More good news for pubs this month – in Bradford, [and East Kent!], and even on the Enterprise Inns estate! There’s also a couple of items about beer, and one about the Otley Ale Trail creating interest amongst our older readers! It’s ‘Dryanuary’, ‘Tryanuary’ and even ‘Canuary’ this month – but that’s all I’m going to say about that! If you’re trying to keep fit after over-indulging over Christmas and New Year, you can always try running between pubs. Not much good if you’re going from The Red Lion to Whitakers, or The Otley Tap House to The White Swan – so try jogging between The Royalty and the Roebuck instead!


I know we exist to support Otley’s pubs, but it’s always good when your close neighbours have good news to shout about. Like the Old Bank pub on Market Street in Bradford http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/11715180.VIDEO__Bradford_pub_set_to_re_open_after_five_years_and___500_000_refurbishment/?ref=mr



Enterprise say their ‘primary reason’ for developing a managed pub estate from within their total portfolio of around 5,000 pubs, is “to better understand how to run pubs, and to share that learning with its landlord and tenanted [L&T] estate. Some might well say ‘about *!!*ing time’, but Group Commercial Director Paul Harbottle did also admit that “In a period of such flux and change, we’d be foolish not to look at every opportunity to maximise profit for our shareholders”. There’s little doubt though, that the Government’s decision to impose a statutory code and free-of-tie option on large tenanted pubcos is a major factor in the decision, and Harbottle says “All our managed pubs are run as tied houses.” The managed pub arm of Enterprise is called The Bermondsey Pub Company, and already has 12 pubs on its books, with 3 more on the way and a target of 50 by the end of 2015. Full story here.



On 13 December 2014, new EU legislation came into force which mean that landlords now have to know which, if any, of a list of 14 allergens are in their food or drink products. See the full list, from celery to sulphur dioxide, in this article from The Publicans’ Morning Advertiser.

On the same theme, gluten-free foods are the fastest growing dietary category in the UK at the moment, and a brewery is opening in Scotland whose whole range of beers will be gluten free when they go on sale this summer. The Bellfield Brewery in Edinburgh is still working on taste tests to make sure their beers taste at least as good as standard-method brews. Nearer home, Driffield’s Wold Top Brewery’s ‘Against The Grain’ gluten free beer is already available in bottles in North and East Yorkshire, and some larger retailers and specialist beer shops.

For any vegans amongst you, you might already know that Tadcaster’s own Sam Smith’s brewery was the first brewery to register with The Vegan Society, in January 1998. All Samuel Smith’s beers and ciders are suitable for a vegan diet (except cask conditioned Old Brewery Bitter and bottled Yorkshire Stingo) and are entirely free of animal involvement, whether for the purposes of ingredients or animal testing. All the suppliers of their raw material ingredients must also meet these criteria. CAMRA have a long list of vegetarian and vegan beers on their website, as well as a list of wholly organic breweries [including Little Valley Brewery at Hebden Bridge], and organic beers from other brewers.


According to Chartered Surveyors company, Fleurets, 64% of pubs in the South East of England remained as pubs after the freehold was sold during 2014. The figure for the North of England was lower, at 50%. The most common alternative use for pubs sold has consistently been residential. The percentage being converted to housing of some sort has increased for the third consecutive year accounting for 60% of alternative use sales in 2014.

As well as more information on the alternative uses of pubs after freehold sale, Fleuret’s website also contains these interesting figures about pubs that were declared as Assets of Community Value –

Sale of 11 Pubs listed as Community Assets
– 3 sites purchased by the community group
– 3 sites sold for alternative use
– 6 sites considered to have been sold for a lower price due to the ACV listing
– 7 sales considerably delayed due to the ACV listing
– In 2 cases it was felt that the ACV listing “saved” the pub use
– In 1 case it was felt the ACV actually prevented the continued pub use
– In 3 cases it was felt the ACV listing nearly prevented continued pub use


Andrew Griffiths, the All Parliamentary Beer Group Chairman has urged the Government to make another cut in beer duty in the 2015 Budget. He welcomed the ending of the beer duty escalator, and the successive duty cuts in the 2013 and 2014 Budgets, but said that a further cut would help secure jobs in the sector, keep the price of a pint affordable, and help Britain’s much-loved pubs.


