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Brew Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine

Merry Berry Christmas Ale’s new chocolate companion

Ale trail trouble! Old traditions tainted

the beer revival The dawn of the ale age

December | Issue No 4 Check us on-line.

Note From The Editors This month’s ‘brew’ has seen us scour Yorkshire and beyond. We’ve partied with ‘larger louts’ encountered grumpy landlords and Ben got to taste ‘Beef Curtains’.


t’s really fantasting to see how real ale is dominating beer

taps just like it always should have. CAMRA have reported the highest number of breweries since before the war, which means plenty more new and interesting beers to go out and taste. The invention of the ale connoisseur is upon us, without the pompousness though if you please. Yorkshire has taken the rise in ale trade in its stride, with numerous brew pubs having opened or more room on the bar being made. We hope you enjoy the selection we’ve picked out for you as much as we did.

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Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4 2



On the cover 5 Merry Berry Ale’s got an unexpected supplement. Ben Gibson went to Sheffield to find out if beer really has put down the ‘big mac’s’.

6 Beer Revival Craft ale has stormed it’s way back into the pubs and bar’s around Yorkshire. Sophie Reardon investigated Yorkshire staggering contribution to the rise in beer trade.

14 Trouble on theAle Trail Sam Lowrey went on a quest across the Pennines to discover if one of Yorkshire oldest tradition has succumbed to ‘larger lout’ Britain. Photograph by Nicksarebi

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Brew 02

Winter Warmer’s Winter is just around the corner and a Yorkshire brewery is more than prepared for the oncoming dip in temperatures. As the local brewery prepares for Winter with their very own beer clubs we ask whats keeps them motivated... ales. The brewery, despite only being open since 2005, has already been given numerous awards ranging from the UK’S Supreme Champion to Europe’s Best Flavoured Stout. “I think it’s a very attractive venue and people like to go somewhere different than the average pub once in a while,” said Tony.


altaire Brewery, situated in Shipley, is about to start its annual winter beer clubs, tying the nights in with their monthly beer clubs, which celebrate all things great and ‘aley’. Taking place within the brewery, the mezzanine bar provides a superb setting for fans of ale to gather together and sample their favourite Saltaire brews as well as a cracking selection of guest

03 Brew

“The people that come to the clubs have a strong affinity with the products. Fans have a sort of ‘ownership’ with the beers brewed and this creates a wonderful club atmosphere. First time attendee Adam Gillies, 21, agrees with Tony 100% saying, “It’s a nice change from just sitting down the local. It’s a real fans area and I love being here surrounded by the smells and sights of a proper working brewery.” With 13 pumps on the go across three bars, it is hard

to think where any ale fan would rather spend the winter months and regular James Smith, 23, can’t argue with this. Mr Smith says; “I drink an awful lot of ale and it will always taste nicer drinking it in the place it has been brewed.” “My favourite is the Triple Chocoholic, it’s so flavoursome and I am more than prepared to enjoy one…. or two…at the winter beer clubs.” he added. The beer clubs are to run from November until January and will feature its seasonal special ‘White Christmas’. Owner Gartland has singled this one out to ‘be a special one’. He said, “It’s what I’d call a proper beer. Its flavoursome and I’m sure it’ll be a fans favourite come the colder months.” Despite a well-publicised nationwide recession, Saltaire Brewery has seen itself

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

continue to grow year upon year, and Tony believes that it’s down to the hard work and dedication put in by the brewers that helps keep his company strong. “Everybody involved in the brewing process has studied it at university. We all care about the product and it shows.” “I think this passion transfers through to our punters who could now be called ‘beer connoisseurs’ if you wish.” “We innovate and this keeps us fresh. We aim to expand the brewery site by an extra 20% next year and are looking to finally be producing 600 casks a week. And that’s a lot of beer!” Beer clubs are held on the last Friday of every month and are ticket entry only so that nobody is left out in the cold, so hurry on up Brewed readers and get a winter warmer unlike any other.

Eat, Drink and be Merry Berry At Brew Magazine, there are few things that we love as much as a well-brewed real ale. But somewhere towards the top of that list has to be chocolate. Historically though, ale and chocolate have had to be separated. Kept in different rooms, under lock and key.


n case their professional rivalry turns ugly. However there is a company

that is attempting to right these wrongs. Trying to bring harmony between ale and chocolate so they can live together in deliciousness forever. They are Merry Berry Truffles.

