While having a quiet pint in a Greetland pub recently, I heard about the new E8 bus service in the Calderdale area operated by TJ Walsh of Halifax. On Saturday, I gave it a go and everything worked like clockwork. The service runs from Barkisland to Brighouse via Elland and links several top beer drinking venues en route.
The starting point was the Greetland Community & Sporting Association Club which can be reached on the E8 itself or by other services (343, 557, 559). This friendly, newly refurbished club is CAMRA multi award winning and is run by experienced steward Ian Sinclair who knows a thing or two about serving great beer in a pleasant environment. The excellent house beer is Coach House Cheshire Gold (4.1% ABV) and sells at just £2 per pint. The interesting varying range of guests beers are priced slightly higher.
After a couple of pints the E8 stopped directly outside and took me door to door to the Barge and Barrel at Elland. There were ten beers on here and my choice was the Elland Bargee (3.8% ABV) which accompanied a spot of lunch. The pub will soon be holding its 8th Annual Spring Beer Festival from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th June where over 30 handpulled cask ales will be available together with real cider and specialist foreign beers on draught and in bottles. Something for everyone!
After an hour I boarded the next E8 (same driver) and was soon at another award winning pub, the Red Rooster at Brookfoot. I spent a very pleasant hour here drinking Bradfield Farmers Stout (4.5% ABV) – one of nine cask ales available!
The next E8 from here had the same driver again and he laughed as I boarded – what a way to spend an afternoon – jealousy, I think.
I arrived in Brighouse a few minutes later and made my way to the newly crowned local CAMRA branch Pub of the Year, The Old Ship where I was confronted by a choice of seven beers and several ciders. I plumped for the excellent house beer called Shipwrecked (5.3% ABV) brewed by Dark Horse Brewery (made famous on TV).
By now, it was almost five o clock and time to think about going home for tea. After some contemplation I did just that.
There you have it – a simple afternoon out on a local bus service that takes you between four great beer destinations. The most difficult thing was choosing a beer with so much choice on offer!
For further information on the bus service either go on-line to West Yorkshire Metro or pop into the office for a timetable.
You can’t beat it!
pic: Andrew Stopford