Category Archives: Licensed trade, hospitality and charity

Pub of the Year – Your Vote Counts!

Group of Three Friends in a Bar Having Drinks

The Harrogate Advertiser needs help to pick the Pub of the Year 2015 in the area. Voting forms are on page 99 of this weeks Harrogate Advertiser (1 October, 2015). The completed voting form should be posted to Pub of the Year, PO Box 316, Rossendale, BB4 0DU. The closing date for voting is 10am Friday, October 16.



The full list of nominees and voting codes are:

01 The Coach and Horses, West Park, Harrogate.

02 The Muckles, West Park, Harrogate.

03 The Alexandra, Prospect Place, Harrogate.

04 The Harrogate Tap, Station Parade, Harrogate.

05 Hales Bar, Crescent Road, Harrogate.

06 The Old Bell Tavern, Royal Parade, Harrogate.

07 The Knox Arms, Knox Lane, Harrogate.

08 The Swan on the Stray, Devonshire Place, Harrogate.

09 The Empress, Church Square, Harrogate.

10 The Shepherd’s Dog, Otley Road, Harrogate.

11 The Fat Badger, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate.

12 The Woodlands, Wetherby Road, Harrogate.

13 The Castle Inn, High Street, Spofforth.

14 The Travellers Rest, Crimple Lane, Harrogate.

15 Radcliffe Arms, Pannal Road, Harrogate.

16 The Black Swan at Burn Bridge, Burn Bridge Road, Harrogate.

17 The Pine Marten, Otley Road, Beckwithknowle, Harrogate.

18 The Old Spring Well, Otley Road, Harrogate.

19 The Nelson Inn, Skipton Road, Hampsthwaite.

20 The Greyhound Inn, Ripon Road, Killinghall.

21 Queens Head Inn, Kettlesing, Harrogate.

22 The Wellington Inn, Main Street, Harrogate.

23 The Joiners Arms, High Street, Hampsthwaite.

24 The Malt Shovel, Main Street, Brearton, Harrogate.

25 The New Inn, Burnt Yates.

26 The Chequers Inn, Bishop Thornton.

27 The Lamb and Flag Inn, Boroughbridge Road, Bishop Monkton.

28 Masons Arms, St John’s Road, Bishop Monkton.

29 The Hare and Hounds, Burton Leonard.

30 Ye Olde Oak Inn, Pateley Bridge Road, Low Laithe, Harrogate.

31 The Flying Dutchman, Summerbridge.

32 Half Moon Inn, Fell Beck, Harrogate.

33 The Royal Oak, Bridgehouse Gate, Pateley Bridge.

34 The Bridge Inn, Low Wath Road, Pateley Bridge.

35 The Lamb and Flag, High Skellgate, Ripon.

36 The One Eyed Rat, Allhallowgate, Ripon.

37 The Water Rat, Bondgate Green, Ripon.

38 Hornblower Tavern, Market Place, Ripon.

39 Grantley Arms, High Grantley, Ripon.

40 The Tiger Inn, Goldsborough, Knaresborough.

41 So! Bar and Eats, Silver Street, Knaresborough.

42 The Old Royal Oak, Market Place, Knaresborough.

43 The Kestrel, Wetherby Road, Knaresborough.

44 The Guy Fawkes Arms, Main Street, Scotton, Knaresborough.

45 The Worlds End, Bond End, Knaresborough.

46 The Bay Horse, Main Street, Kirk Deighton, Wetherby.

47 Bar Thr3, Market Place, Wetherby.

48 The Red Lion, High Street, Wetherby.

49 The Crown Inn, High Street, Wetherby.

50 The Swan and Talbot, North Street, Wetherby.

51 Muse Ale and Wine Bar, Bank Street, Wetherby.

52 The Royal Oak, North Street, Wetherby.

53 The Admiral Hawke, High Street, Boston Spa.

54 The Albion, Chapel Lane, Clifford.

55 Fox and Hounds, Hall Park Road, Walton, Wetherby.

56 The Chequers Inn, Church Street, Bilton-in-Ainsty.

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Fire at the Fleece in Addingham

Addingham Main Street has been cordoned off this morning as fire fighters put out a fire at the Fleece pub and restaurant that started in the early hours and the video of the fire was done at 4.30 am.

