Off The Tap Bar

Casketeers' Corner

14/08/2016: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

A good writer keeps his/her fans waiting with anticipation for his/her latest oeuvre. I believe I've got that skill down to a T.

So.... what's been happening? A fab NYE party with Bingley Brewery, relaxing annual holidays (we've already booked the next ones!), our 4th birthday, fun karaoke nights, busy open mic nights, more new beers and more doggy pics on the wall (we now have over 70 dogs and 2 cats!).

This summer has been (and still is) a Summer of Sports: the Barlord and I took part in the First Bingley Biathlon, in support of Bingley Pool. Let's just say I won't be running a marathon anytime soon, and our Barlord won't be swimming the Channel either. The England football team didn't disappoint in the Euros, i.e. they stayed true to themselves by getting knocked out in the last 16 by a team managed by a dentist; a Frenchman was the top scorer of the tournament (get in!!) and a Scot won Wimbledon men's final. Two of our Casketeers have also recently found fame: the Speedway Bovver Boys are now gracing the pages of a weekly top shelf magazine...

One of the perks of running a pub is the Casketeers themselves. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would be seeing a customer in the nip, I wouldn't have believed you. But that's exactly what happened yesterday! A Casketeer was proudly showing off his various beer-related tattoos, when he proceeded to show me pictures of the ones he couldn't display in the pub. I, of course, remained professional and only looked at the tattoos...

It is also nice to see that some of our Casketeers do not take themselves seriously: some have joined a Viz-Real Ale Tw*ts Facebook group. If you're not familiar with the RATs, click here to see what you're missing!

The Barlord and I want you to enjoy your time at OTT: good beer, good conversation, laughs and banter. Sometimes however, things get a bit heated, especially when the topic of conversation turns to the "p" word. Indeed, Brexit has caused a lot of debate since June. Whether "in" or "out", everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that must be respected by both sides. We will not tolerate insults or denigrating comments from either, aimed at their "opponents". A constructive debate? yes. An argument? no. So, to bring back the peace, we are having a Karaoke on Friday 19th August, from 7.30pm. If you've been at an OTT Karaoke before, then you know it'll be a good laugh!

QUOTES OF THE DAY:

"We talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right". Brian Clough.


18/12/2015: WRITER'S BLOCK

Over the last 6 months, Leeds Andy has been pestering me for some more witty insight on here. However, I think I have proven by now that I am not a prolific writer, hence the silence radio.

Unfortunately, the pressure to come up with something both interesting, factual and fun is getting to me, and I have no idea what to talk about, so I'm choosing the stream of consciousness method.

Christmas is upon us, which means our annual holidays are too, which in turn means that the rumours of our death are already being exagerated. We have been the subject of the same gossip since we opened, so we're used to it. But once again, just to make sure: we will be closed for the main part of January for our annual holidays, not because we're closing shop. There. That should settle it.

On 30th and 31st December, Bingley Brewery will have their own bar at OTT, so two bars for double the fun! And we are having a Rock Gods themed NYE, with optional fancy dress. We're looking forward to seeing you seeing in 2016 with us.

In the meantime, we wish you a Merry Christmas! Enjoy yourselves but stay safe, drink wisely and know when to stop. It's stupid Friday today, so be aware of drunken oafs in town.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"When it comes to gossip, I have to readily admit men are as guilty as women." Marilyn Monroe.


07/06/2015: WARNING. EXPLICIT CONTENTS

Once again a very late Casketeer's entry, and a short one too. I MUST get better at this!

Thank you all for the fantastic turnout and your generosity for our YAA charity nights in April, when OTT and Bingley Brewery raised a total of £300.

In other news, we are hoping to have a karaoke night very soon. The first one was so much fun, we couldn't resist! Keep an eye on our Home or Events pages for the date. I hope you'll be joining us!

