Friday, January 24, 2014

A late intro to Hudds' country pubs

The approach to The Wills O' Nats, Meltham
Back in March when I was invited to join this blog the powers that be suggested I should visit some of the Huddersfield country pubs I encounter during my cricket rambles.
Looking back nine months I discovered I had not featured a single country pub apart from some distant ones in Bradfield.
Last Saturday I set about trying to rectify that with a walk from Meltham Cricket Club - sadly no play just a crow giving the pitch the key test - to Linthwaite.
My first port of call was the Wills O' Nats pub on Blackmoorfoot Road for some beer and food. I come here once or a twice a year and know they usually have three guests on plus regulars like Black Sheep.
On the bar last Saturday was Partners Blonde 3.9%, Ossett Galaxy  and Brew Company Hop Ripper 4.3%.
I sampled halves of all three.
The name derives from William son of Nathaniel
I hadn't drunk Ossett for a while until just before Christmas when I'd been quite impressed with their British hopped beer Jester.
So I was keen to try the Galaxy first - it also being one of my favourite wonder hops of last year, or was it 2012?
As Timbo described earlier on this site, the beer is the first in Ossett's World Cup of Hops 2014 beer range, which features hops from different nations all at 4%. 
Galaxy has been getting some good reviews on here and elsewhere. One of our readers described it in the comments section as "a great beer - one of the most enjoyable Ossett's for a while. Can't wait for the next!"
My half had a nice aroma and a pleasing first taste, soon leading to bittering.
Next was the Hop Ripper, a more golden coloured ale from Sheffield outfit The Brew Company. This was probably the best of the three I tried and another with a bitter finish. And it reminded me that I haven't been to The Brew Company's freehouse The Harlequin lately or the Riverside where they have a permanent beer on.
'The Ultimate Burger' 
The first two beers didn't last too long so I went for Partners Blonde from Dewsbury with my food.
I thought the pale beer was OK but it seemed a little bit thin as they say in beer speak circles. 
But in hindsight I thought I’d drunk the beers the wrong way round. I should have started with the Partners sessioner, then the Ossett and finally had the Hop Ripper. 
However as a burger accompaniment the Dewsbury beer worked perfectly fine. 
I think the excellent food, the fire, its prime walking location and the good service are the best selling points of the Nats, a regular winner of Huddersfield CAMRA's rural pub awards.
With a stone floor around the hops bedecked bar, you can trudge in with your hiking boots or damp dog and nobody gives you a sniffy glance. 
As I’d come out without a map, I asked helpful bar staff the best route to my next destination, The Sair
I was given easy to follow directions. And two people also recommended I seek out Linfit’s Enoch’s Hammer, which sounded like a heavy ABV barley wine.
I didn't find it but more of that next time...


Timbo said...

Mr Ambler
The problem with the Wills is that the only real way to approach it is on foot or by car, it is not on a bus route which makes it a little inaccessible for some people - sadly me included.
And on the subject of buses - it is easier to get the bus to the top of the hill above the Sair and walk down, rather than walk up from Manchester Rd...think its the 181 route but I will stand corrected

Brew_monkey said...

I'm glad our hop ripper went down well. It is a lovely pub.

Ale Ambler said...

Evening, Tim.
I think you are right about the buses, a couple passed me as I walked from the Wills O' Nats to The Sair.
My pictures didn't turn out well of The Sair, so I think I'll head back next weekend in the light and get some more & blog about it afterwards.

Ale Ambler said...

Evening Brew_monkey I shall visit The Harlequin in Sheffield soon. Been way too long!

Udders Orchard said...

The Wills has just been awarded Huddersfield CAMRA'S Rural Pub Of The Year for 2014. Much deserved I believe.

wee beefy said...

Looking forward to your Sair write up. Last time I went a few years ago there was no brewing going on so haven't had Linfit beers this century I don't think!

And Timbo - me and my mate caught a bus from Slaithwaite and asked the driver to drop us at the bottom of Hoyle Ing, which he managed, and then we ran - three quarters of the way to the pub. And then spent 5 minutes slumped on the pavement outside....

Anonymous said...

Have u tried sportsman inn and leisure @ Halifax ski slope , excellent choice of beers

Ale Ambler said...

Evening, Wee Beefy.
Hoping to return to The Sair on Saturday or Sunday for usable pictures and to try more of the range. Enjoyed halves of Swift and Autumn Gold during a all too fleeting visit last time.

Ale Ambler said...

Thanks Anon for the tip on The Sportsman Inn and Leisure in Halifax. Just looked them up. Snow boarding and a pint. My idea of apres ski!!