Founded by Emily Flanagan in April 2010, family owned Merry Berry Truffles was created with the aim to make great tasting chocolates that would complement and bring out the best in your favourite drink. They have come a long way in the last couple of years and can now be seen at local Farm Shops, Farmers Markets, Delicatessens, Real Ale Pubs and Beer Festivals across the land. Cataloguing their extraordinary rise, husband Ian Flanagan told us they begun with “just one flavour, which was a mixed fruit flavour, it took us about 4 months to come up with. We spent a long time just trial and error, with different beers and different flavours. Matching them up, finding the best fit. “. Although it may seem like an odd concept, Ian was keen to point that it “was no different to matching different cheeses with wine. It’s basically the same thing with beer, it’s a high quality drink and it’s treated the same way, which is how it should be”. This doesn’t mean that all the chocolates work as well with all different types of Ale. All are specifically tailored to individual drinks. Some work better than others, but that’s also part of the fun, investigating what flavours you can uncover with what chocolate. It adds playfulness to the drinking experience that is quite unique. As Mr Flanagan himself explains: “ For example if you have a good stout, if you have a bit of spiced fruit chocolate with it, that will help bring the vanilla out which is hidden in the flavours of the beer. So aside from being tasty chocolate in its own right it also brings out the best in the drink”.

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Everyone at the stall seemed to have a different chocolate flavour as his or her favourite. But after trying a good number of chocolates, for purely journalistic purposes you understand, I can honestly say I couldn’t make up my mind. But I will say this, when they tell you the “Scorpion” flavour is extra spicy, they’re not kidding!

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Brew 04


Welcome to the Ale Age At last it seems real ale has thrown down its beard, stopped sitting round with middle-aged men, banished the phrase ‘pint o’bitter please’ from it’s vocabulary and it’s become, well, fashionable. Microbreweries are on the increase, a new passion for beer is being ignited. Sophie Reardon investigates Britains Beer Revival

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Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

Something rather amazing has been taking place in the pubs and bars across Britain – hidden away behind the depressing reports of escalating beer duties, binge drinking and not to mention recessionhit pubs turning into supermarkets, beer has been reinventing itself. Small breweries have taken it upon themselves to revive and refresh the British beer culture, educating us on the finer flavours in life. Yorkshire however seems to be taking it one step further… The mourning period didn’t last long following the closure of Tetley’s Brewery last year. With tears still hot on their cheeks, two new small breweries had opened in Leeds. From then it’s been unstoppable. According to CAMRA’s 2012 figures there are now 43 breweries across Yorkshire producing 276 different kinds of beer. The highest number of breweries in nearly 70 years. From hoppy golden ales packed full of flavour to dark imperial stouts and porters, Yorkshire has become the Provence of ale -who knew the dales was so continental. All across Leeds city centre are homely brew pubs such as The White Swan (Leeds Brewery) or specialist craft beer and ale bars like North Bar. Off-licence’s don’t just sell a pack of Carling for £9.99 in Leeds, oh no, Leeds has the likes of Beer Ritz or YumYum importing bottled ales and craft beers from all over the world. Kernel, Duvel and Hoegaarden gracing the shelves. In Leeds the beer revival isn’t just a trend, it’s a culture.

Against the odds The beer industry sadly hasn’t always been this healthy. Once a nation of brewing expert Britain began to turn its head towards a more economical way of drinking. Traditional British cask ale began to be shelved for the cheaper mass produced keg bitter or weaker larger. Consumers no longer cared for taste or flavour they wanted to ensure they still had a tenner in their pockets after a night on the lash. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) launched in 1971 fought to change that managing to bring cask ale back from an early grave. They encouraged pubs to source and sell local beer, reviving a sense of community.

Read on

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Brew 06

“I think people have finally wisened up to the wider range of beers, they’ve put down the filth like Carling and started appreciating better beer”


ne thing CAMRA didn’t help however was ale’s image; it just didn’t appeal to the new age of image conscious consumers. With beer prices rising and low growth in the beer market the chancellor at the time, Gordon Brown, did at nice thing and introduced a beer tax levy. Giving tax breaks to breweries that produced under a certain amount. Microbreweries haven’t looked back since. Roger Protz, the editor of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide stated “A double dip recession has done nothing to halt the incredible surge in the number of brewers coming on stream, making the small brewing sector surely one of the most remarkable UK industry success stories of the last decade.

