The unique floating system for the upright dispensing of cask ales

Thirteen Café Bar + Cask Ale + CaskWidge = Improved Ale Pub Award

Awarded by the Keighley and Craven Branch of CAMRA. Article written by Jenny. This is an occasional award, issued whenever the branch feel that a real ale outlet in their area is deserving. The last time it was awarded was in 2009. This summer, not a pub, but a café bar has caught their eye.

Thirteen Café Bar, Settle

Thirteen frontIn 2005 Christine and Robert acquired number thirteen Duke Street, Settle to turn it into a café bar. The building had been disused for several years. Prior to that had been a hairdressers, a crockery shop, a computer repair store and, for 25 years, it was 'Nuttalls' hardware store. Following a substantial makeover, Number Thirteen opened on 13th September 2005.

When it first opened Number Thirteen started life as a slightly up-market café, selling quality food and with a licence for drinks. At that time it only opened until 6 p.m. during the week and until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. However it soon became apparent that customers wanted it to open later in the evenings, especially at weekends as an alternative to the larger pubs in town. The premises now open from 10.30 a.m. - 7.30 pm Tuesday, 10.30 a.m. - 9.30 pm Wednesday (summer), 10.30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Thirteen is closed Sundays and Mondays, but can be made available for private functions.

Having no cellar, Christine and Robert were initially unable to serve real ale, so the only 'draught' beer available was Czech Budvar lager. However, it soon became clear that real ale would prove successful if only a way could be found. A way to incorporate it into the bar/counter. Christine and Robert discussed the matter with Alistair at Centriflow, who recommended the 'CaskWidge System' they now use. This has jacketed casks under the bar, kept at 11°-13°C by a recirculating cooler. The casks are upright and beer is drawn off from near the top of the ba by a floating filter. Using this system, most beers can be served within an hour of putting them into place. In order do fit the system in Christine and Robert had to extend the bar, lose one table from the café and install air-conditioning to dissipate the extra heat. A number of other smaller changes were needed, all at a total cost of around £12,000. Real ale started to flow in August 2009. Normally Pen-y-ghent (Three Peaks Brewery) and Hetton Pale Ale (Dark Horse Brewery) are available and, although this may change from time to time, Robert and Christine intend only ever to sell local ales. (Bowland Gold has been on in the past.)

 

Thirteen boardWeekly beer and lager sales are now about equal and Robert and Christine hope that this summer, real ale sales will overtake the lager sales. The original café customers are still very important at Thirteen and Robert and Christine have managed to maintain their daytime food/coffee trade despite the recession. Homemade soups, pâtés, sandwiches, pasta, paninis and salad dishes plus 'today's specials' are always available from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tues to Sat. with a Mexican menu 5 - 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Steak Night 6 - 8 p.m. Thursdays and Tapas and Platters 5 - 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Thirteen also offers an extensive range of quality wine, soft drinks and coffees at all times.

Christine and Robert have gone to a lot of effort and expense to provide an extra real ale outlet in Settle, increasing the availability and choice of real ales in the town. In recognition of this the Keighley and Craven branch of CAMRA are awarding them with an 'Improved Pub' award this June. We wish them luck and hope that their business continues to thrive.

Jenny

From all at CaskWidge - Our most sincere thanks go to Jenny, Richard Candeland @ Keighley and Craven CAMRA and especially to Christine and Robert for allowing us to use their article. We hope that others will take inspiration from this piece and consider adding Real Ale into their establishments, large or small. Congratulations to you, cheers!

Cask Widge Cellar Equipment Limited

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