23rd January 2020
You’ll never see one of these posts in a local CAMRA magazines.
For a start, a basic appreciation of east and west (nearest the window) and historic counties is required. But mainly, I can’t be bothered with reporting beer ranges and strengths, the dates things opened and shut, or pictures of middle-aged men holding glasses up and saying “Cheers !”.
I can’t even tell you who had joined our crawl of new Halifax, and have singularly failed to capture Chris Dyson’s hat.
They’re so new that Bing Maps hasn’t heard of them, so I’ve marked up Pediwear and the Uniform Shop on the OS extract. Who knows, Pediwear will probably be a bar selling the Burton amber nectar in 2021.
Another Jim, as amiable as the other one introduced in Hebden, made a request stop at the Grayston Unity.
My favourite of the ‘Fax newbies, with its peerless toilet, the UK’s smallest live music room, impeccable taste,
and the rare trick of appealing to all ages.
Even Duncan, the Peter Pan of Pubbing.
A black coffee for me, I need to pace myself as I approach middle age.
A couple of minutes to the new, shiny, Westgate Arcade where the classy Kobenhavn greets us with a beer board that reminds me of the screens I had to read from at my sight test yesterday.
I could read “Pomona” so had that, while other members of our group stood aimlessly at the bar asking for tasters.
Everyone said “Hiya pal” or “Hiya mate” in Halifax, a friendly place unrecognisable from the 90s.
The row of new bars from Piece Hall to the Victorian is a stunning row of craft where everyone feels welcome, even Curry Charles when he did it on his own recently.
But you need to know when to stop. You can have craft bar Overkill, you know.
We finished round the corner in the Meandering Bear, a sort of weird nephew of the Grayston.
Another relaxed atmosphere, another crowded beer board, this time handwritten.
For 20 minutes I sat on my own in a seat while PubMen stood arguing over hopping rates and Halifax left-backs at the bar.
Before I joined them at the bar for a nightcap that turned into two, culminating in the Elland 1872 and some murk. All good.
But finally it was just Duncan and me left, and I had to drag him kicking and screaming past the door to the Piece Hall (“There’s a new gin bar in there that opens ’till 1 and sells Mallinsons !“).
Talking of the Piece Hall…