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Rose & Crown (Nook)
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[ Bar ]
7 Victoria Square
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
, HD9 1DA
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 (0)1484 683960
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Situated in the heart of Last of the Summer Wine Country, Holmfirth is a place that I fell in love with many years ago when I lived & grew up in Yorkshire. One of the reasons was the first time that I came here; in fact several times a year my friends & I would travel here on the 80 min. 484 Bus journey through the countryside from Wakefield for an all day Saturday session, such was its appeal. These days, with the plethora of guest beers in Pubs & the increasing number of Free Houses it is very easy to forget that there was a time when finding any more than 2 good Cask Ales in a UK Pub was a treat, even then they would often be the Breweries own products.
The Rose & Crown, or rather Nook to give it its more widely used name, was one of those Pubs way back in the dark days of the 1970s that served a wide range of Real Ales long before it became popular to do so, & in the face of the ensuing Keg Revolution from the MegaBreweries of the time.
The original Landlord David Roberts took over running the Nook in 1964, previously a Bentley Yorkshire Brewery House then owned by Whitbread. He bought the lease in 1970, from there he introduced cask Tetleys, Youngers Bitter, Stones Bitter & Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter; quite the range in the heyday of fizzy Keg beer. It featured in the first Kirklees Good Beer Guide in 1975 & went national a year later when it was listed in the burgeoning 3rd Ed. of CAMRAs 1976 Good Beer Guide. David Roberts was at the Nook for some 36 years all told, becoming one of the longest continuous serving licensees in the area. Impressive achievements all of them.
Situated right in the middle of town, yet often hard to find because of its hidden location, the Nook is a classic Local Boozer whose widespread fame is legendary amongst those in the know. Once inside, it opens up yet can still seem small & cramped especially if it is full. To the right a small Tap Room sits in front of the Bar which is located on your right hand side. To the left a self-enclosed room is popular in winter thanks to its roaring fireplace. As you walk along the central tiled corridor to the back of the Pub there is a larger room which overlooks a small brook and outside drinking area. To the right a Pool Table is situated in a sort of games room, until a few years ago this was only accessible through the Gents toilets, but these days the interior has been opened out & the room is a little easier to find!
During my first visits in the late 1980s, David Roberts would always be behind the Bar, a friendly quiet spoken chap with his white beard characteristically yellow at the edges - but always pulling the perfect pint & welcoming fans of good beer from out of town. Then it sold a couple of brews from the famed yet hard to find Timothy Taylors Brewery, including the fabled Landlord, I would come here just for that. In the winter time he would also have the Ram Tam. I also drank Gallons of Tetleys Imperial here, a fine 4.2% dark Bitter which sadly disappeared some years later. Often a rotating Guest Beer would be available also. These days it still sells Taylors Landlord but now this joined by Jennings Cumberland Ale, Black Sheep Bitter, Moorhouses Black Cat Mild and several other local independent brews upto 8 Cask Ales are often available.
No Food, who cares, have something to eat before you get here this is a Pub not a Restaurant. It does however have a great range of flavored Crisps from Seabrook as well as several kinds of Nuts - & thats all I need to accompany my many Pints of fine Ale here.
This is a real community Pub, a solid Locals Bar, yet it retains a strong following from CAMRA Members & Real Ale fans. It is heavily involved with Folk Music, having a local meeting here every Thursday night, as well as being the place to be when the Holmfirth Folk Festival is on.
There really are not that many Bars that I would refer to as mold-breaking classics, forerunners that set & maintained a standard for others to follow. Today, Pubs change hands so often its hard to keep track of owners. The introduction of the Guest beer rule & the increase in Independent breweries and the free trade means that today we are often spoilt in the UK for choice. David Roberts was given an award for 25 consecutive years in the Good Beer Guide in 2001, but sadly passed away soon afterwards. His family continues to run the Nook to this day as he did, a basic down to earth traditional free house that serves good Real Ale. That must be why the Nook is still listed in the 2005 Good Beer Guide, its 30th consecutive appearance.
It is easy to forget the times when finding good Real Ale in the UK involved long journeys on Public Transport; it is even easier to forget the people that went to the trouble to provide it. I wont forget the Nook & I will not forget the many Pints of Taylors in there. Heres raising my next Pint of Landlord to yer David.
A Genuine Ale-House & a truly Consistent Classic.
Last Visit: Monday 5th April, 2004
02-06-2005 02:22:00 |
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Rose & Crown (Nook) in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (England)