We’re currently collecting even more detailed information about all of Otley’s pubs, with a view to including it all on the website – but more importantly, making it accessible in different ways. You can already seek out information on each pub individually, and our new calendar will tell you what entertainment is on offer across all the pubs each night. Soon, you’ll also be able to search on individual items – like which pubs you can take your dog into; which pubs serve food in the evening; which pubs have a dart board, or a pool table, or a car park; and many more.

If you would like to see any specific item included [BT sport; karaoke; quiz; beer garden; or whatever else you can think of] just email me back and let me know, and I’ll make sure it’s included on our list. Just tell us what you want from a pub, and we’ll try to make sure it’s easy for you to find it!


This is how U3A describes itself on its web page – “The University of the Third Age (U3A) movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As, life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery!”

Well now a U3A group locally are about to discover Otley and its Ale Trail. We’ve been approached to lead a party round the historic pubs of Otley [once the weather gets a bit better in Spring] and tell them all about the delights of our famous pub town. Looking forward to it already!


Not only is one of our Otley landlords going to stand in the next Otley Town Council elections, but you might also have seen this week that THE pub landlord – Al Murray – is intending to stand in the general election. Not only that, but he will stand in the constituency of South Thanet against the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage. Murray’s newly-formed Free the UK Party pledges to save the British pub and cut the price of beer to 1p a pint [but unfortunately “crisps will remain at the present price”]. In his campaign video he says “It seems to me that the UK is ready for a bloke waving a pint around, offering common-sense solutions”, and with both him and Farage only too happy to be seen inside a British pub with a pint in their hand, at least business for the landlords of east Kent should be booming over the next few months!

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –


(I think I confused people by asking for information up to, and including St Valentine’s Day on Friday 14th February! Still, here’s what I did manage to find out – – -)


Don’t forget the pub is dog friendly, and I’m sure Vernon could find them a treat or two hidden behind the bar if you ask him nicely!


Still trying to live down the fact that the OPC Victorian Fayre pub judges met here to decide on the Elise Brumfitt Victorian Alehouse award last month [and sink a few pints!] If you’re a vegetarian, this is the place for you, with probably the widest range of vegetarian hot meals on offer in any of Otley’s pubs.


On Monday 2nd of Feb, a weekly mums’ [with kids] coffee morning will start in the upstairs function room. Only £1 per mum, which will go towards buying more toys and games for the young ones to play with! Come along and meet some new friends – and spread the word!

St Valentine’s Day dinner – £35 per couple for a 3-course meal each, and a bottle of wine!


January Sale on food and drink until the 22nd of this month means the prices are even cheaper than usual!

Burns week, from Monday the 19th to Sunday the 25th of January will see new Scottish meal and drinks offers.

Valentine’s Day Saturday 14th of Feb, a main course, a dessert, and a drink for two for just £20!


Disco/Karaoke with DJ Faceman every Sunday afternoon, and on Saturday evenings, 17 and 31 Jan.

Monthly Poker Nights, starting Wednesday 11 February at 7pm. Phone 07950 751191 or 01943 850140 if you want to know more.


The takeover of the lease from Wharfebank Brewery has now been completed by Fred Bell, from the Half Moon pub in Pool. [Apologies for the lack of a credit card machine over New Year by the way, after the Wharfebank one left, and the new one got lost in the Christmas post!] Fred has lots of ideas for the pub, both inside and out, so watch this space over the next few months!


Valentine’s Night Dinner only £24:95 – for bubbly on arrival, followed by 3 courses of freshly prepared, home cooked food. Available from 5pm onwards, Saturday 14 Feb, booking essential!


Sun 25 Jan       –           Burns Night FREE haggis, neeps and tatties! Plus whisky tasting and special offers

Thurs 05 Feb   –           Timothy Taylor ‘meet the brewer’. 5 Taylor’s ales to sample, plus FREE food!