(Also see breaking news updates of arrests and photos at bottom of blog)

It appears that the roof has been destroyed above the lounge bar and restaurant area in this historic coaching house.

Not sure how it happened but it apparently started in the roof barn above the lounge bar and restaurant. The roof has been totally destroyed and I expect it will be closed for some time whilst building repairs are carried out and smoke damage treated.

It is hard enough running a pub or restaurant without having to close due to a fire.

Let’s hope the Fleece gets up and running again soon for the owners and of course it is a good gastro pub with a restaurant frequented by many locals and people that travel a long way for the excellent food and atmosphere.

There are a lot of full & part-time staff that will also be affected and I feel for them as they will be unable to work at the Fleece in the immediate future.

Update 23 September, 2015: A 33 year old local man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Update 24 September, 2015: Leigh Meeks, 33, an Assistant Pub Manager, appeared before magistrates and was remanded in custody and will next appear before a judge at Bradford Crown Court on 8 October.

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Big Things on in Addingham for Early May Bank Holiday 2015

My blog’s for this event have moved here

There is a lot to enjoy in Addingham for the next bank holiday weekend on 1 to 4 May, 2015.

At the Crown Inn, the ‘May Ball’ black-tie do on Friday 1st May will help raise money as part of ‘Nadia’s Wish’ which this year is raising money for Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope where Nadia lost her battle with breast cancer in 2011 and Cruse Bereavement Care which provides support to people who have lost someone close to them. Over the last two years Nadia’s Wish has raised to date a fantastic £7,767.48!

Maria Well’s landlady of the Crown Inn, Addingham, Nadia’s sister Galina Harrison and friend Beck Shaw set up ‘Nadia’s Wish’ in her memory to raise money for different causes which Nadia would have wanted to support, as well as Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope where Nadia died.


Nadia Shaw (Mitchell) lost her battle with breast cancer in 2011 aged just 33, but her death has inspired family and friends to raise money annually in her memory.

On the night of Friday 1st May the weekends events kick off with the “May Ball 2015 Black Tie” at 8.00pm till late at the Crown Inn Addingham with live entertainment from Ticket 415 and No 1 local DJ Martin Roe. This all takes place in the Marquee and there will be an outside bar and BBQ – Tickets £10 which can be purchased in advance at the Crown Inn.

Following some shut eye, a big fry up (breakfast available at the Crown Inn) and a recovery morning, Saturday 2nd May sees the start of the Crown Inn Beer Festival and Balloon Launch from 4.00pm with live music from ‘Last Orders’ at 6.00pm.

For anyone with any energy left, the Beer Festival continues on Sunday 3rd May at 12 noon with live music from Dr Bob & The Blues Makers  at 4.00pm.

As an added bonus and following last years’ Tour de France in Yorkshire, the Tour de Yorkshire’s third and final leg from Wakefield to Leeds comes through Addingham. The route is a 104 mile (167km) non direct circuit going west from Wakefield to the Pennines then north to Silsden Abbey and finally south east on the A6034 to Addingham and along the Main Street cutting through the village from the Silsden end and passing the Crown Inn before continuing to Ilkley and Otley towards the finish in Leeds.

Did you know? In the Doomsday Book, Addingham is referred to as ‘Ediham’, which probably meant ‘home of Edi’ the Earl Edwin of Bolton Abbey. Nowadays, it is a picturesque village with a good pub or two! In fact there are 5 pubs but the Crown Inn is the only free house in this village.

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Addingham Seems to be New Top Gear Circuit

My blog’s on ‘Safety on our roads’ has moved here

I appreciate that Jeremy Clarkson has had his contract terminated by the BBC and the remainder of the Top Gear series will not be aired. I am, however, dismayed that the village I live in, Addingham near Ilkley seems to have replaced York’s Elvington Airfield racing circuit for Top Gear’s ‘sensible car test’.

Roads are dangerous enough without speeding vehicles ploughing through the country roads and villages.

Addingham has a 20 mph speed limit through the main village street. There is a good reason for this, a narrow road with parking, primary school children going to and from school and buses that stop traffic movement when static at a bus stop.

I, like many other drivers, want a fast journey, however, it should not be at the risk of death or injury to others.

I am tired of cars, taxis, council & highway maintenance vehicles and occasionally buses exceeding, not only the 20 mph speed limit but way beyond in excess of 30, 40 and even 50 plus mph!