We've had some interesting conversations recently at OTT, the most recent one over names of beers with double entendres, snarf snarf.... We currently have on Rudgate's Dick Firkin ("I'll have a pint of Dick please") and our Barlord was offered (but chose not to take) a cask of Ginger Tinge. Beer-names and pumpclips can cause controversy, with some being accused of being outright sexist. The industry sees it as a marketing tool, whereas others see it as offensive. We have hundreds of pumpclips on the walls of OTT, and next time you're in, why not check which ones you think are too close to the bone? It would be interesting to see whether your friends (male and female), wife, girlfriend etc... agree!

QUOTES OF THE DAY:

"If you don't like it, you're a n*b", and "F*ck it. I'm having another one".


12/04/2015: SPRING HAS SPRUNG....

.... a leak. There won't be much use made of our sun terrace today, but I understand it's back to sunny weather from Tuesday.

Not much has happened since our last entry. Our 3rd anniversary and charity nights with Bingley Brewery are approaching fast, and we hope to see you all Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th to show your support for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

So the weather is picking up, and a reliable source (the Daily Wail) has promised us 3 continuous months of hot weather. How fantastic is that!

Someone brewery-related told us this week that the season for dark ales has passed. We beg to differ. As you know, we have 2 handpulled ales: one light, one dark, and this is ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, that means also in the summer. We do not see any dip in sales of the dark stuff during the summer months, and we had a couple of fantastic examples of how popular they are, just last night: a Casketeer was in early evening, drinking Goose Eye Over and Stout. It ran out before he left for a meal with friends, and the next cask (Portobello's Market Porter) was still settling. When he came back later on, the first thing he asked was whether the porter was on. When we said it was, he literally hooray'd! The other example comes from a Casketeer who always orders the dark ale, and who said yesterday that it didn't matter which one was on, as he knew it would be good.

That is why we offer what our Casketeers want (apart from draught lager, a mezzanine, a lower ceiling, and £1 a pint), and not what others want you to want!

Have a good week, and remember: the dark stuff is for life, not just for Christmas.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway." John Steinbeck.


25/02/2015: THE STORY SO FAR....

....this year.

We're back in the swing of things. Over the last month or so, we've brought you some new, interesting and tasty ales (if I say so myself...), and as I type, our Open Mic Night has returned. Remember: it is the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. We also have some live gigs lined-up, starting with Waiting For Wednesday on Friday 27th March. For full and updated listings, keep checking the Home or Events pages.

On a non-music note (!), we are once again raising funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, together with Bingley Brewery. On 23rd and 24th April, Bingley Brewery will have its own bar in OTT. Two bars? You will be spoilt for choice! 50p of each pint sold over the 2 days will go to YAA. More details to follow, but I understand there could be a special brew for the occasion...

Talking about support, we are proud to display the Walkers Are Welcome in Bingley sticker in our window. The aim of WAW in Bingley is to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy Bingley and increase footfall in the town. The official launch will take place on Saturday 11th April at Bingley Arts Centre. "What?", I hear you ask, "OTT is a pub serving good ales at good prices; they welcome children (accompanied and up to 8:00pm), are dog-friendly AND also welcome walkers??". Indeed, we are/do! If you have a look at our Gallery, you will see how dog-friendly we are, by the way. And the caption on the pic is inspired!

As always, thanks for your continuous support. It is good to see you back!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"A smile is the universal welcome." Max Eastman.


25/01/2015: BACK IN BUSINESS

Christmas has been and gone, we're in a new year and our holidays are a distant memory already.

Our business plan for the year was discussed at our 2nd AGM, and here are a few changes we are making for 2015, effective from 29 January:

Due to low trade in the afternoons, we will open at 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, Fridays and Sundays remain unchanged. Please remember that, by law, our drinking-up time starts at 11.30pm, i.e. last drink MUST be served BY 11.30pm. Closing time is 12.00 midnight.

There is also a 10p increase to the price of ales, which will now start at £2.80 a pint, but do not panic, the Loyalty Card Scheme is here to stay.

On the fun front, plans are afoot with regular quiz, karaoke and darts nights. Be patient though... We need to be properly operational again before kicking off the entertainment side of things! Open mic and live music will continue.