Sat 14 Feb       –           Valentine’s disco.

Every Wednesday – quiz with FREE food and 5 prizes

Every Monday – Happy Monday, 50p off all draught products.

Every Tuesday and alternate Saturdays – live music


The Manor is continuing to build its reputation as a pub where you can always go to hear good music, starting with traditional sessions every Sunday from 2-6pm. There are also weekly sessions every Monday and Wednesday at about 9pm, but good musicians [fiddle/guitar/bodhran/flute/whatever!] are welcome to go down any evening and ask David if they can just play in a corner of the pub! There will also be a live music event once a month, starting soon.

General Knowledge quiz every Sunday at 9pm.


January Sale on selected bottles, and hot rum punch still available!

Coming up on keg, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Bamberg in Bavaria – a dark, bottom-fermented smokebeer, brewed with original Schlenkerla smokemalt, which achieves its smoky flavour by being exposed to intense, aromatic smoke from burning beech-wood logs!


We know you really come to The Old Cock for the fabulous choice of real ales, but there’s Cumberland sausage in a roll, and sandwiches, and pork pies on Saturday as well. And every Tuesday from 9-11pm there’s a folk music jam session in the upstairs room.


Don’t miss the hot paninis, or pork pie and cheese platter – available every day


Terrific music line-up:

Fri 23 Jan         –           Jon Alex, male solo

Sat 24 Jan        –           Stevie James, female solo

Fri 30 Jan         –           Dean Stansby, male solo

Sat 31 Jan        –           K Dee, sensational female solo

Fri 06 Feb        –           Kevin Curtin, fantastic male vocalist

Sat 07 Feb       –           Kim B, female solo – back by audience demand

Fri 13 feb         –           Amelia Davis, female solo

Sat 14 Feb       –           Richard York, male solo. Valentine’s special, all your favourite songs.


Every Monday darts and doms [and players are wanted for the new season]; every Tuesday pool league; every Thursday free pool; and all day every day – free jukebox.

Pool competition on Sunday, 25th of January. £2 to enter, winner gets 3 free pints, and 2nd place 2 free pints.

Poker night coming soon.


Fabulous menu every day – see website. Why not have a special night out for Burn’s Night or Valentine’s Day? Huge car park and beautiful views.


Rightly famous for its Friday and Saturday night DJ and karaoke for Otley’s younger pleasure-seekers, the Rose and Crown also caters for the older end of the market, with its popular OAP meals every lunchtime, Monday to Friday. [And the pub’s always lovely and warm, thanks to its ‘hidden’ heating system!


New managers Simon and Avril are keen to welcome customers old and new, and prove that their new chef [from Bradford City FC’s corporate dining room] and their new menu [see website] will make that trip up to the top of Otley Chevin even more worthwhile! There will be a special menu on St Valentine’s Day, with the last food order being 8:30 pm. Pre-booking only, phone 01943 463732


Another mention for Bar-Room Buskers – probably the most successfully promoted and produced open mic night around. Well done Andrew, for getting it on every Thursday night!


Despite any rumours you might have heard to the contrary, The Yew Tree is still open and trading. All thanks to sisters Jo and Julia who have carried on running it after the previous landlord left over New Year. [Thanks on behalf of Otley Pub Club and everyone North of the river, ladies!]

Punch Taverns are putting a manager into the pub temporarily from Monday 19 January, until the lease can be re-sold. [And talking of rumours – I’ve heard it might be someone who is already well-known round these parts!]

Don’t forget – information about ALL of Otley’s pubs is available on the OPC website.

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –


That’s all for now – with usual apologies for things I’ve missed or misrepresented, and thanks once more to everyone for giving me their time and information.

And don’t forget – if you no longer want to receive these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club, just email the return address. All your details will then be removed from all my records – it will be as though you never existed! Likewise, if I get three newsletter non-delivery reports for the same reason of email failure each month, I will delete all your records as well. So if you suddenly stop hearing from me but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Just send me an email and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!


Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

17 December 2015

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