There are no traffic calming measures in Addingham and hardly any police presence which ‘allows’ drivers to ignore the speed limit in the village. Perhaps it is time to have a police presence to catch speeders (the Treasury would make a fortune from fines – maybe enough to re-instate the Addingham to Ilkley railway perhaps?)

I’ve seen children and the elderly being nearly hit by speeding drivers who find them an inconvenience whilst they crossed the road slowly!

At some time there will be a major accident and quite possibly a child or adult killed. Should we really have to wait for a death of an innocent child or adult before action is taken?

I often see young mothers speeding in their cars with their child in a child seat. How would they feel if another driver killed or injured their child as a result of speeding?

I feel it is time for speed cameras and although I disagree with speed humps in the road, perhaps Addingham warrants them.

Addingham is just one village and I am sure there are many other villages around the country have the same problem with inconsiderate and dangerous drivers.


On Wednesday 8th April, 2015 just a week after this blog there was an accident on Addingham mains street. A car reversed out into the road and a car going along the main street breaked and the car following ploughed into the back of the breaking car that was shunted into the car reversing out. Judging by the damage the car that ploughed into the one in front must have been driving well above the 20 mph speed limit.

Just after the accident, I spotted many cars speeding, plus light goods vehicles and even a Royal Mail van!

My letter in the Ilkley Gazette:

Download ({8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214}TYPE, {8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214}SIZE)

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The Process of Making Alcohol Free Wines

Please note that my blog’s on Alcohol free and Low Alcohol Drinking have moved to here

A question I am often asked is “What is the difference between Shloer and a de-alcoholised wine?”.

Shloer is a drink produced by blending grape juices to produce a non-alcoholic drink that is pleasant but is not wine and has not been produced the same way as wine.

On the other hand, de-alcoholised wine is produced as real wine with alcohol at the winery and then aged in wine barrels until it is mature enough for consumption. Much of the wine is then bottled for drinking as a fully alcoholic wine.

The remainder of the wine, wine not bottled as a fully alcoholic wine, goes through one of three processes to remove the alcohol at cool temperatures to avoid damaging the wines, either:

  1. Steam Vacuum
  2. Reverse Osmosis
  3. Centifugal Force (Spinning Cone)

The quality of the finished product can vary like any wine, however, de-alcoholised wine caught the attention of the wine world when Ariel Vineyards of California entered their de-alcoholised Ariel Blanc into an international professional wine competition and it won a Gold Medal against wines with alcohol!

The Steam Vacuum Process

This method is still used by Carl Jung Winery today and their de-alcoholised wines are readily available from the Alcohol-Free Shop by mail order or collection.

The vaporisation temperature of alcohol is lower than that of other liquids so , under normal circumstances, it would be necessary to boil wine at high temperatures to steam off the alcohol so damaging the delicate flavours. The Steam Vacuum process was pioneered in 1904 by Carl Jung. This process is done in a vacuum where vapourisation can be achieved at much lower temperatures. The wine therefore looses its alcohol but retains the characteristics and flavours that would be lost with normal boiling.  

Reverse Osmosis Process

This is the method used by Ariel Vineyards of California who have won several Wine Competition awards since winning gold medal at the 1986 Los Angeles County Fair. Their de-alcoholised wines are readily available from the Alcohol-Free Shop in Manchester by mail order or collection.

Some of ARIEL’s varietal wines are are aged in small oak barrels, and all are fined and filtered according to traditional wine making methods. Finally, more than 99.5{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} of the alcohol is removed through our gentle cold filtration process. This process, which uses reverse osmosis, allows alcohol to be removed from ARIEL while retaining many of the qualities found in traditional wine! Check out how ARIEL is made:

  1. The base tank is initially filled with wine.
  2. A pump pushes the wine into the reverse osmosis unit.
  3. The cylinders have membranes that separate a syrupy concentrate from the alcohol and water.
  4. The water and alcohol flow into a storage tank, and the concentrate is recycled 10-20 times.
  5. Finally, before bottling, fresh water is added to the concentrate, creating the finished product!

Reverse Osmosis Method

Centifugal Force (Spinning Cone) Process

This is a method used by Fre Wines of Napa Valley in California who’s de-alcoholised White Zinfandel wine won the gold medal at the 2014 Jerry D. Mead’s New World International Wine Competition. Their de-alcoholised wines are readily available at ASDA.