On NYE 2014, we ran out of draught ales quite early on in the evening. For operational reasons, we had no new ale in stock, as we were then closed for best part of a month. Also, any new cask that would have been racked then, would not have settled and be ready for sale. We would have been left with a full unsaleable cask of ale, which would translate in loss of earnings. We had therefore decided to increase our range of bottled beers for that exact eventuality, as some Casketeers had commented in the past that they would frequent Off The Tap more often if our choice of bottled beers was better. Even with the increased range of bottles, the demand was more for draught ales, and emergency supplies were kindly sought after and provided by Casketeers Pete C. and Kate A.

Consequently, we will increase our choice of bottled beers but only within the constraints of the existing fridge.

We hope you have missed us, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again from Thursday 29 Jan, 4pm.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play." Arnold J Toynbee.


22/11/2014: TRA LA LA LA LA, LA LA, LA, LA!

Not long now to that special time of the year. I'm talking, of course, about.....our Movember Night! This year, it's karaoke. Put the final touches to your set list, start warming up your vocal chords, and join us on Friday 28th November. As well as pay-to-get-on and pay-to-get-'em-off, funds will be raised by OTT donating 50p per pint of ale sold on the night. All funds will go to the Movember charities.

Saturday 29th is Bingley Christmas Fayre and lights switch-on. Please come on down and support our businesses. Without you, our local traders cannot survive. The swimming pool and the public toilets are under threat, we have already lost the Council Shop, and the market is slowly disappearing. The Council seem to be putting all their effort and money into regenerating Bradford, at the cost of the surrounding areas, and although there are talks of a Bingley Town Council, we all have to fend for ourselves in the meantime.

And finally, on the ale front, our dark ales/stouts/porters are proving rather popular this time of year, with the colder weather and dark evenings. Our Barlord has got some nice ones lined up for you: Bingley Brewery 1848, Saltaire No 5 and Titanic Vanilla Chocolate stouts, and Box Steam Brewery Steam Porter to name a few. And if these ales do not tempt you, what about a mug of mulled wine to warm you up instead?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The only thing better than singing is more singing." Ella Fitzgerald.


01/11/2014: IT'S THE SEASON OF GOODWILL

Good thing Casketeers' Corner is not a "proper" blog. Otherwise, I'd be the worst blogger in t'Internetsphere! So, I will not mention it has been 2 months since our last entry...Suffice to say I have been duly reprimanded by Andy H for slacking!

Quick catchup: OTT 500, our celebration ale brewed by Naylor's, was a great success. It also propelled Our Barlord to stardom, with pictures in the paper and a video on their website. If you've missed it, you can watch it here. I understand he is available for appearances at corporate events, weddings, stag dos and Bar Mitzvahs.

Here's another little blow of the trumpet: a lot of pubs open "ready-made". What I mean is that, from the start, they have a theme or a particular decor they don't deviate from. OTT's evolving decor is a small homage to our Casketeers: the ale lovers with the pump clips and assorted ale memorabilia/posters; the music lovers, with our open mics, live music and music-related displays; the trains lovers, with our Cess corner, and of course the dog lovers, with our Doggy Wall and doggy biscuits available behind the bar. We also do not discriminate when it comes to rewarding your loyalty. We do not offer discounts for members of a specific ale organisation only (organisation of which we are both members, by the way). This would be disrespectful to our other Casketeers. Our loyalty scheme is open to EVERYONE (18 and over)!

We might not take on board all your suggestions, but we do appreciate you all! Talking about suggestion, I'd like to stop a particular rumour started by Andy H (him again!) and Boro' Dave: we will not, I repeat NOT, be serving Red Stripe on draft anytime soon. It is still available in cans though.

Let me finish on a more serious note. 2014 sees the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. Although, understandably, veterans of the Great War are few and far between these days, no-one can dispute what they did for us all then, and what soldiers do now. This is why we are supporting the Poppy Appeal once again this year. We are also supporting the Movember charities, by having our 3rd Movember night on 28 November. This year is Karaoke (or Movaoke!) with a twist... You can find the details in our News page. Every little help, and if you can spare a few pennies for Christmas presents, I'm sure there are some spare for good causes too. Thank you.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The charity which is a trifle to us can be precious to others." Homer.

