Branch Articles

Out and about with CAMRA Halifax and Calderdale

On Saturday 2nd April 2022, the real ale warriors of CAMRA Halifax and Calderdale left their beloved Yorkshire in search of ales in new pastures. The destination was the picturesque town of Buxton in the High Peak, Derbyshire. After sustaining themselves with pies and certain other foods to soak up the predicted quantities of beer, the team sampled high quality ales in a range of establishments in the town including the Buxton Brewery Cellar Bar, Milton’s Tap, Red Willow, Cheshire Cheese, Ale Stop and Lubens.

On our tour we realised that we were not the only CAMRA branch in town. It was great to meet up with the Wigan CAMRA members and to share banter and stories and to get acquainted with the many individual CAMRA branch members (from various branches) who were also sampling ales in Buxton’s pubs and bars.

There was great excitement when the group entered the Red Willow Brewery Tap at Cavendish Circus where the travelling band became acquainted with ‘Lucy’. She was looking incredibly fine in her blue trim that she had worn purposely for the special occasion. Lucy was a wooden half anchor cask which was full of Red Willow’s Smoked Lager (5.3%) and was there to announce the opening of Red Willow’s Sausage and Lager Festival.

Courtesy of Red Willow

Even greater excitement followed when it was discovered that Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival’s very own Stillage Man, and resident of Buxton, Colin Phillips, was due to tap the cask at 2pm. Colin stepped up to perform the ceremony in the usual Halifax and Calderdale rehearsed manner. He ensured that the cask was tapped quickly and effectively and in time-honoured tradition, stretching back over generations, ensured that the beer spirited slightly onto his T shirt so that he could suck the T shirt afterwards in the comfort of his own home. Well done Colin for tapping the cask, well done Red Willow for serving a beer from the wood and well done to the hard working and friendly staff in the Red Willow Tap.

Red Willow Lager Festival 2022. Video courtesy of Sandy from Wigan CAMRA

The warriors returned home to Yorkshire via Manchester. The excitement had been too much and they all fell asleep on the train. Even Halifax and Calderdale members can’t miss their stop when the destination station is at the end of the line!

Toast Ale Podcast

This is an episode of environmental podcast The Owl Hoot, produced by Caroline Norbury.  It is an interview with Kristen Fuller from Toast Ale.

Toast is a social enterprise and B Corp, brewing craft beer using fresh bread waste with people and the planet in mind.  They aim to lead a movement to generate big ideas, eliminate bread waste and fix the food system, through collaborations and partnerships, all over a beer! 

Recorded on November 23rd, 2021

The Owl Hoot talks to Toast Ale

Wooden Barrel Aging and
Casking in Calderdale

This article appeared in PubPaper issue 1050, 18th September 2020. Many thanks to Stuart Lomax of PubPaper for allowing us to display the article here.

Sign the Petition

This article appeared in PubPaper issue 1048, 4th September 2020. Many thanks to Stuart Lomax of PubPaper for allowing us to display the article here.