In fact, the boom in new breweries has, in many cases, made the term ‘micro’ obsolete, with some small brewers having become remarkably large, installing new equipment or doubling production to keep up with demand.” America more commonly known for its ‘light’ beer has become a pioneer for craft beer. With 80% of the American beer market being controlled by three big name brands. Smaller independent breweries began to develop new and exciting flavours to attract customers. Stories began to drift over to England about beers infused with whisky, hops tasting of citrus and mango, Stouts so strong most can only drink one pint.

Inspired by the Americans bold and brash flavours, UK brewers began digging up new tastes of their own. Brewdog however burst craft beer into the limelight with their range of punk inspired beers. Their quirky flavours, outlandish banding and high alcohol levels sent people across the world crazy for their beer.

g n i t r o Imp an idea One of Yorkshires newest microbreweries Magic Rock Brewing in Huddersfield specialises in American hops. They began brewing in 2010 and all ready supply to some of the best ale pubs across Britain. Richard Burhouse the managing director explained, “America has very innovative breweries, they originally took inspiration from Britain and Germany with the styles of beer, but they ran with it. As they didn’t have tradition they started experimenting, making stronger beer. I was really impressed with the flavours; I liked the weirder stuff and it just so happened that a lot of other people did as well.” Demand has been overwhelming. There are now more microbreweries than ever before, around 800 now exist in Britain.

Photograph by Flectch The Monkey

07 Brew

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

CAMRA has seen its membership double over the past decade, beer festivals now headline summersLeeds beer festivals saw 1,500 people on their first night. Steins and dimpled pint jugs have rightfully reclaimed their position on pub shelves.

Jessica Stephenson, works at Pin, Leeds breweries most recent brew pub. “I’ve noticed a change in peoples attitudes to beer, rather than coming in and asking for the cheapest. They ask me to recommend them something they haven’t tried before. They want to know where it’s come from. Our customer’s range from early 20’s to late 50’s you’d be surprised actually, Cask ale

Bucking a trend With rapid pub closures and high competition breweries are having to battle it out just to be able to sell their products on the bar. It also has a knock on effect to the customers as beer prices have to rise to accommodate for high taxes.

Ale listenes to The Smiths and Motown in the cool venues around town. It’s got its own range of new interesting glasses, its even managed to incorporate indie art into its branding. What’s for sure is ale has proved its worth in a highly demanding market. It’s stuck it’s finger up at tradition and gone out late into the night.

Matt Gorecki, manager of North Bar, Leeds, made no assumptions about the rise in beer trend, “ I think people have finally wisened up to the wider range of beers, they’ve put down the filth like Carling and started appreciating better beers”.

Here to stay The recession has hit the beer industry hard, CAMRA have reported that 18 pubs now close every week, with over 450 pubs having shut down since March this year. Despite all this the brewery industry is thriving. The recession seems to have lit a match amongst beer lovers, inspiring them to go out and create something better. With less money to spend people are looking to things they enjoy. Craft beer is supplying that need, with the vast range of types, tastes, smells and flavours. Beer is becoming a hobby in its own right.

isn’t just for old workingmen anymore. It’s more dynamic now”. Despite all this the beer duty escalator is still causing difficulties for independent brewers. Introduced in 2008 beer duty rises every year by 2%, “The advantage America has on England though is the fact they pay a set rate on volume, we however have to pay on the percentage of alcohol in the beer. This is really killing innovation in England as some breweries just can’t afford the tax rates,” expressed Richard Burhouse. With such a high demand for novelty beers, brewers are really struggling to give customers what they want.

In September due to CAMRA receiving over 100,000 thousand signatures on their e-petition calling for a review of the social and economical effect of the beer duty escalator. Parliament finally held a debate into the issue, though nothing has been decided yet. Andrew Griffiths conservative MP, who introduced the debate and chairs the all parliamentary beer group, has promised to “not let it rest”. But who can say. Ale can now be found sitting around with neatly trimmed beards, skinny jeans, tattoos and trilbies.

