From a couple of weeks ago, this was my visit to the Good Beer Guide listed Norman Rae pub in Shipley, operated by JD Wetherspoons. It’s a relatively large and modern pub building, although a little unexceptional perhaps in terms of the design.
That’s the Baltic Rum Porter from Bridgehouse Brewery, a really decent 6% ABV beer with a richness of flavour that only cost £1 for a half pint. I also had the 1872 Porter from Elland Brewery and the Raspberry Blonde from Little Critters Brewing Company, also excellent beers at the same very reasonable price. All three of those beers are way above average and there was certainly nothing generic about any of them. I’m unsure how much money is being made here by the brewer or the pub at those prices, but I can see why this JD Wetherspoon outlet has found itself in the Good Beer Guide.
I had the chicken jalfrezi at the same time, all as expected. The pub is relatively well reviewed and the staff members were friendly and helpful. The pub was sufficiently clean and the service was efficient and prompt. JD Wetherspoon pubs might have their faults, but they’re still operating to a decent standard and the real ale options and prices were really quite lovely. I did pop back here for breakfast one morning, which was also fine, and was realistically much better value than the Ibis hotel that I was staying in.