Real Ale is more popular than ever, with microbreweries and pubs popping up all over Yorkshire, people will travel far and wide to find their favourite brew! From lovingly crafted Indian Pale Ales to experimental Chocolate Stouts, the vast array of Beer available can sometimes be overwhelming, making it difficult to know where to start! Thankfully, we can rely on our local bar keeps to guide us in the right direction, and the pubs/bars listed below all carefully select the ale they stock, more than happy to offer advice to those who don’t understand the intricacies of real ale! What’s more, they value locality, stocking the brews of local breweries. So for any amateur beer drinkers, who’ve been thinking about going pro, these are some great places to start!
The Sound Bar
The Sound Bar is a personal favourite of The Skipton Press, in fact, we’ve featured them in various articles in the past, including an interview with them, you can read here: http://theskiptonpress.co.uk/skipton_sound_bar
As well as being a vibrant record shop, which regularly hosts fantastic live music. Owners Miles, Phil and Paul have a brilliant knowledge of ale, they’re always happy to recommend an ale if you’re stuck for choice! What’s more, they only stock beer from micro-breweries found in Yorkshire. When we visited we enjoyed a pint of “Sound Bar” a Pale Ale custom brewed for The Sound Bar by Wensleydale Brewery – a lovely and hoppy beer that came highly recommended!
“Great friendly atmosphere, great staff who always make you feel welcome and very friendly and amazing music. Would highly recommend you meet Miles, Phil, Beks and Piccadilly Paul the juggling master. Every other Sunday they also have great live music and an amazing collection of vinyl to purchase Wednesday to Sunday”
Visited November 2016 – 5 Stars – Via TripAdvisor
The Beer Engine
One of the newest additions to Skipton’s Real Ale landscape, it was opened in 2014 by former solicitor Steve Banks and his partner Janet Langton and in that time their passion for real ale has shone through. In fact, in 2015 The Beer Engines knowledge and attention to detail led to them being awarded the title of Pub of the Season by Keighley and Cravens branch of CAMRA.
Sally Goodman who plays a key part in the district’s branch of CAMRA said in relation to their win “It’s easy to choose your beer, as the pumps are always in the same format – from the left: a blonde ale, a pale hoppy ale, a traditional bitter style, an unusual or strong beer and, on the far right pump, a dark beer. So there really is always something for everyone. They also have a decent range of bottled foreign beers and a couple of real ciders and perries. The casks are on show in a chilled cabinet behind the bar. There is no music, no slot machines and no food – just a real pub, with real beer and real people.”
“What’s not to like. No TV’s a big plus. All about the ales and conversation. These guys have done a stellar job, so much so they opened a sister pub in cross hills which is equally as fab. Well cared for ale and interesting conversation, in good beer guide too. Great place!”
The Narrow Boat
Established in 1999, The Narrow Boat is part of the market town tavern group and has a passion for real ale, with one of the largest range of beers in town. As well as serving real ale, The Narrow Boat is also a well-respected restaurant so it’s perfect for a Sunday lunch and a beer! Set on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, this waterside pub is a popular choice for many people who call it their local!
Landlord Adam Britton said ” It’s a wonderful environment here in Skipton. There’s a good mix of clientele that frequents the pub from students to the more mature patrons.
“Always plenty going on for them too. Folk night on Monday. Tuesday is Stew night – stew and dumplings for a fiver. Quiz night Wednesday of course and traditional home cooked food is served seven days a week – our chef is superb.”
“This place is what I would class as a traditional pub. It has a great choice of beer, including stouts (which are my favourites). The beers are constantly updated, so you could literally never have the same beer twice. So, if you like variety, this is the place for you. Obviously, they do have regulars on all the time. So, if you’re scared of change, you’ll like it as well. Also, they allow dogs in and even provide snacks for them. It’s a proper friendly place and the staff are extremely knowledgeable on everything beer.”
Visited December 2016 – 5 Stars Via TripAdvisor
Cock & Bottle
One of the oldest pubs in North Yorkshire, The Cock & Bottles history is visible throughout the pubs interior and exterior. As well as retaining a great deal of its character, you can find a good array of ale here, with four regularly rotating beers, the bar keepers knowledge is excellent and they’re always happy to recommend a beer! As well as being a hot spot for real ale, their restaurant is good too, so it’s a great destination for a family meal, or a perfect lunch stop for those out shopping in Skipton.
“We have tried to eat here for a while now but it is always busy. Called in today and we were found a table within a few minutes. The staff were very friendly and quick to set the table for us. Ordered our food and drinks. OMG. The food was fantastic. The burgers were huge and the baguette my wife ordered was big enough for 2. Top quality food coupled with fantastic service. Nothing more to be said. Well worth it. Will be calling again next time we are in Skipton. Recommended.”
Visited January 2017 – 5 Stars Via TripAdvisor