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Brew 08

Brewing Brothers’ New Batch Set in a sleepy suburb of Leeds, a blossoming brewery is developing a name for itself within the local pub scene. ‘Number 26’ is the latest ale made by young brewers and entrepreneurs Chris and Thom Burgess, and their latest adventure began in their garage. By Sam Lowrey


fter frequenting many a public house in the Yorkshire region, the brothers decided to turn their hand to brewing, and with considerable success. After starting out just making beer for personal consumption, they sold a batch to a local village fayre, with surprising results. Their first batch sold out immediately posing the brothers with a problem…where to go from here? The answer. Brew more! Big brother Thom, 23, describes how things escalated quickly, “After the success of our first lager ‘Gildy HB’ we figured it would be silly of us to not carry on.” “We were asked by two of the pubs in the village to carry on producing more for regular sale and before we knew it we found ourselves doing nothing but brewing!” “We don’t have a business plan and are certainly learning things as we go, but there’s a real energy for well-brewed beer in these parts and we are just pleased to be a part of it.”

09 Brew


ri h C t u Abo

Name: Chris Burgess Age: 20 Why ‘26’?:

Basically it was our 26th attempt! I wouldn’t have given the first 20 or so tries to my worst enemy!

Any family fall-outs?: Thom can get moody if we disagree on flavours, he’s just a big kid. But no, no problems a pint can’t sort!

Favourite pub?: My local. The New Inn in Gildersome

Favourite ale?: ‘ 26’ of course!

The ‘brewery’ is a term lightly used in the Burgess household as it still remains in the back of their parent’s garage, but it’s clear this has now developed into something bigger than a home brew kit. With a fully functioning bottling machine and even some form of a design team for the bottle’s labels, the Brothers Burgess Brewery is on the rise. Younger sibling Chris, 20, pays testament to the current environment which is allowing his blossoming company to thrive.

When asked where they see it going the brothers are almost shy in discussing a future that they never thought existed. “It’s hard to think about the future because we weren’t supposed to be in the present,” said Chris. “Realistically, keep producing new beers and just seeing who wants to buy them. We have no delusions of grandeur, we know we are still based in our garage but all we can do is keep producing.” The Brothers Burgess Brewery’s latest ale, ‘Number 26’ is only on sale in the village of Gildersome at the moment but this small enterprise provides a prime example of the strength the ale world has. So from now on, take a long hard look at your garage, who know’s what could happen inside...

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4


agic Rock brewing began in January

2011 when Stuart Ross formerly of Kelham Island and Acorn and Crown brewery joined up with brothers Richard and Jonathon Burhouse. Founded on the steps of the Burhouse’s family run business. in Huddersfield. They have been importing and wholesaling crystals and natural gifts for over 40 years - hence the name Magic Rock was born. The trio, who had become friends through a mutual love of big flavoursome hoppy ales, had begun to notice the increased interest in real ale and craft beers. Primarily grounded by Richard’s enthusiasm to begin brewing beers he himself would want to drink, he approached Stuart with the concept of starting their own unique microbrewery. “Having started as an online business MyBreweryTap, I was familiar with crafts beers and ales and so on, through putting content on the website. I started to hear about strong hoppy beers coming out of America, I ordered some to put onto the website and was absolutely blown away by the flavours.” Explains Richard. Magic Rock had stumbled into the growing niche market of American craft beers. The time was right. Britain was experiencing a surge in beer and brewery interest. CAMRA were reporting a rapid increase in microbreweries across the country. Grounding their brewery on this style Magic Rock began brewing in March 2011. Head brewer Stuart and Richard devised the recipes and their first range consisted of Curious – a pale ale 3.9% Rapture – a red hop ale 4.5% and Dark Arts – a stout 6.9%. Originally beginning with a 12 bbl. brew back length along with a hop back kit to build hop character within the beers. Accompanied by two fermenters, the brewery wasn’t prepared for the interest Magic Rock was about to get. The initial launch took place over the Internet through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, having built up a rapport with publicans, pubs and breweries alike. The phone didn’t stop ringing. Within the first few hours North bar, Leeds specialist craft beer bar, had contacted them and placed an order.

Meeting Magic Rock “I was hopeful that if we had the right ingredients, we’d get some interest but I never imagined it would be this successful,” declares Richard Burhouse, managing director of Magic Rock brewing. Sophie Reardon went to meet Huddesfield's newest brew.

