Pub of the Season

Autumn Pub of the Season 2017
The Keys
Hoyland Common

Congratulations for Autumn Pub of the Season go to the Keys at Hoyland Common.

This busy, large roadside pub is set back from the main Sheffield Road exit off the Birdwell roundabout near the M1. The pub and other businesses’ here are putting up with the major roadworks pretty well.

The open plan rooms have contemporary seating areas for diners and drinkers alike, while there is private booth seating near the main bar. Tables near the bar are mainly for the drinkers along with the odd bar stool at the bar itself.

Vic Bains became the owner of the pub back in early 2014 and after a transforming and extensive refurbishment the pub opened in December that same year.

The pub quickly became a real ale drinkers destination with the offer of a discount for CAMRA Members of 50p off a pint of real ale and 25p off a half when you show your CAMRA Membership Card, for each member. The three real ales are sourced mainly from local breweries including the likes of Little Critters from Sheffield and Magic Rock from Huddersfield being popular at this time. The pub showcases extra cask beers during its two popular real ale festivals each year, one on the Spring Bank Holiday and another on the August Bank Holiday.

Chris Hague joined the team as pub manager in July 2016 and made a few changes to the bar, reducing the cask choice slightly and adding the craft. Senior staff members here at the Keys go on cellar management courses which include stock control, looking after, storage and serving cask beers.

Food here is very popular and can get quite busy at times, and it is always advisable to book a table, this is easily done through their website:
So, back to congratulating the Keys on its Autumn Pub of the Season. Barnsley CAMRA will be making the presentation to the team at the Keys on the evening of Thursday 16th November at around 9pm.

Catch the 66 bus from Barnsley at 7.35pm.
So again, congratulations to the Keys on this well deserved award.

​Nigel Croft
Summer Pub of the Season 2017
The Crystal Palace
This year’s Barnsley CAMRA Summer Pub of the Season award has been awarded to The Crystal Palace in Thurlstone.

Situated in a lovely rural village in the West of our branch area, this is the first time this fantastic community pub has won a branch award and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Three years ago the pub was saved from closure after being purchased from the then Pub Company. Following the purchase the management decided to introduce Cask ale sourced from local breweries. Over the following three years the pub has gained high accolades amongst cask ale connoisseurs.

The pub now offers the cask ale lover a choice of three cask ales from local breweries. On my recent visit Acorn Barnsley Bitter, Jolly Boys Blonde & Jolly Boys IPA were available and in superb condition.

The recent success of the Crystal Palace is down to the hard work of licensees Keith and Julie Riggett. Both Julie and Keith work tirelessly to ensure that their pub is warm and welcoming and the beer is always in tip top condition. On hearing the good news both Keith and Julie were delighted and a little surprised.

The pub hosts regular charity events and good fun bingo every Tuesday. One Sunday each month the pub hosts a Soul Sunday with live music which proves very popular. The pub also caters for parties and events.

Barnsley CAMRA will be holding a presentation evening starting at around 8pm on Friday July 14th. So why not come along and celebrate this fantastic community pub.
Phil Gregg
Spring Pub of the Season 2017
The Arcade Alehouse

This year’s Barnsley CAMRA Spring Pub of the Season award has been awarded to The Arcade Alehouse in the Victorian Arcade, Barnsley. This micro pub is one of Barnsley’s newest real ale outlets. This is a little micro pub that has gained high accolades amongst cask ale connoisseurs.

The idea behind the Arcade Alehouse micro-pub was originally conceived as a show case for Two Roses Brewery beer alongside real ales from other micro breweries. After looking round Barnsley for suitable premises it was decided that a former cake decorating shop in the Victorian Arcade was the most desirable location for Barnsley’s first micro pub.

Unfortunately not long after the work to convert the shop into a micro-pub began James the brewer became seriously ill and was eventually admitted to hospital where he spent seven weeks.  The project nearly came to a standstill but the family with the help of friends managed to continue with the plans that were in place and the Arcade Alehouse opened a couple of months later than planned on July 15th.

In line with the micro-pub definition it is ‘a small free house which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks’.  It is open Thursday to Sunday but it has also proved popular with football supporters on mid-week match nights.

The Arcade Alehouse has 6 hand pumps serving a continuous variety of cask ales alongside 3 or 4 real ciders, 2 craft lagers and a fruit beer, wine, prosecco and soft drinks.

The pub is run by James and Sue with the help of two staff, Kim and the manager Laura. Laura has brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in looking after real ale which is the main focus of the pub.

Barnsley CAMRA will be holding a presentation evening starting at around 8pm on Thursday April 20th. So why not come along and celebrate this little pub with a large heart.

James & Sue Taylor and Phil Gregg

Winter Pub of the Season 2016/17
The Huntsman

This year’s winter pub of the season is the Huntsman at Thurlstone. The Huntsman has been a firm favourite with CAMRA members for as long as I can remember and a winner of numerous awards and a Good Beer Guide regular entry.
Situated in the west of our area in the pretty village of Thurlstone this lovely roadside inn oozes character and characters. The heart of the local community this thriving pub is a fantastic asset to the village and a popular meeting place to socialise and enjoy great real ale, music and food.

