Brighouse is not a big town by any scale of the imagination, you can walk through its centre in about five minutes, but where it does punch above its weight is when it comes to pubs. Taking in the wider area to the Beck and Red Rooster, the town quite frankly has some great places to drink. The establishments I mention are for different reasons, but they are all good at what they do. But before I dive into detail I must also mention that the music scene rivals any other town in the Calder Valley and quite frankly Halifax town centre as well. On a weekend you can find at least two venues playing live music on any given day.
I’ll start with Jeremys, next to Sainsburys. A more upmarket bar, but with a decent choice of ale, beers and cider. Offering good food and a nice atmosphere whether drinking day or night time and one of the very few places in the valley to commit to playing live music for three days over the weekend (the only other place which does this from my mind is the Puzzle Hall Inn, but this does it for four nights a weeks Thursday to Sunday). Whilst the music is definitely more mainstream than the Puzzle Hall Inn and other local music venues, with a higher contingent of cover bands, the quality of the bands is good and the venue allows room for both drinkers and dancers.
As we move up the Huddersfield Road, we get to the pub with two names, the Commercial / Railway Inn. It’s best described as someones house with a bar and license and that is what I like about the place, you are made to feel at home by Trevor and Sue, the owners, there is no pretense, its a good honest boozer. With great staff such as Jason who’s passion for music is pushing the events at the pub. Slightly more relaxed, less formal, the bands are picked from the numerous quality local bands, of which some a bit more eclectic. The jam nights are just starting up and even if you are tone deaf and do not play like me, sitting in on a bunch of musicians messing about with a bunch of instruments is one of the better ways to chill out on an evening. There is a decent range of well kept good ales on offer as well rounding off the pub nicely.
Back in the town centre we have the Ship Inn, this pub has had its troubles in recent times and I’ll admit I’ve been slightly slow in warming to the place since Mark and Jason left, but as couple of visits a few weekends ago has shown that the pub is back where it should be. It has taken a while to get its old atmosphere back in my opinion, but hard work by Marsha who has been at the helm for a while has now seen its return. The beers range is good with a mix of local and quality UK regional beers on offer, with the excellent Oakham Citra and JHB on offer that weekend being typical of the choice. The welcome is warm and they are now building up a regular live music choice. With a good friendly bunch of locals, as per the Commercial, making it a pleasant place to be, I can happily add this to the pubs for quite an (un)healthy pub crawl in this small town.
Before I go onto my final venue, I have to mention a couple of lesser frequented venues, love or hate Wetherspoons, the Richard Ostler offers a decent range of ales, ciders and european beers at a good prices and that can’t be knocked, the food is not to everyones taste, but it does a job. Opposite from Jeremy’s is the Barge which is again a good honest boozer, with a regular rota of bands and decent beers adding to the local music scene. I’d give this a bigger mention, but space does not allow, The Red Rooster has served good beer for a long time and on recent visits they’ve definitely had more lesser seen beers than before and is well worth a visit for its 6 hand pumps and proper pub atmosphere.
To my final pub, I’ve mentioned the Beck before, slightly out of town but worth the trip. A good range of well kept beers from operators Partners and interesting guests, many from the regions brewers and a good choice of real cider. This bar seems to be a regular hang out for local musicians and their Sunday afternoon music events draw a good knowledgeable crowd. This traditional but modern pub ticks all the boxes for my criteria for a good ale house….a great place to start or end an evening of Brighouse hostelries….