Social Day – 20th August 2016
The social day is an annual competition we hold against the Darlington branch taking turns in each branch area to play pub games and compete for the trophy. Darlington hosted this year’s at the Stanwick, Aldbrough St John and after hours of games, laughs, beers and the penultimate quiz, the Darlington branch took home the trophy (once we remember where it is). It was a great day and a good chance to meet other like-minded people from a different branch. Our branch were poorly represented this year, but thanks to those that did turn up.
Leyburn Area Trip – 23rd September 2015
This trip concentrated on the Leyburn area where there had been reports on the What Pub website of well kept beer in a number of pubs. We first visited the Bolton arms at Redmire where we sampled excellent Semer Water from Wensleydale Brewery. This became the beer of the evening as it was on form at the next pub the Kings Arms in Leyburn which has recently been the subject to press comment as it is painted all over grey. The inside has been tidied up as well and there was a roaring fire. The Black Swan in Leyburn had Timothy Taylor Golden Best. We then moved on to the Richard III in Middleham for more Semer Water and finished up at the nearby Black Bull which has been sold by Greene King and had even more Semer Water. It was good to see all the pubs busy on a Wednesday night and that a well brewed local beer is popular in and around Leyburn.
Aysgarth Area Trip – 24th July 2015
First stop was the Wheatsheaf at Carperby, which had a very nice Cumberland on offer and Theakstons before a short hop over to the Falls Hotel where most people chose a pint of secret kingdom from Hadrian Border brewery. It also had some more local breweries on offer from Walls, Pennine Black Sheep brewery. Next we went to Hendersons Bistro and bar down the road from the Falls Hotel where we were served some brilliant pints of Golden Sheep, Landlord and Black Sheep and was a great surprise to us all. The Streethead Inn was bustling when we arrived and had Black Sheep best bitter and Wensleydale’s semer water which were both very good. The final stop for the night was a drive over to Askrigg and the Kings Arms, where it had a great range of Yorkshire Dales ales and the Kings Arms ale was going down well with the group along with the Yorkshire Dales Blonde before the long journey home.
Bedale Area Trip – 24th June 2015
A lovely, sunny and warm day, perfect weather for a trip out to the pubs around Bedale. We began at the Castle Arms, Snape which had some brilliant Jennings beers on offer, White Wych went down particularly well. Next was the Fox & Hounds, Carthorpe which had a good pint of Landlord and Theakstons Best Bitter before we moved onto the Black Horse, Kirklington which has the some interesting decor around the pub along with some nice Amber Necker from Pennine Brewery. The last two pubs were the Woodman Inn, Burneston, which had the brilliant Ruby Mild from Rudgate and a great atmosphere, and the Green Bragon, Exelby which finished the night off with Black Sheep and Landlord before the ‘sleeper’ bus took us home.
Reeth & Grinton Trip – 15th April 2015
First stop was at the Bridge Inn, Reeth, where we received our usual warm welcome. Beers were from the Marston’s range and were pleasant, although a technical problem in the cellar had affected the temperature control. Hopefully, the awaited part will have arrived by now and we look forward to another visit to this excellent pub. Continuing up the dale, we called at the King’s Head, Gunnerside, which reopened in October after a lengthy period of closure. The new owners have carried out considerable renovations including moving the bar counter and this old inn is now looking great, with three ales from Black Sheep available – Best Bitter, Golden Sheep and Rigwelter.
Our western most stop was at the Farmer’s Arms, Reeth, where the beer was excellent, with Theakston’s Old Peculier, Black Sheep Best Bitter plus two Yorkshire Dales, Muker Silver and Farmer’s Bitter, a special beer brewed only for this pub. A great atmosphere here and we left well impressed. Next it was up Arkengarthdale to Langthwaite, firstly the CB Inn with a range of Theakston’s beers and then the Red Lion, hidden away in the village centre and offering Black Sheep beers. Two very different pubs, both WOR checking out. Our final stop was in Reeth, where the Buck turned out to be little changed after a recent change of hands. Five cask ales were on offer along with five real ciders; our beer here was good but we moved on down the road to the Black Bull (the King’s Head was packing up for the night), where I didn’t make a note of the beers available, although Theakston’s was available along with a guest ale. All in all a good night in convivial company.
Richmond Trip – March 27th 2015
The latest survey trip ventured to Richmond and started in the Bay Horse at Catterick. We then headed to the Hildyard Arms, Colburn to relax in their snug with some good beers and chat. The George & Dragon provided a good stopover before the Holly Hill. A pint or two in the Talbot, Richmond was the end for one of our newcomers who preferred the Ralph Fitz Randal tables for pillows.
AGM Trip – March 14th 2015
We all met at the Wensleydale Brewery in Bellerby for midday and enjoyed their new on-site pub which supplied excellent beers until we moved to the Cross Keys, Bellerby to hold the AGM. The Cross Keys had great beers and lovely food for us during our AGM. We then headed into Leyburn to survey the Golden Lion which was had a brilliant pint of Gamekeeper on tap.
Christmas Social – December 11th 2014
The 2014 Christmas meal was held at the Black Horse, Kirkby Fleetham and a fantastic spread was put on for us with some excellent beers to accompany. A great night out and good fun had by all. Stuart even managed to sell a few books for stocking fillers.
Thirsk Trip – August 27th 2014
The survey trip ventured to the south of the branch area around Thirsk. No local microbrewery products found and generally a disappointing selection of beers but York Guzzler and Copper Dragon Golden Pippin went down well. Butcombe Yeti in Three Tuns Thirsk excellent but the Spoons policy of pump clips displayed and the beer not available was disappointing.
Askrigg Trip – August 22nd 2014
Another great survey trip starting at the unique Victoria Arms at Worton. All three pubs in Askrigg had beers from the very local Yorkshire Dales Brewery in excellent condition. Beers also sampled from Wensleydale and Walls breweries. Unfortunately Thwaites Original not up to its usual form.
Swaledale Trip – July 19th 2014
On a very wet Saturday in July the survey trip started with breakfast in Richmond. We then headed to Tan Hill before going down to Keld and continuing along the Tour de France route. This went through Swaledale to Reeth, Grinton, Leyburn and finished in Cover Bridge. Despite the John Smiths glasses in the Punch Bowl they had some excellent beers from Rudgate, so good that Stuart needed a power nap during the day.
Osmotherly Trip – July 9th 2014
White Swan, Danby Wiske, included in the group were 2 members from South West Surrey and the landlord who took a break from chef duties. Green Tree, Brompton and had the experience of watching a league quoits match. Fox & Hounds, Bullamoor where the publicans have splendid gardens including topiary Fox and Hounds. HaynesArms, Jeater Houses Gold Cup, Nether Silton, this pub has splendid views across the Vale of Mowbray and requires a bit of navigation but is well worth the effort to find. We then moved to Osmotherley for a quick call in all 3 pubs, The Queen Catherine, The Golden Lion (where the landlord was pleased to show off his new set of handpumps which will be installed very soon) and Three Tuns.
Richmond Ale Festival 2013
Thanks to Dave Wall for organising the trips and to Billy from Platinum Travel who does a great job driving us around. A number of other trips are planned and details are on the website if you fancy joining us.