9 : The West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms

Station Buildings, Wellington Rd, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire WF13 1HF

The award-winning West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms (the West Riding for short, the West for even shorter) is famously easy to get to. You catch any train which stops at Dewsbury Station and there it is on Platform 2. Its awards include being the runner-up in the 2006 CAMRA national Pub Of The Year, the 2006 Yorkshire Pub of the Year and the 2005/6 Heavy Woollen Pub Of The Year. It is not difficult to see how it has won so many awards - it is a temple of the brewers' art where fine beer is celebrated by serious drinkers. 

The bar inhabits most of the station building. In view of its regional and national fame it is probably true to say that it is now a famous bar with its own train service rather than a railway station with a bar. There are a series of interconnected rooms where the predominant theme is wood. There are wooden tables, wooden panelled walls and wooden floors. The decorations feature old photographs, advertising signs and beer bottles. Blackboards tell you what guest beers are being featured that week : and there is a constantly changing selection available. You could probably be a regular at this pub and never drink the same pint twice.

As you would expect the staff all know about beer and how it should be kept and served. I tried a pint of "Idle Landlord" which was one of the guest beers on offer when I called in. Idle Brewery is a new microbrewery which has been open less than a year. It is based not in the Bradford suburb of Idle but in Doncaster. Idle Landlord is a rich, dark creamy pint that goes down easily for a beer this strong (4.6% ABV). It's the kind of pint which would cause you problems if you were a grocer : you wouldn't know whether to put it in the drinks cabinet or on the food shelves.

The bar motto appears to be "I missed the train at Dewsbury". This legend was on the T-shirts the bar staff were wearing. It needs little explanation. With beer as good as this in a setting as unique as this, you would have to be half crazy not to miss the train. 


Anonymous said...

Alan, as you have not received any comments on this post, I thought maybe I should - good review of a great pub and I'm sorry if I'm being a little pedantic but on a webblog titled "Great Yorkshire Pubs", I would expect the address of the pub's details to state "West Yorkshire" rather than its local authority nomenclature you provide of "Kirklees". You won't find that on any proper map! Richard, Batley, West Yorkshire

mystery tramp said...

Still a proud Yorkshireman, almost 40 years since our great county was shamelessly cut up into smaller, manageable "counties", I would go a step further, and suggest that with a title "Great Yorkshire Pubs", a simple Dewsbury should suffice!
I agree, the WRLRR is indeed a great pub.