Pioneered in Australia, spinning cone technology uses a combination of centrifugal force and nitrogen gas to separate and preserve a wine’s essential flavours and fragrances during the de-alcoholisation process.

How it works:

  1. Finished wine is fed into the top of the spinning cone column;
  2. Rotating cones use centrifugal force to transform the wine into a thin film;
  3. Nitrogen gas is fed into the bottom of the column. When it comes into contact with the film, it extracts the wine’s delicate aromas and flavours and protects them from oxidization;
  4. The remaining liquid is passed through the column again, at a higher temperature to remove the alcohol;
  5. The flavour and aroma essences are recombined with the de-alcoholized wine and blended with unfermented varietal grape juice (to replace lost volume), creating a wine with less than 0.5{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} alcohol by volume.

Spinning Cone Method


Back to Alcohol free and Low Alcohol Drinking

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Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Drinking

Please note that my blogs on Alcohol free and Low Alcohol Drinking have moved to here

In these blogs about alcohol free and low alcohol drinking, I will be looking at the production, choice and availability in the UK.

There are a number of reasons that we should take alcohol free and low alcohol drinking seriously.

Whether, you are a wholesaler or retailer of alcoholic beverages or are in the hospitality trade serving drinks to customers, you have a responsibility to encourage sensible drinking and you may find that offering a reasonable range of alcohol free and low alcohol beers and wines will boost your sales.

If I’m the nominated driver on a night out, I would choose a pub or restaurant that allows me to have a choice of alcohol free wine and beer rather than a kid’s drink as an alternative to wine or beer.

According to the NHS, 90{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} of men and 86{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} of women drink alcohol and I am no exception. There are times, however, when I and other people choose not to drink full strength alcoholic drinks:

  • Being the nominated driver;
  • Wanting to keep a clear head during business functions;
  • On a diet and other health reasons;
  • Alcohol addiction;
  • Not liking the taste of Ethanol aka alcohol which ‘burns’ the back of the throat;
  • Various other reasons including religious grounds.

Most pubs offer a choice of one alcohol free lager, most commonly Becks Blue yet there is a huge choice of others. Most, if not all German breweries offer a de-alcoholised version of their beers!

This shows a lack of imagination to attract drivers and non-drinkers into pubs when many are crying out for more custom. I will concede that pubs are traditionally watering holes for the consumption of ales, lagers and spirits. Hotels and restaurants have no excuse.

Hotels and restaurants in most cases, like pubs, will offer an alcohol free lager but do not offer alcohol free or low alcohol wines.  Hotels and restaurants are predominantly selling a meal combined with atmosphere.

Dining out with a glass of wine, is a magical experience, which is ruined when, as a nominated driver, you have to have a fruit juice or pop. It would be so easy to at least offer a simple alcohol free or low alcohol range of wine even if it’s merely a choice of white, red or rosé by the bottle.

Are non-alcoholic wines and beers totally free of alcohol? It is physically impossible to remove 100{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} of the alcohol from fermented wines and beers but all de-alcoholised wines and beers meet one of the UK legal definitions of a non-alcoholic beverage:

  • ‘non-alcoholic’ – no alcohol at all;
  • ‘alcohol free’ – is for drinks not above 0.05{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv (need to drink 100 bottles to be equivalent to drinking one bottle at 5{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv lager)
  • ‘de-alcoholised’ – is not above 0.5{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv (need to drink 24 glasses to be equivalent to drinking 1 glass of 12{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv wine)
  • ‘low alcohol’ – is not above 1.2{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv (need to drink 4 bottles to be equivalent to drinking one bottle at 5{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv lager or 10 glasses to be equivalent to drinking 1 glass of 12{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} abv wine)

To put things into further perspective, some orange juices have more than 0.05{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} alcohol and even an overripe banana can contain 1{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} alcohol and malt vinegar is 0.2{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} alcohol.

For those watching their weight de-alcoholised and low alcohol wines contain roughly one third the calaories of alcoholic wines.

The taste of de-alcoholised wine is lighter and less robust than wines with alcohol, so they will not satisfy all palates, however, I find them lighter and smoother and very easy to drink. I particularly like the fact that there is no acidic after taste or a burning feeling in the back of my throat caused by Ethanol (alcohol).

 The Process of Making Alcohol Free Wines

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