The job of running the pub has recently been taken on by new landlady Sam who had previously worked at the pub for a number of years. Sam has already made some changes such as increasing the opening hours, refurbishing the internal decor and adding locally sourced Pork Pies and homemade Scotch Eggs to the list of bar snacks.

The bar dispenses up to six cask ales from local and national breweries and also offers a draught cider.
On hearing the news Sam was overjoyed and paid great thanks to her loyal army of regular customers who make all the hard work worthwhile.

The pub runs events throughout the week. Monday night is darts and dominoes. Tuesday night is quiz night & an Acoustic jam session on Wednesdays. On the second Thursday in every month there is an Irish folk night, and on the fourth Thursday a Bluegrass night with live musicians. The pub also serves a popular Sunday lunch as well as regular theme nights.

Barnsley CAMRA will be holding a presentation evening on Friday January 20th at around 9pm. So please come along and help celebrate this fantastic community pub.

Due to sparse public transport to the pub, Barnsley CAMRA will provide a minibus to and from the Huntsman. You must book your place on this bus with Margaret Croft. (See contacts page from menu). The return price being £4 per person. This Minibus will depart the Old No 7 at 7.30pm and return from the Huntsman at 10pm.

Stagecoach bus service 92 runs every two hours to Thurlstone if you wish to use it the best times for the presentation are: Out at 6.33pm (arr 7.20pm); Ret 9.25pm (arr 10.24pm)

Current opening hours:
Mon - Thurs 5-11pm; Fri 3 - Midnight; Sat 12 - Midnight; Sun 12-11pm

Phil Gregg
Autumn Pub of the Season 2016
The Silkstone Inn

Congratulations go to the Silkstone Inn, Market Street, Barnsley which has been chosen as the Barnsley CAMRA Autumn Pub of the Season.

The pub was the 700th in the J.D.Wetherspoons chain and it opened its doors in September 2008. The building is a conversion of the former Co-op store.

The name of the pub refers to the Silkstone coal seams mined in the coalfields of South Yorkshire. The décor of the pub is also influenced by the coalfield theme.

OK, down to beer, as well as its regulars, it features an ever-changing range of up to three guests plus a cider with at least one beer being a LocAle. (The brewery being 20 miles or less from the pub.)

The pub hosts regular beer festivals and a cider festival along with other J.D.Wetherspoons pubs nationally, and has recently reintroduced Meet the Brewer Events. The latest was with Little Critters Brewery from Sheffield.

During the warm afternoons and mild evenings of Autumn sit outside (no-smoking area provided) and watch the shoppers pass by with the European style street drinking area.

The Silkstone Inn has a quiz night, this is held each Wednesday and starts at 8pm. It will be on a quiz night that Barnsley CAMRA will make the presentation to the team here at the Silkstone Inn. Pop this date in your diary, Wednesday 26th October at around 9pm.

As with all Wetherspoon’s pubs the team here raise money for charity. The pub has raised £18,603.37 for CLIC Sargent since opening, this organisation supports children and their families who suffer with cancer.

The management and staff here at the Silkstone Inn have put in endless hours in promoting real ale. These efforts will now be acknowledged again by Barnsley CAMRA with the pub picking up its second Pub of the Season Award, the first being Summer 2009.

This only leaves Barnsley CAMRA to once again thank the team at the Silkstone Inn for providing a great range of beers, a comfortable pub to drink them in and some great staff who genuinely seem happy to serve you. If it wasn’t for their enthusiasm to real ale, this pub wouldn’t be the award winner it is today.

​Nigel Croft   
Summer Pub of the Season 2016
The White Heart
Congratulations go to the team at the White Heart, Penistone, who have been awarded Barnsley CAMRA’s Summer Pub of the Season. The pub has been chosen due to the pub’s excellent quality real ales as well as its other facilities, including outdoor courtyard and bar, popular restaurant which serving a la carte menu (booking for this is advisable) the staff are very friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable, making this a pleasure to name this a Barnsley CAMRA Pub of the Season.

The White Heart offers three real ales all year round, with two changing local beers and one permanent ale, always kept in mint condition by the team, notable beers seen in the pub are from Acorn, Bradfield and Timothy Taylor's Breweries.

The White Heart is a  popular pub with the local community, hosting events that bring a wide and diverse clientele to the pub, from car boot days in the car park to gin tasting nights. The pub also holds two extremely popular beer festivals a year, Winter and Spring Festival, that have been welcomely received by the local community. These two Real Ale Festivals showcase up to 30 real ales at each event, all on hand pump as well as up to ten Ciders and Perries. The festivals are part of the pubs fundraising efforts for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Barnsley CAMRA will be celebrating the pub’s achievements by making a presentation to the White Heart team on the evening of Wednesday 20th July. We will be arranging transport which will be free to CAMRA members, £3 to non members. The bus will depart the Old No7, Market Hill, Barnsley at 7.45pm and return from the White Heart at 10pm, directly back to Barnsley. Anyone wishing to book a seat on the bus must contact Margaret
whose contact details are here .

Congratulations once again to the White Heart...
Andrew Taylor