Manchester’s popular alehouses such as Port Street Beer House and Trof had contacted them. Not to mention some of London’s most infamous ale pubs such as The Craft Beer co. had also been chasing after a sample. “I was terrified I’d have to start cold calling people, thinking shit I’m sat on a huge stock of beer how am I going to shift it.” laughs Richard “We had such a high demand to begin with we just couldn’t supply. We got in the best pubs in Manchester, the best pubs in London where all the beer geeks and publicans go.” Magic Rock brewing has gone from strength to strength. The names of the beers take inspiration from their artwork branding; the labels depict circus caricature’s doing various acts from weight lifting to tight rope walking - hence names like “Highwire” and “Cannonball”. Magic Rock’s success continued four of their beers have gone on to win prestigious Beer awards. SIBA awarded Dark Arts the bronze medal in the dark ales, stouts and porters category. HighWire was awarded silver in the premium bitters, pale and golden category. The brewery was also awarded “Number 2 Top Brewery in the World 2012” on the US based beer-rating site “RateBeer” - Which is the world’s most popular beer rating site. Safe to say we haven’t heard the last of Magic Rock.

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Brew 10

City of Ale There are few places in the UK with as outstanding a commitment to great tasting real ale as Sheffield. From the Washington to the Red house you can easily find a wide enough selection of real ales to satisfy anybody’s thirst.


t the heart of the rich culture and appreciation the steel city has for quality brewing is the Annual Steel City Beer & Cider Festival, now celebrating its 38th birthday and bigger and better than ever. Well, alright, they don’t have a buffet any more, but they do have over 150 barrels of real ale, not to mention enough cider and wine to keep every kind of drinker happy. The event was held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in the heart of the city, which might seem like a strange place to hold a beer and cider festival, more adept at welcoming swimmers than drinkers. I think for most people relaxing with an ale or two at the weekend, exercise is the last thing on their mind. So why here? The answer is simple. The event is so enormous that there are few places in Sheffield that could possibly accommodate such a large gathering of Ale aficionados. Theoretically you could fill a pool with the amount of drinks on offer. It’s not necessarily a good idea, it’s just possible. Event’s organiser Malc Anderson said : “it just gets bigger and better every time, it’s the same all across the country with these sorts of events”. But, like many we spoke to in Sheffield that day, Malc wasn’t surprised by this upswing in popularity: “Real Ale is just a higher quality product, it’s more individual, comparing different Ale brands to different mass-produced lager brands: they all taste around the same. You can get better quality lagers but on a whole the standard is quite low. I came from lager on to Ale and was just amazed by how much variety there is.”

11 Brew

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

“You could Fill a pool with the amount of drinks on offer” Like many at the event, Malc has noticed a move away from the stereotypical ale drinker, who stall owner Malcolm Kay diplomatically describes as “a man of a certain age, at a certain time in his life, with a certain way of dressing.” Malc added: “I think it also really helps having a good mixture of people coming” Looking around the festival it has to be said there was a great deal more woman and young people than you might imagine, which suggests a broadening in the way people think of ale as an industry, which can only be a positive thing. “You get a lot of people coming at the moment because it’s near fresher’s week and it’s close to the city centre. You also get passing trade that are just around Ponds Forge. Obviously you also get the kind of people who are passionate about it and do drink real ale who are regulars at these sorts of events, so you have people who support these kinds of events regularly as well as it being open enough to allow new people to come and discover Ale for themselves”. We wanted to find out what Malcs favourite drink was but couldn’t hear his reply over the sound of a man of a certain age, at a certain time in his life, with a certain way of dressing muttering that his drink was “lovely, bloody lovely”. So even though it’s great that The Steel City Beer & Cider festival is attracting a new type of customer; it’s comforting to know that there is still room for the more traditional beer connoisseur.

In fact the event had a tremendous sense of community, a feeling of everybody sharing a passion for quality brewing and support for local industry. Despite being the home to Sheffield’s’ only Olympic sized pool, there was no chlorine smell filling your lungs as you had your first drink of the evening. In fact the only indication that you were in a sports centre was the odd sign for squash courts scattered around as you made your way to the generously sized function room. And what it lacked in appearance it made up for in it’s warm, welcoming atmosphere. Of course all the good feeling in the world doesn’t take away from the real reason everybody is here: taste. Everyone seemed to have a personal favourite, from dark Ales such as Black mass, which was brewed in Barnsley and has a great depth of flavour, with hints of coffee and treacle, to pale Ales such as the incredibly popular Thornbridge Kipling, which was really fruity and light, with a bitter finish. Sadly we couldn’t try more of the ales on offer, as many of the barrels had already been drunk dry. Stall owner and CAMRA members of 6 years Hazel Andrews told us they “choose the Ales based on popularity. Because even though this is a place that supports the smaller brewer we’re still all businesses and want to turn a profit at the end of the day. We’ve been doing this for about 3 years and from personal experience of going to lots of festivals we know what’s popular and what sells. We have some extra things for people who don’t drink Ales; we have a selection of cider that has gotten quite big as well as a wine option. That sort of thing is really to help people who might bring a girlfriend or a plus one who isn’t really into real Ales or cider and would like an alternative”.

