Musings from the latest addition to our team… Dom
Walking into my first bartending job, I was confronted with 7 hand pull lines. To myself they had never appealed, evenings in the pub were spent drinking your run of the mill lagers, with the occasional Guinness (among other things the ill-informed university student will occasionally drink). But here I stood, staring down a product I had no idea about. No concept of the difference between an IPA and a bitter. Hops were something bunny rabbits did. Little did I know of the wonders of real ale. Through a steady stream of not very well remembered drinking sessions with my far more knowledgeable colleagues, this once beer philistine was now an out and out ale drinker. No longer swigging whichever lager was cheapest. I had moved onto better things, and me and my new drinking partner were very happy together.
Craft Ale, The Sexier Cousin To Real Ale
As with all love stories, however, it wasn’t meant to last. Having spent the Christmas with real ale, I became introduced to her cousin, craft ale. Craft ale had all the charm of real ale, but she had more life, more fizz to her. Just a more bubbly personality. And between you and me, craft was far more adventurous. Having tasted a selection of sours, saizons, DIPA’s, TIPA’s and nuclear level dark beers there was no going back. Craft ale and I were meant to be.
A Great Selection of Local Craft Bars Nearby
This new romance ran into a problem, however. Like a loved up 18-year-old couple, we had nowhere to really revel in the relationship. That’s not to say the bar I worked at didn’t provide for my needs (the forever excellent Millers Bar, for those interested), but one can be forgiven to not want to spend their days off at the place they work at. So I had to look further afield than Brighouse, to Huddersfield, Halifax and Leeds. But to travel is to spend money on something other than beer. What to do?
Imagine my delight then when a bar opened up in my own home town. A bar that caters to my exact drinking needs. This bar is the Crafty Fox. A cosy, wood laden aesthetic. Warm staff full of banter. Fantastic ale rotating craft and real ale lines and a can and bottle selection to make your eyes water.
Build It They Will Come!
“Build it and they will come”. And come they did. Occasionally I’d find myself at a loose end (I know hard to imagine) so would pop into the Crafty Fox to enjoy a cheeky pint. Many pubs and bars in the early afternoon will be filled with drunkards and undesirables. Sadly none too many to be found in the Fox (present company excluded). It’s a gathering place of an occasionally intelligent, often funny and always friendly clientele you can sit, banter and discuss all the recent happenings of Boris with.
It’s through these lovable folk that the real bear education happens. Seeing the palpable excitement of an affable acquaintance at seeing Omnipollo or Cloudwater on the lines encourages oneself to push the boat out. To experiment. To revel in the craft experience. This is the core of the craft ale experience. Being brave. Being bold. But it takes the right atmosphere to cultivate this mindset in customers. Especially in young adults (I hesitate to include myself in that description as the existential dread of being in my mid 20’s is setting in). So when the opportunity came for me to join the Crafty Fox team, I grasped the opportunity with both hands. So if you’re ever at a loose end, pop in. Chances are I’ll be in there. Or someone more interesting and friendly if I’m being honest.
Eloquently written by Dominic Barstow – Photography by the talented Matt Radcliffe – https://www.mattradcliffephoto.co.uk/