Generally I feel that anyone who would bolt rock would steal sheep, but if people really want to climb on overhanging limestone I suppose they should be left to it.
We also did a tour of Ingleborough cave which was fab.
But on to the beer. Though the local pub was a tick we weren't that taken with it, so the excitement started when I went to Leeds. I'd arranged to meet up with Ron Pattinson of Shut Up About Barclay Perkins fame. Due to terrible technological cock up I arrived late but fortunately found Ron and the delightful Delores (who even stayed briefly before taking the opportunity of a pub change to escape the beer bores). We moved on to the Leeds brewery tap, which even has it's own microbrewery.
Unlike a disturbingly large number of beer historians Ron always backs up his stuff with facts so I can now confirm that:
- There's some right tosh in the Oxford Companion to Beer
- Some American beer nerds really have no idea
- Cask beer is in fact best
The next leg of our trip was in York, though we made a detour en route. First we called in at Fanny's ale house in Saltaire. We thought it was great, so it's a shame we could only stop for a swifty.
Then it was on to Beer Ritz to stock up on bottled beers. Sadly it was not an entirely joyous occasion. Despite my wide and varied musical tastes (covering Hawkwind and related bands) there wasn't half some aurally offensive racket playing in the shop.
I also felt moral outrage come upon me once more at some of the prices:
Over thirteen bloody quid for a small bottle! That was definitely overpriced, as despite my interest I didn't buy it. The history looked a little ropey too: Courage Russian Imperial Stout from an 1850 recipe of Pale, Amber and Black malt? Hmmm...not sure if that's quite right.
Then it was on to York. We'd come equipped with an excellent map from the local CAMRA branch, which gave us a whole herd of pubs to choose from.
Our favourites were the Blue Bell, with it's Edwardian interior and Rudgate Ruby Mild,
and the Last Drop Inn, which had a discount for CAMRA members.
But more important than that they were able to give us a tip off as to where we could find some proper Yorkshire pork pies. Having been horrified to find inferior grey Melton Mowbray pies in a supermarket in Settle it was a relief to be able to stock up with pies made as god intended before we headed home, which we did the next day, with ten pies safely stashed.