In contrast to the formulaic makeover at the latest Ossett pub in Knaresborough the other week, this Field & Barnes production would be much less contrived - and remembering back to the opening of The Sportsman in Huddersfield, I got there thinking 'try to keep an open mind'. But whilst the duo's last project was a somewhat acquired taste (though well worth acquiring!), this pub is instantly lovable.
Should anyone need to see just what a transformation there’s been here (and you really do) then there’s a photo album available for perusal on the bar detailing every stage of the metamorphosis. The pub looked to have rather lost it’s way under the stewardship of Tetleys so it’s great to see it’s dignity and character restored once more.
The bar is a real piece of work with panelling from an old German dresser making it an eye-catching feature. The décor, whilst understated, makes the best of the natural lighting through the etched glass and the (obligatory?) historical prints of the locality in the front room are perfect.
The eight handpulls were heavily biased in favour of the most local producers during my visit, with Fernandes, Five Towns, Ossett and Tiger Tops making the Mallinsons look positively foreign! As with both The West Riding and The Sportsman, Taylors Landlord and Black Sheep Bitter will be permanent here.
Alongside the cask, the pub also serves Amstel, Guinness, Aspall, Pilsner Urquell, Heineken, Blue Moon (an American take on Belgian wit), La Chouffe and de Koninck on draught. A selection of continental bottled beer is also available.
Manager Lisa Wood is confident that beer festivals, quiz nights and acoustic sessions will feature at the pub once the dust has settled, and we would like to wish her, Mike and Sarah all the best with their latest adventure! (map)