Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pleasant Valley Sunday

There's nothing quite like the arrival of the new good beer guide for pricking the conscience where matters of neglected local hostelries are concerned.

The Sycamore, Holmfirth

This morning's visit to Holmfirth's food & drink festival then provided a welcome opportunity to seek out a couple of regular Holme Valley guide entries I've been inexcusably ignoring of late.

The eye-catching Sycamore on the A635 'twixt Holmfirth and New Mill served a refreshing drop of Oldershaw's 4.4% Regal Blonde (a lager style brew using Czech & German hops) which sat surprisingly well on top of an earlier full English! The other guest here was the 4.8% Old Boy by the same outfit alongside the regular Tetley bitter.

The atmospheric interior of this comfortable pub I imagine lends itself well to the regular blues and folk nights it hosts and as for food, the very tempting lunch menu might well have had us staying a while longer had it not been for the big breakfast! Being about a mile out of the town centre there are no problems with parking or coach loads of tourists, who incidentally still descend on Holmfirth in great numbers despite the now redundant nature of that embarrassing TV show. The Sycamore comes highly recommended!

The Railway, Berry Brow, Huddersfield

Despite the signage The Railway at Berry Brow is no longer in the hands of the East Yorkshire Old Mill Brewery though does retain a couple of it's beers. This spotless gem of a pub, tucked away in the hillside above Armitage Bridge in the Holme Valley is well worth seeking out for it's great range of ales and friendly welcome from management and locals alike. The exceptional view of the valley from the back of the pub is set to become an even more engaging feature if plans to build a terrace are given the go ahead. Also in the pipeline is a mini beer and shrimp festival set to happen around a month from now so keep a look out for details. This afternoon's ales, all at £2.20 a pint, were from Acorn and Old Mill, plus Derwent's Late Summer (4.0%) & excellent Hansi's Oktoberfest (4.1%) in addition to the ever popular Kelham Island Pale Rider . The Railway also does Sky Sports so if you've been looking for somewhere to watch the match whilst enjoying a fine selection of quality real ales away from the busy town centre then here it is. Another highly recommended beer mine!

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