Friday, 14 January 2011

Yorkie bars

Life is unfair. I’m stating the obvious there. Beer is unfair too. I’ve stated previously that Wirral isn’t awash with great beer. I may be wrong but I have a perception that there is a county that has more than its share of great beer and pubs and that is Yorkshire. I’m not making distinctions between North and South Yorkshire or East and West Riding. As far as I’m concerned they are all the same and can’t play cricket as well as we Lancastrians (guilty secret – I was born in Ormskirk and only became Birkonian at the age of six).

The aptly named Junction, Baildon
Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time in Yorkshire in the last few years and have grown to be envious of its inhabitants. If I wanted to be brief I could sum up my case for Yorkshire pubs and beers in two words: Huddersfield and Sheffield. Both are meccas for beer drinkers and have more of their fair share of top-class pubs. But there is good beer all through the county. For instance my brother-in-law lives in Baildon and has a wonderful award-winning pub the Junction in walking distance and the fast-expanding Saltaire brewery in Shipley not much further away. Bradford can be reached by a short journey on bus or train and has a number of pubs that would grace any town.

Sturdy pubs built from limestone with cosy rooms and coal fires seem to abound in Yorkshire and the keen sense of local identity demands that they sell local beers. It is these local beers that most impress me about Yorkshire. All make excellent beers, with the pale hoppy beers that I’m a fan of well to the fore.  

I’ll be writing a bit more on Yorkshire in a week or two following a boozy week end away. Until then is this a White Rose-tinted view of Yorkshire? Is the beer scene not quite as I describe it? After all it is Yorkshire that seems prepared to lose iconic Leeds-brewed Tetley bitter without much of a shout. And I’ve been careful not to mention Hull.

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