PS: We're not talking puds here and it's not Homer as in Simpson...!


06/09/2014: THAT'S NUMBERWANG!

(Thanks to BBC's That Mitchell and Webb Look for "sponsoring" today's entry)

Dry facts day in Casketeers' Corner today. And the first one to say I was lacking inspiration when I wrote it gets barred....

In no particular order: 109 days until Christmas, 118 days to our Barlord's annual holidays, 47 days to the next partial solar eclipse, 642 to UEFA Euro 2016, 1370 days to FIFA World Cup 2018.

We opened OTT 863 days ago, and are very close to bringing you our 500th different ale! Mr Barlord is already on the case to bring you a special brew to celebrate this milestone.

There are currently 42 dogs on our Doggy Wall, and 1 cat!

We also have 25 pictures in our new Trains Corner, in honour of our trains-friendly Casketeers, in particular Simon, Gavin, James, Sparky John, Phil, Max, Rob, Alex, Richard and our Barlord, but no picture on our Dodgy Wall yet (our Crimewatch rogues gallery), although Lightfingered Michelle could be the first one up!

You might be pleased to know I've drawn the line at counting how many pumpclips are on the walls.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it." Bob Dylan.


27/07/2014: HOT IN THE CITY

Who would have thunk it? Over a month since our last entry, and the sun's still out! (hiding a bit today, but you know what I mean).

We all have been sweltering in the summer temperatures, and the beer has been no exception. As you all know, we do not have a cellar, therefore relying on the cooling jackets to keep the ale at ale temperature, and they do a good job of it. Before you ask, may I quote Cask Marque on this: "The recommended dispense temperature of the majority of brewers is between 11 - 13°C. Cask Marque audits to a required range of 10-14°C allowing a little leeway." I'm confident our ales are served within that range. The possible exception to this is when the barrel is not a metal cask, but a plastic one (in particular the "bouncing bombs"). These barrels simply do not fit the cooling jackets, which makes them not as effective in cooling the ale. When ordering, we always specify metal casks. However, we don't always get what we want.

As a result, some customers have not been satisfied with their pints, as it was too warm for their liking. It is a fair comment to make when the ale in question is in a plastic barrel. Funnily enough, the ones who make the same comment about our other ales tend not to be our regular Casketeers. I wonder whether they are more used to beers chilled to smitherings, with all the flavours gone...

Being from across La Manche, I have been surprised at British people finding a beer "too warm", as this is somewhat a given on the Continent that British beer is on the "tiede" side. That particular cartoon from Asterix in Britain sums it up nicely!

Finally, we would like to welcome Bingley Brewery in the Casketeers world. They are now fully up and running. We had a cask of their Goldy Locks blonde, which has been a great success. The barrel was quaffed in a day! Good luck to Darren, Anne, Georgina and Paul. A promising official start! We'll be having a friendly word about the bouncing bomb barrel though....

ANECDOTE OF THE DAY:(as experienced by Casketeer Sparky John)


23/06/2014: SUMMERTIME, AND THE DRINKING IS EASY...

The sun has got his hat on, school's (nearly) out for summer, and some of you will soon found yourselves on the beach. That can only mean one thing: the countdown to Christmas has started.

But there is still time to come and make the best of the sunny weather by enjoying a pint or two on our terrace. Although the Footie World Cup is entering its exciting stages, le Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire and Wimbledon has just kicked off, why would you sit indoors and stare at a big flat TV screen when you can enjoy a pint and socialise al fresco? You know it makes sense, especially as we have no idea how long the weather will last!

Hopefully, the sun will be out for our Barlord's next market research a week today. Accompanied by Simon G and yours truly, his "business" trip will take him to the Sussex Downs (i.e. Brighton-way) and back via that London, Derby and Sheffield. As this involves some serious researching, OTT will be closed as normal on Monday 30th June, but also ALL DAY on Tuesday 1st July. And due to a meeting on Wednesday 2nd, we'll be opening at 3pm on that day.

And finally, a bit of a disappointing news: OTT did not make it to the final eligibility list for Bradford CAMRA branch - Pub of The Season. Better luck next time...maybe!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:


01/06/2014: WE'VE COME A LONG LONG WAY TOGETHER...