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Brew 12

Trouble on the Ale Trail? 13 Brew

Has ‘lager lout’ Britain invaded one of the ale industry’s finest traditions? By Sam Lowrey


here could be an argument that today’s society has lost its way. Whether the excuse be the stresses of recession or the availability of every kind of alcohol, there is no denying that ‘having a few’ isn’t quite what it used to be. Hidden away in the heart of the North, there is a tradition which has fought hard against the decline in the art of drinking. The Trans Pennine Real Ale Trail, to give it its full title, is an eight pub journey from West Yorkshire to Lancashire where only the finest real ales are on offer. The trail, since appearing on James May’s BBC show ‘Drink to Britain’, has rocketed in popularity, seeing the participants demographic alter slightly. So has ‘lager-lout’ Britain managed to find its way into one of the ale world’s quirky traditions…? The trail consists of eight stops along the Trans Pennine line, sampling ales from local brewers and is seen as a real beacon in the quest to keep local pubs going. Its origins lie in ale connoisseurs traveling on the train line sampling the best ale out there.

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

Stephen Hobbs, 39, from Leeds has completed the trail on several occasions and firmly believes that the trail is not just about drinking.

“The trail is a superb way to meet new and fascinating people as well as sampling the best alcohol to be had. The social aspect is certainly a big factor in why this is so popular, it’s a real community on wheels.” Stephen thinks that the support to the local business is also key, especially in today’s economic climate. “Not only do you feel like you really are in the heart of the country, you feel like you are helping it out. Putting money back into the pubs, the brewers and the workers, further promotes the sense of a community.” Despite this community orientated feeling that surrounds what could easily be classified as a pub crawl, there are suggestions this is changing. The most obvious being an alteration to the official website, in which participants are now requested to maintain a respectable level of behaviour after people have been caught urinating in public and swearing profusely on family trains. A far cry from the ‘community on wheels’ as described earlier. So has Binge Britain managed to infiltrate a wholesome event? It certainly doesn’t happen on the continent at a picturesque vineyard, so why here set in the equally beautiful Pennines? True, the Trans Pennine Ale Trail is in effect a pub crawl, but it’s a pub crawl with a touch of class. A sophisticated venture into what local brewers can produce which, some say, is unfortunately being tainted. So how far does this damage go?

As seen on TV BBC’s ‘Oz and James Drink to Britain’ in 2009, helped see the popularity of the trail rocket. Since the show was aired participation has increased by almost 33% according to a recent news report. And public transport has a bad name...

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Brew 14

Landlord of the Batley pub Cellar Bar, Mike Field sees the extra publicity as a good thing, providing it remains good-natured

The Cellar Bar - Batley


we definitely get a lot more custom than when I first took over and sure the clientele has changed but this hasn’t detracted from the pubs atmosphere,” said Mike.

“That’s the nature of the demon. Not the trail.” “We still offer the same cosy, honest surrounding as before. Personally, I think that the influx of ‘lad’ parties adds another dimension to what we can offer. 99% of the time people doing the trail are wonderful people all there enjoying the same thing. “We still offer the same cosy, honest surrounding as before. Personally, I think that the influx of ‘lad’ parties adds another dimension to what we can offer. 99% of the time people doing the trail are wonderful people all there enjoying the same thing. “I’ve been to villages where one person gets too rowdy and causes a scene. That’s the nature of the demon. Not the trail.” However, this view is quickly countered by the landlord of the pub at Marsden. Gary Brammall of the Riverhead Brewery Tap said, “I know the trail well. I’ve done it many a time, not because I want to get drunk but because I enjoy the event. It’s obvious that, especially because we offer cheap ale, that sometimes this gets taken advantage of. I’ve seen men vomiting and acting like fools. That’s not what the trail is all about.” Gary has a firm stance on the subject. A profession he has worked many hours for appears to be under threat. So you can appreciate Gary’s stance, the trail is built on the idea of ale appreciation. This ethos hasn’t completely deserted, there has just been a small change as to who takes part. Local resident, Malcolm Holmes, 74, nicely balances the argument out,

