21 : The Drop Inn, Elland

12 Elland Lane, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 9DU Tel: +44(0)1422 387484

There should be a small prize given to anyone who can manage to find the Drop Inn. It's address - Elland Lane, Elland - sounds fairly central, and indeed it was : before the by-pass and the industrial estate were built. Even if you ask directions from a local you might have problems, as until fairly recently the pub was called "The Oddfellows". Even though it had been the Oddfellows for decades, it was rarely known as that, Elland folk usually referred to it as "The Drop", and hence the new name it was given when it was acquired by the Ossett Brewery in 2006. Before it became part of the flourishing Ossett group, it changed hands a number of times over a short period of time : and all of this gives the place a slightly transitional feel, a bit like a station waiting room. This is not to say that it isn't a pleasant, friendly place : it is. It is worth the voyage of discovery and the beer is well chosen and well kept.

Wood and barrels feature strongly in the decor and there are the usual beer posters and stacked books beloved by pubs of this type. You half expect to see a corduroy-jacketed, mustachioed, book-reading CAMRA member propping up the bar, but speaking as a corduroy-jacketed, mustachioed, book-reading CAMRA member, there is nothing wrong with that. Outside the pub is a double terraced house next to an old stone mill. Inside it is clean, tidy, light, and unpretentious : just the kind of place to go to sup a pint of real ale.

The real ale I supped was Ossett's Pale Gold which I have drunk often and enjoyed whenever our paths have crossed. Described as "a light, refreshing pale ale designed for the discerning session drinker, with a floral/spicy aroma derived from the finest American hops", its ABV of 3.8% makes it a convenient lunch-time choice. Now that I have discovered the north-west passage to the Drop, I will return in the evening to sample its atmosphere. I would encourage anyone to sample its beers at any time.

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