Our last entry seems like ages ago....which kind of was, as it was pre-2nd birthday! So what's happened since? If you could not join us for our celebrations, here's what you've missed:

On our actual birthday, there was music, food and of course, ale. Eddie Lawler kicked off the festivities, followed by Mike, our resident open-mic compere, and guests James and Lisa. We enjoyed some lasagne home-made by regular Paul, cheese and pineapple on sticks by Gavin and Tessa, and pizzas supplied by one of the local take-aways. A raffle and various donations helped raised £180 for The Little Heroes charity.

The following week, on 3rd May, our 2nd Home Brew Competition took place. The entries were of a very high standard, with the overall winner being an Imperial Stout at 12% ABV, brewed by Phill Smith and Dan Woodhead.

And finally, we organised a trip to Stod Fold Brewery, near Ogden, on Monday 12 May. Dr Paul, Angus and Sam were very welcoming and the beers were all properly sampled by fellow Casketeers, i.e. more than one pint of each was necessary to check consistency in ale quality...

Our Barlord has buckled under the constant nagging and OTT has now a Twitter account: @OffTheTap. You can follow us by clicking on the Twitter button in the Home page.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment." Thomas Carlyle.


21/04/2014: UP TO ELEVEN

We hope you all have enjoyed your Easter week-end and are slowly recovering, ready for the next Bank Holiday!

Bingley was buzzing with activity: the 2nd Bingley Beer and Food Festival brought loads of visitors to our little town which needs as much support as it can get. There were rides for the kids, beers for the grown-ups and food for everyone. I personally and unashamedly would recommend anything from the Chilli Devil. We were busy bees at OTT too, with Casketeers attracted to our ales like bees to honey. So much so, we went through 11 different ales between Friday and Sunday. A beer festival once a year? No sir. A beer festival EVERY DAY at OTT!

We have also been preparing for our 2nd birthday on Saturday 26th April. Remember to buy your raffle tickets at the bar! Also, not long now until our 2nd Home Brew Competition, on Saturday 3rd May. There is a trophy for the overall Best Brew, as well as prizes for each category. Who will be crowned this year's OTT Home Brew bee's knees?

And finally, don't forget to check our Facebook page for (more or less) live ale and events news.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK-END:

"Brentford are promoted to the Championship!". Our Barlord and every single Bees fan.


01/04/2014: DON'T BE FOOLED!

Since our last blog, the Budget 2014 has been announced, with the news that the beer duty has been cut down by 1p a pint. Fellow drinkers have been expecting licensees to reduce their prices as a consequence.

However, we need to bear in mind that licensees have to still be able to cover their costs: buying supplies of course, paying utilities, rents, taxes (inc. VAT), business rates, etc...etc...

Although the duty has gone down, the cost of the raw materials, such as barley and hops, has increased due to bad harvests. This has resulted in breweries having to cover their costs, and therefore having to increase their prices which then affects the licensees. Our Barlord has seen 2 price increases by breweries over the last 12 months. The business rates have also gone up, shortly followed by insurance premiums.

This is why from today, you will notice a slight increase in our prices. This will help our Barlord continue to bring Casketeers the tastiest ales around. So in a way, it's for the greater good.

Remember though that our ales will still be below £3 a pint and the Loyalty Card scheme is here to stay!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "There is no such thing as a good tax." Winston Churchill.


08/03/2014: ORDER! ORDER!

We pride ourselves in being a place where Casketeers enjoy drinking and socialising, and we do our best to make everyone feel welcome. If I dare say so myself, I think we're doing a decent job.

When we are as busy as we have been over the last 2 Fridays however, (by the way, if you weren't in, you've missed some cracking music and fantastic atmosphere!), it gets difficult for us to find the time to socialise with our Casketeers as we would normally. As well as serving, we need to keep on top of the washing, do loos checks, top up the fridge, collect glasses and change beers! Understandably, some people feel neglected and might take offence if not served promptly. Trust me, it is nothing personal. We're just busy bees!