Image courtesy of calflier 001 from, sourced under the Creative Commerce

Transpennine Ale Trail 1. Batley - Cellar Bar 2. Dewsbury - West Riding 3. Mirfield - Navigation 4. Huddersfield - Kings Head 5. Slaithwaite - The 6. Marsden - The Riverhead Brewery Tap

“I’ve seen these young ones come in. They are louder but they buy the beer. They put the money in and then they leave. “If anything, they entertain me with their behaviour. It’s not what you want all the time by any stretch of the imagination but they don’t remain. An injection of energy is needed in all parts of life so why not the pub? Let it continue.” Despite all this, the ale trail showcases the very best that local ales have to offer. You see something special in every pub, whether that be the old timer whose rear-end imprint on the same stool doubles as a reserved sign, or somebody soaking up a local pub for the first time. All this combines to create an atmosphere unlike any other pub crawl making it a must go for all Brewed readers. Don’t let a rise in popularity put you off as although the trail is becoming a more ‘mainstream’ activity, it is this popularity that is allowing the industry as a whole to continue to thrive. And from that point of view, long may that continue.

7. Greenfield - The Railway Inn 8. Stalybridge - Station Bar

15 Brew

Yorkshire’s Premium Ale Magazine | December - Issue No 4

Lights! CAMERA! Action!

CAMRA founders Michael Hardman, Graham Lees, Jim Makin and Bill Melor


nyone with any real interest in quality br hewing can hardly escape CAMRA. Their presence hovers over practically every Real Ale festival in the country and they have an army of volunteers at their disposal. But they weren’t always the nationwide juggernaut they are today. Beginning in the Northwest in 1971, Campaign For Real Ale began as just four men passionate about good quality ale.

To this day they remain committed to providing a better choice of beverage to the consumer. Somewhat intimidating in their size to the casual festival-goer, I was relieved to find that CAMRA veteran and voluntary recruiter Gordon Evans not only helped me understand CAMRA, but also wasn’t the least bit frightening. “It’s about enjoying yourself really” Gordon tells me when I ask him to explain what being a CAMRA member is all about. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s also about industry, keeping the British pub alive and all that. Helping local brewers. But that’s not too much hard work. Great beer speaks for itself. So really, all I focus on is getting people to come to these events and have a great time”

Key events from CAMRA’S history 1971 - 16th March CAMRA founded in Kruger’s Bar, Dunquin in the Dingle Peninsula.

1974 The first edition of the Good Beer Guide published.

1975 - 9th-13th September First National CAMRA Beer Festival held at Covent Garden, London.

As he is keen to point out, all this enthusiasm is good for both consumer and industry. “The knock on effect of that is that people hopefully start demanding more good quality ale from their pubs, from their supermarkets and then the industry reaps the rewards. So although there is a serious side to this, jobs and businesses are at stake, CAMRA is more about consumer rights and getting consumers passionate about these products. Because ultimately they buy the drinks, they are the industry. So we organise events, spread the word and have a good time. The rest takes care of itself”.


Although the events may be fun, the work CAMRA does has a serious effect on the brewing industry. Ever since they smashed the brewery monopoly in the 70s and 80s, they’ve had considerable success in improving quality and choice in the UK beer and pub market. Notable successes include; the successful lobby for License Laws Reforms in England and Wales, which paved the way for more flexible opening hours in pubs, and a huge increase in the number of breweries (there are now over 840 breweries in the UK).

CAMRA membership reaches 30,000.

Alongside festivals, CAMRA also “do brewery tours, pub crawls, sorry, we call them pub walks actually, because as we say it is about enjoying your drink not getting totally legless, as well as awards for best drinks and that sort of thing. In spring we do the awards ceremony; we do a coach trip to there, which has a buffet and free drinks all night so if you get in early enough you’ve got a free night out”.


Great British Beer Festival held outside London for the first time – at the Queen’s Hall, Leeds.

1991 2007 CAMRA holds the 30th Great British Beer Festival.

Membership reaches 130,000 at a time when CAMRA raises a glass to its 40th birthday.

So there is plenty on offer for everyone. But you don’t have to be a CAMRA member to enjoy these events, although membership does come with discounts. For more information check out their website on

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Brew 16

Brew Yorkshire’s premium ale magazine 2012

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