I’ve been to a lot of pubs in Calderdale and the surrounding areas, but even now I can still be pleasantly surprised by discovery on a rainy day drive out.  The pub in question this time is The Cat I th’ Well Inn located somewhere in the middle of nowhere just above Mount Tabor.  Driving up looking for a pub for a couple of pints, I spotted the sign and recognised the name, passing 2 pubs which turning back round to get there (although the Delvers and Crossroads at Mount Tabor both look good pubs and are on my tick list to visit for the first time).

The pub is set on a single track road at points and located next to a stream at the head of the valley with fantastic views down.  A couple of miles up the road is ruins of Carr Castle.  However back to the pub, its what I call a proper pub inside, fireplaces, acres of wood, a bar room and lots of smaller areas to occupy.    A two tier beer garden with views down the hill rounds off the location nicely and the sound of running water is always a bonus anywhere.  Although we didn’t eat, the food and smelt very good and seemed reasonable priced.

Beer wise, I had a couple of Yorkshire beers and both were in very good condition.  4 pumps adorn the bar and mainstream drinkers are well catered for too, my only criticism is that they could offer a wider selection of cider on tap or bottled as not everyone wants a choice of Strongbow or Magners.   However the staff were friendly, service quick and a good attitude to family visits certainly helped to endear me to the place.

Another pub I really do like now is the Beck just outside Brighouse.  I’ll admit it took me a few visits to warm to the place, however it is one of the best pubs in the area in my opinion now.  A good ale selection with 7 pumps, 1 cider pump and 3 boxes ciders keeps both me and my wife happy on our visits.  The beer has always been in good condition on visits and it is carving itself a mean reputation in the local music scene with Jake Smallbones, Dave MacPherson and many other bands doing regular turns there.   Friendly and knowledgeable staff don’t do any harm here either.

Brighouse is becoming a real hotbed for music again now with Jeremys, The Beck and Commercial all contributing to this.  The Canal and Music festival just gone (as it will be when this is printed) can only cement this and when you have such a passionate core of musicians and organisers such as Jason Fieldhouse, you will find it hard to fail.  The town may not have the best music venue in the area, this honor goes to the Puzzle Hall Inn in Sowerby Bridge with its dedicated stages and sheer number of artists, but as a whole the town is possibly becoming the best place to see live music in the area.

I’m hitting 200 columns for this paper now, and it is still refreshing that the pub scene in the area keeps bringing up things to write about.  Old favourites still stay in my thoughts when choosing where to visit, with more joining that list.  A few have dropped out of favour and at least one of them is falling out of favour with others with its customer service based on a conversation I had at the bar at the Beck last Sunday.  It is not as if you are short of alternatives to a pub which has failings in one or more areas within Calderdale.

You name it there is a pub which caters for your taste. Craft beer, beers from small breweries, cider, live music or a penchant for stronger beers, there is a pub for you in the area.  You want a good local pub, we have dozens of the buggers.   We have number of towns which will provide a very respectable pub crawl with good beer all the way round.  Hell, we are the only place in the county where you can go dry slope skiing next to the pub.  Variety is the spice of life and we have a bag full of it here, enjoy it.