I’ve been boring you with my enthusiasm for Halifax for a while now, and there’ll be more of that to come with three new entries in town again.
But my first Calderdale caper came in bucolic Brighouse, walking distance from The Shay (I did it once, it’s hilly).
I was only here in January, praising a new micro and making Embrace puns no-one got.
Eight months later I get a return visit to what sounds almost like a craft bar, which is what you get when you’re careless enough to be within 20 miles of Leeds.
In Brighouse itself, the sun shines, the roadworks have gone, the logs are still for sale.
I take a rare stroll over the Calder & Hebble Navigation to admire the old mills. I think the big one is now a climbing centre, symbolising the struggle to repel gentrification, or summat.
The Millers, presumably not based after Rotherham United, doesn’t look very craft, with glossy lunch offers, huge adventure playground and unprepossessing exterior.
Inside it’s all shiny and tasteful and appealing to the well-dressed suburbanite, in the same style as those new Hoyland Common bars that Si loves. It’s also doing very well, busier with lunchtime diners than most Cambridge pubs, despite the Spoons.
Some decent keg I can’t remember, some interesting cask in the modern style. Mr Coldwell will be able to identify them all.
Two enthusiastic lunchtime drinkers are giving out tasting tips, so I head for the safety of the middle of the room with my Stancil. I think I now realise it’s the light wood that gives the Millers the contemporary dining look.
Hard to fault the pub as an allrounder, and the Stancil is cool and tasty in the Calderdale tradition (NBSS 3.5), leaving those lacings you see at the top.
I’ll overlook the offering of tasters; the barman was cheery and helpful and you just have to let these things go. Weird indie soundtrack, too.
The town centre always delights with its home-brand bargain shops,
the £1.20 black pudding pork pie shop,
the Ship with grumpy beer ticker immortalised on the wall,
and of course the musical delights you’ve just missed.
Really, what more do you want from life ?