On a wet Wednesday evening in October, we visited all six pubs in the area. Starting in one of Yorkshire’s Real Heritage Pubs, the Travellers Rest, Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter (4%) set us on our way. The Travellers on Langsett Road retains the basis of the original layout of three rooms off a central lobby. It was briefly owned by Strout’s, a small Sheffield brewery from 1890 to 1918, hence the possibly unique engraving on the front windows.
A short walk up Station Lane took us to The Pheasant, an ex-John Smiths pub which had three pulls, two dispensing Bradfield Farmers Blonde (4%) and Sharps Doom Bar (4%). Bradfield Brewery is only 3 miles from Oughtibridge and is seen as the local brewer.
Descending, we then visited ex-Wards house, the Cock Inn on Bridge Hill, who had two pumps and an identical choice (and price) to the Pheasant. The Cock usually has Blonde, plus a rotating national. This was followed by the Hare & Hounds, a Marstons owned, ex-Burtonwood house at the bottom of Church Street. The Hare usually provides a range of beers from the Marstons stable, but tonight had two from outside the area: Lees The Governor (3.8%) and Everards Tiger (4.2%).
Passing the long-closed, White Hart, (since 2011, the bridal showroom of LuLu Mae), a short bus ride took us directly to the Blue Ball, on the main road, in Wharncliffe Side. This pub does a roaring trade at lunch-time with excellent-value two-for-a-fiver meals. Late evening provided a choice: regulars Thwaites Wainwright (4.1%) and Lancaster Bomber (4.4%), but also Kirkstall Pale Ale (3.8%) from Leeds, the only recently established brewer from outside the area of the evening.
Finally, a short walk took us to the recently invigorated Wharncliffe Arms where a choice of five awaited, three from Bradfield: Blonde, Brown Cow (4.2%) and their latest fruit beer, Cherry (4.2%); and two from Abbeydale: Brimstone (3.9%) and Absolution (5.3%). The aim is to regularly serve three Bradfield beers and one from Abbeydale with the final pump providing a rotating guest.
In summary, 6 pubs, 15 handpumps in use with a choice of 12 different cask conditioned beers. The cheapest pint of the night was Sam Smiths at £1.80 with the Blue Ball providing the most expensive at £3.00.
Nog Clark and Dave Pickersgill