EVEN Satnav struggles to find the Brewer’s Pride.
The hill ends abruptly, dog-legging left towards the industrial estate which is home to Ossett Brewery. Here, opposite a yard full of cranes and heavy machinery, is the solid stone frontage of the Brewer’s Pride; cars crammed into the tight space either side of the road are immediate testament to its obvious popularity.
It’s Sunday lunchtime when we call in, and the main bar is thronged by customers choosing between the many real ales for sale. Those staff not busy straining at the handpulls are dashing this way and that with steaming plates from the kitchen.
Beers from the Ossett Brewery family – Ossett, Rat and Salt – can all be found on the bar, as can others from some of their major Yorkshire rivals such as Rudgate and Daleside. Blackboards beside the bar chronicle the latest choices by strength and price, another informs drinkers of delights arriving soon from Elland, Abbeydale and Rooster’s. Even those for whom real ale is not an automatic choice are well catered for; quality lagers here include Leffe, Pravha and Staropramen.
After some consideration I eventually plump for the What Now, a refreshing, anaemically pale and palate-cleansing 4.2% ABV ale from Horbury Brewery.
Finding space at a table in one of the large bay windows, I take the time to indulge in a little people-watching. There’s a chap reading a book, another conducting some kind of negotiation on his mobile phone. Two women sup up the last of their pints while awaiting the taxi which is to take them to another pub in nearby Horbury. Several of the drinkers seem to be walkers, so perhaps this is on some popular rambling trail. There are children and dogs aplenty too and both are clearly made to feel welcomed.
This main room draws heavily on the wealth of brewing heritage implicit in the name. Above the bar are giant wooden barrels, which were doubtless once filled with foaming Yorkshire real ale, before smaller, handier, maintenance-free steel casks rendered old-style cooperage redundant. Beer bottles and old wooden crates are stacked here gathering dust, while the front of the bar itself is decorated by two huge shiny curved panels, once the hinged inspection panels from ancient copper fermenting vessels.
There’s some railway memorabilia, and a display of brass plaques charting a string of CAMRA awards, further evidence of the pub’s enduring appeal.
Across the hall from here is another drinking space, and many of the customers here seem to be enjoying the Brewer’s Pride’s sizeable Sunday lunches – large plates of meat, veg, steaming gravy and extravagant bowls of Yorkshire pudding. Food is served here on lunchtimes every day; on weekday evenings the main menu gives way to themed offerings – by turns tapas, steaks, pies and curries.
From these two front rooms, a corridor leads back towards the darker heart of the pub, where a smaller and more intimate snug with a low beamed ceiling provides a more reflective space in which customers might enjoy the finest products of any brewer’s pride.
Low Mill Rd, Ossett, WF5 8ND
Type: Traditional Yorkshire alehouse
Opening Hours: Noon-11pm Monday-Saturday; noon-10.30pm Sunday
Beers: A fabulous ever-changing choice of real ales predominantly from Yorkshire breweries, including selections from neighbouring Ossett Brewery. Plus Leffe, Pravha, Blue Moon, Coors Light and Staropramen.
Wine: Good selection
Food: No-nonsense pub meals available every lunchtime, plus themed menus on Monday-Thursday and special Sunday lunch menu
Disabled: Slightly tricky access
Beer Garden: None
Parking: On-street areas available directly outside
Phone: 01924 273865