And yes, sometimes we might lose track who is next to be served, and we apologise. But everyone gets served in the end! This is why we would kindly ask of our Casketeers to refrain from banging on the bar, coughing or waving their cash to draw our attention. A simple "Excuse me!" will do the trick more effectively. Thank you.

I have failed to mention in Casketeers' Corner that we now serve ale in 4 pint pitchers at discounted prices. Enjoy!

And finally, fellow Casketeer Ian (Morgan's dad) is taking part in a triathlon in April, with sponsorship money going to Little Heroes, who provide support for children living with cancer and their families (registered charity number 1126419). We will have the sponsorship form at the bar from Tuesday. Please give generously. Thank you. The triathlon is in preparation of Ian's climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in October!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:


13/02/2014: WE'RE OPERATIONAL AGAIN

Nothing else to add really. That says it all!


12/02/2014: OUT OF OUR HANDS

Today is difficult to label: good day or bad day?

Bad day: we had to close the pub. Good day: we care about our Casketeers too much to put them at risk of injury. Bad day: our Barlord is at home, subjecting me to his guitar-playing.

For reasons out of our control, we had to close OTT. But don't worry, we'll re-open as soon as the roof is repaired.

We have to count ourselves lucky that we have so far escaped the devastation that other parts of the country have had to endure. As a Casketeer, you want your favourite pub to be up and running, and our Barlord wants you to come and drink our beers! However, safety comes first. So bear with us until the roof is fixed.

In the meantime, this means our Barlord has got too much time on his hands, hence his guitar-practice. Mind you, that way he'll be ready for our next informal jam night (19th Feb) and Open Mic night (26th Feb).

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Without music, life would be a mistake". Friedrich Nietzsche.


08/02/2014: OPEN ALL HOURS

Footie fans are currently planning their summer activities around the World Cup matches schedule and pubs are currently planning how best to profit from it. The downside this year is that it is held at the other side of the globe (I know...I know... no sides on a globe...), which means some matches are at the ungodly hour of 23:00.

After the intervention of Mr C., the Home Office has launched a consultation on whether or not to allow extended pub hours for some of England matches. My thoughts on the subject (which are not necessarily representative of our Barlord's) are:

Yes, pubs are businesses, and times are hard on everyone. But profit at all costs?

Rant over.

On a lighter note, I am pleased to say that there will be NO TVs at OTT, and no extended hours either.

It's been good to see everyone back after our break. We even had members of Sussex CAMRA coming back on their annual up-North jaunt. They visited OTT last year and we impressed them enough for them to return this year! There have also been at least 3 new additions to the Casketeers' family with the arrivals of babies Amy, William and Edward. Congratulations to the parents!

And finally, as promised, we should have something new on offer from next week.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:


22/01/2014: WELCOME BACK!

Gone in a flash! Our break is over, and our Barlord is all prep'd up for the re-opening tomorrow. He is nicely rested, so his company should be pleasant for a couple of days.

The first OTT AGM took place on 9th January. It was well attended (i.e. we were both there), and all the points on the agenda were covered. After many hours of deliberation, it was unanimously decided that we won't be serving Carling in the near future. Or the further future. Or ever. Or at least not on our watch.
We are however hoping to be able to bring something new soon, so watch this space.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder". Thomas Haynes Bayly.


19/12/2013: ODE TO OUR BARLORD

We have been getting a bit of stick for closing on Christmas day and for 3 weeks in January. Don't get me wrong: it's flattering that we will be missed, but our Barlord needs some well-deserved rest.

OTT is essentially a one-man affair: the Head of Marketing/Bar Lovelie and the IT Consultant are really part-timers. Our Barlord hasn't had a proper holiday since last January, and the Mondays off are his equivalent to our week-ends. We need to remember that running a pub is not just about serving beers. There is planning, costs, sussing out what our Casketeers want and trying to give it to them as cost-effectively as possible, competition to worry about, criticism to take and rumours to quash. (On that subject, we are NOT shutting down in January. We are ON HOLIDAYS!).

