – 20:30 Disco and Karaoke, FD

BAY HORSE – 19:00 Spooky tunes and creepy cocktails, FD, P

halloween2BLACK BULL – 19:00 Disco, children welcome early doors, FD

ROSE AND CROWN – Halloween-themed disco, FD, P

OTLEY TAP HOUSE – Party with DJ Benny, FD

WHITE SWAN – Party with free snacks and entertainment, FD, P

WHITAKERS – Halloween Party, FD

CROSS PIPES – Halloween Party, FD

FLEECE – Live music, party games, cocktails, FD

MANOR HOUSE – 16:00 til late. Face painting, trick or treat, charity raffle, live entertainment, sports auction, FD, P



Obviously it’s not possible for town centre pubs to have real bonfires, but this year one of them is giving it a go! Here are the events I know about on Saturday, November 5th.bonfire_night_

ROEBUCK – Proper big bonfire; firework display, plus pie and peas. Check for start time.

HORSE & FARRIER – ‘Bonfire’ out the back [yes real fire!], with food but not fireworks!

CROSS PIPES – Bonfire Night Party.

FLEECE – Fireworks in the garden, BBQ and live music. Check with pub for start time

ROYALTY – Bonfire and Fireworks, but also 10 outside market stalls. There’s already a bar booked, so you don’t have to miss a thing by going inside for bottles, or draught Coors or McCaffreys. [All other drinks available inside as usual.] There’s also an outside food stall, and a sweets stall for the kids. There’ll be 7 more stalls selling all sorts of local produce, and some might still be available, so if you’d like one, get in touch with Danny at the pub as soon as you can!



BOWLING GREEN – Autumn real ale festival continues to October 23rd .

FLEECE – Live music every Sat, Open mic every 1st Sun

CROSS PIPES – Live music in November, date and band tbc

WHITAKERS – Official re-launch under new management Friday 28th October, with vocalist Danielle Grace Williams. Free glass of bubbly! New menu launch on Monday 31st and Christmas menu coming soon. Live entertainment on the way every week – alternating Fridays and Saturdays.

WHITE SWAN – C&W night with Dori and the Outlaws Friday 11th Nov; local band Fauns on Friday 18th; 1950s/60s day and night from 13:00 on Saturday 26th November, live and recorded music. And watch out for their Christmas Lights coming up – to be turned on at the same time as Otley’s town lights!

NORTH BAR SOCIAL – Weekly cycle ride for all abilities, meet at 18:00 on Thursdays for 18:30 start. Social dog walk, last Sunday of the month at 11:00 – next one on the 30th.

OTLEY TAVERN – Appearing this weekend, Sophia Maria, Friday 21st; Sinead Campbell, Saturday 22nd. And every Monday to Thursday 2 lagers and 2 beers all less than £2:50 a pint!

BAY HORSE – 50p a pint off all cask ales all day every day for card-carrying CAMRA members. Latest addition to the ‘games room’ to go with the darts, the draughts and the dominoes is a real live, upright retro Space Invaders machine!! Yes, it’s the real thing – can you even remember how to play? Also coming soon that favourite old pub game – the Bull Ring. Free quiz every Sunday at 20:00 with prizes of a gallon of beer and a bottle of wine. Followed by ‘Play Your Cards Right’ with a snowball cash prize starting at £50.

BLACK BULL – NB, there WON’T be a disco on the last Friday of October, as it’s on the following day, the 29th, for the Halloween Party.

HORSE & FARRIER – BT Sports on 2 TVs for all major sporting events; open mic at 20:30 every Thursday night; and watch out for some ‘interesting’ beers on the bar to coincide with the Otley Beer Festival weekend next month.

YEW TREE – Now open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday. Live entertainment one Saturday every month. Quiz 20:30 Tuesday and 21:00 Sunday.

ROEBUCK – NB, Now closed all day Mondays throughout the Winter. QuizWednesday 21:00, prize Sunday roast dinner for two. Followed by raffle for a cash prize. Look out for their great value 2 courses for £10 on Tuesdays! Festive menus are now out – £20 for 3-course lunch, £26:95 for 3-course dinner. All festive dinners must be pre-ordered, Christmas is already fully booked but you can go on to their waiting list in case of cancellations. Basically, if you want a festive lunch or dinner, the best thing is to book it now!

ROYALTY – Their December menu is being finalised this week. They aren’t open on Christmas Day, and this years ‘Festive-themed’ menu will mean you can get a roast turkey dinner if you want one, but the old favourites like burgers will still be on there as well. If there are 8 or more in your party, you MUST pre-order to be sure of getting a table throughout December. {And if you fancy helping to cook these seasonal delights, The Royalty are looking for someone to help in the kitchen, with immediate effect!]

JUNCTION – Saturday 29th of October The Whiskey Pistols; Tuesday 1st of November Dr Brown; Tuesday 8th November Rockin Deke Rivers and The Jitters.

ROSE AND CROWN – If you want a traditional roast turkey pub Christmas Dinner in Otley, bookings are already being taken. They are also getting booked up for Victorian Day lunches on Sunday December 4th, so make sure you book in advance. [By the way, here’s the link to Leeds List article about ‘Downright Cosy Pubs in Leeds’, which includes the R&C]rose-and-crown








































Although the only account I know about so far is –


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As ever, it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re writing, editing and proof-reading everything yourself, and if I have I apologise sincerely.  If you no longer want to receive these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club, just email the return address. On the other hand, if you stop receiving our newsletters in future but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Just send an email to , or via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!


Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

20 October 2016


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