I’ve no idea why I popped in Sowerby’s Spoons. It’s been opened 4 years and studiously avoided the Beer Guide,  so it was hardly a pre-emptive tick in a well-pubbed town.

But you know how it is when you’ve got a new quarters’ Spoons vouchers burning a hole, and a curious desire to test how beer quality is holding up in Timboland.

There’s been a lot of fuss on CAMRA Discourse (surely not-Ed) about some Spoons giving a faint hint they might be in the Guide when they’re not.  I can assure you, there are plenty of Wetherspoons serving good beer that aren’t in the Guide, and to a lesser extent vice versa.

West Yorkshire has loads of excellent non-GBG Spoons; Brighouse, Cleckheaton and Huddersfield for starters.

All human life is here

And Sowerby, where the Commercial also looked the liveliest place in town at 5pm.

I counted nine handpumps, normally eight too many, but I also saw eight pints pulled while I was there, which is the stat that matters.

Someone ordered the Ilkley Rombald, said “Mmm, nice”, so I did too.  NBSS 3.5/4.

Proper pint glass

All human life was there.  Except, of course, the toddlers using the Hog’s Head as a gastro playground.  I particularly admired IT guy with 2 cans of Resin on the go.  We’ve all been there.

Spoons life

I had 2 cups of Flat White from the fancy new coffee machine, and felt like the King of the World.

The less said about this historical photo, the better.

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    1. Been before, but since you insist I’ll go back again when I come up nwxt month (new GBG pubs in North and South Shields). I can then compare the Bass in Tynmouth to the banked Bass in Stockton Sun !


  1. Ah yes. Unfortunately the operator that rented the pub bit got kicked out shortly before Christmas so it’s back with the Exchange again and I’ve no idea what the beer is like now. That probably means it’ll get chucked out of the 2019 GBG by default then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are aware that Sowerby is a mile to the west of Sowerby Bridge, up quite a steep hill? I doubt either of its pubs would ever make the GBG. Calderdale built a few 60s estates on hilltops out of the valley.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I particularly admired IT guy with 2 cans of Resin on the go. ”

    I just looked up Resin beer. Good Lord. 9.1% and 103 IBUs? That’s a hoppy beer!

    And don’t knock the IT guy. That white charger he has on the table is pretty handy. I have one in my car. Got it free from a vehicle service. Basically it’s a portable wall socket. Great if your phone’s near dead and you want to surf the Net while having a pint. 😎


    Liked by 1 person

  4. They look to have a decent selection of ‘Locales’ on which is nice to see. Perhaps the presence of ‘Locales’ should be a measure of quality in a good pub? It certainly is a CAMRA key target and, I think, to be encouraged. Shouldn’t no ‘Locales’ = minus marks on the scale of good pubability. But where would that put the Sam’s pub in Stockport? Hardly ‘Locale’. What about all these other pubs selling UK wide brands of beer? Decent quality beer maybe, but defeating the point of the CAMRA ‘Locale’ scheme and by that measure, not worthy of GBG status?


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