His days hardly finish before 12.30am (if he's lucky), and it's been known for him to leave well after 1.00am: once the last Casketeer has gone home, there is cleaning up to do, and preparing the ales for the next day.

I'm not after the violins playing in the background. I only ask you to remember that our Barlord is working hard to make OTT a place Casketeers enjoy and continue to enjoy for years to come. So come on... Give him a rest!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes". Oscar Wilde.


12/12/2013: THANK YOU

I always get a bit choked up when people tell us they like coming to OTT for the atmosphere and the friendliness (as well as for the ale!). They like the fact they can enjoy a quiet drink, or strike up a conversation with a complete stranger without the fear of intruding. Some have even made new friends (we certainly have!), and if I'm not mistaken, we also have a couple who met at the pub. Some have bumped into old friends they hadn't seen for years, or happen to have someone or something in common with an other. It's great to see, as Basil Fawlty and I always try to make everyone welcome, even lager drinkers!

So we would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting us:

We are lucky to have you.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you." Elbert Hubbard


05/12/2013: IT'S NOT FLAT!

When we opened OTT, we were told we would never sell "flat" beer with no head in Bingley. We are still here after 19 months, whereas a couple of local pubs who served beer the "usual" way, are not.

The "head vs no head" debate is a tricky one. When the sole argument given for a frothy head is that it "looks better", it is disappointing that some ale drinkers would rather judge by appearance than by taste. "Don't drink with your eyes", I say!

On the other hand, I agree that some ales lend themselves better to be served on pump (handpulled vs electric pumps vs auto-vac vs keg beer is a debate for another day!) rather than gravity, and brewers sometimes do specify that their ales should be served in that way.

The majority of ales however, can be served either way, and gravity is not necessarily wrong. I've never heard of a beer festival running out of their handpulled beers only! The test is to try the same beer with and without a head: are the flavours more prominent? does the taste last longer? We happily serve our handpulleds without the sparkler or straight from the cask. You only have to ask!

Like with everything, at the end of the day, personal taste matters. I like fresh coconut but cannot stand bounty bars or coconut biscuits! What I'm asking is, give gravity a chance. You never know, you might be converted.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"He was a wise man who invented beer". Plato


01/12/2013: MEA CULPA

You eagle-eyed Casketeers out there will have noticed the correction to our blog's name. I'd like to personally thank Gordon J for pointing out my mistake. Misuse of apostrophes is a pet-hate of mine and I stand corrected.

In my previous (erm...) life as a lager drinker, I was stereotyping all real ale drinkers as bearded men over the age of 50. Then, two things happened: I started drinking real ale (and trust me, I'm neither a man or over 50...!), and we opened Off The Tap (OTT). It has been fantastic to see that real ale and real cider appeal to both men and women, and to all ages (above the age of 18 of course): the last people to leave last night were a group of 10, in their early- to mid-20s, 7 of them were women, and all were drinking ale or cider. Not a beard in sight!

And talking about beards, Mr Barlord is once again as smooth as a baby's bottom, having shaved his off this morning (his beard. Not his bottom). A big thank you goes to everyone who helped us raise £110 this year for the Movember charities.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her for it". W.C. Fields


30/11/2013: WELCOME!

I believe it a fitting tribute to our esteemed Barlord that our first-ever entry falls on St Andrew's Day.

Mr Barlord has been hard at work to bring you new ales as well as some of your favourites. Triple Chocoholic is back, and I hear there could be a Plum Porter coming your way soon. His market research is taking him to Norfolk this week, with the assistance of Mr Simon G. We wish them good luck on their travels.

Thursday was our Movember night. Thanks to all who took part, with special mention to Peter D and Alex W who dressed up. I never thought carpet tape was that versatile!

And from one fancy dress night to another: New Year's Eve is sci-fi TV series/movies theme. I don't want to panic anyone, but tomorrow is December 1st... So not long to get your costume ready! If it's any consolation, ours are not ready either.

Finally, today is the Christmas Lights switch-on in Bingley at 4.30pm, with stalls, Santa's Grotto, donkey rides and all sorts to keep us entertained. Come and support Bingley's traders and pop-in for a couple of drinks!