Alma Inn

Bar, Eatery

Four Lane Ends, Cottonstones, Mill Bank
Sowerby Bridge, England
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1422 823334 | map

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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.2/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Postal Address hints at the fact that this beautiful old stone building is set high up in the hills above Sowerby Bridge. The Alma stands alone at a small road junction, where a nearby old style K6 Red Phone Box stands guard over the Pub. You will need to alight here if you catch the bus from the nearest town, Halifax.

A lovely darkened stone façade fits well into the stunning countryside in this area of Yorkshire. Inside, the bar is in front of you as you enter. Sympathetically opened out to allow better access, it still retains that Country Pub feel. Stone flagged floors & a Real Fire complete the scene. Outside, the Alma has a stunning view of the Calder Dale valley. As such, the stone flagged terrace is a popular place to watch the sun go down in the summer with a Pint of Real Ale in hand. The Pub can get very busy outside at popular times - especially on warm Summer nights.

Cask beers from the Handpump include the excellent Golden Best (light mild) & Landlord (premium bitter), both from the Timothy Taylor’s Family Brewery at Keighley. It also has Tetley’s Bitter. In addition, it usually has a couple of rotating Guest Beers from Independent Breweries.

The Alma also specializes in Belgium Beers. It normally has at least one draft, but also stocks over 90 bottled variants. These are backed up by a handful of German beers. The Landlord, Dennis, often holds beer tastings. I was fortunate enough to attend one of these in August 2001 arranged as a surprise for a friends Birthday just before I left England. It was highly educational, enjoyable & entertaining. The Landlord knows his beer, is very affable & extremely courteous, as is his Wife & other Staff.

Serves Lunchtime & Evening meals, except Mon. & Tues. These represent great value & are very good. Camping is available nearby for Walkers & Hikers.

In September, the Alma acts as a “pit stop” for the annual “Rushbearing” Festival. Rushbearing, it is the ceremonial taking of Rushes to the Churches for covering the floors. Rushes have been used as floor coverings for hundreds of years in these parts. In the 17th Century a very special festival developed, the center of which was the celebrated Rushcart. Held annually, the Rushcart is carried by locals & paraded through town streets & country lanes over 3 days & it stops at most Pubs! All I can say is that a lot of drinking takes place during this festival & the Alma gets *very* busy!

A fantastic Country Pub, a bit out in the sticks, but well worth a visit.

May 14, 2003
Alma Inn in Sowerby Bridge, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 1 ratings