The Grove, Huddersfield, pub review

Adrian Tierney Jones
grove huddersfield - humphrey bolton

The name suggests sylvan settings, delicate streams of sunlight illuminating a woodland clearing in which a fawn frolics. The reality is a 19th-century sandstone corner pub, square-jawed and solid, a couple of minutes’ walk from the inner-city road that girdles the centre of Huddersfield. 

On the other hand, once you step inside, there is a link with that woodland clearing. A stuffed moose’s head hangs on the wall opposite the back bar, while elsewhere there are the stuffed heads of a gnu, a wild boar and various other animals. The quirk level is maintained by puppets of witches on their broomsticks hanging from the ceiling, and a couple of Lucian Freud-like canvases of a naked man and woman. 

The Grove is a popular haunt in this part of the world, a place of pilgrimage even, given the range of beers for sale. On the bright and breezy Sunday afternoon I paid my respects, I counted 15 cask beers and 16 keg, plus a selection of various bottles and cans. There was a palpable buzz in the rooms on both sides of the central bar, as beer lovers greeted friends, made jokes and muttered about the losing streak of Huddersfield Town.

A thirst needed to be quenched, so I went for Oakham’s Green Devil, a bold 6% IPA that had a suggestion of tropical fruit on the nose, with the fruit continuing on the palate alongside a bracing bitter, dry finish. It was rather delicious and the man on the next table looked up from his newspaper and laughed as I drained half my glass. “You’re enjoying that, then?” I certainly was.

I quickly finished my Green Devil, and for my next beer I chose an American-style pale ale, High Wire from local heroes Magic Rock. This was a superb high-wire balancing act of citrus fruit and a crisp, biscuity, malt character with an energetic bitter finish.

Meanwhile, as if to complete this bustling Sunday afternoon, a band started playing in the conservatory-like area at the back, a fiddle in unison with an electric guitar. The Grove might not be bucolic in nature, but its beers and companionship have the soothing effect of a month in the country. 

Spring Grove Street, Huddersfield HD1 4BP

01484 430113; thegrove.pub