At the recent branch AGM, the winners of our Pub and Club of the Year competitions were announced by outgoing branch Chairman Alan Gibbons. This is a bit of positive campaigning celebrating the best in our area which then get entered into the County round of the national competition. The main criteria for a pub of the year is good ale, however we also consider whether pubs show sympathy to our other aims as a consumer campaign and of course it needs to be somewhere everyone feels comfortable drinking.
Our main Pub of the Year competition in Sheffield & District starts out with a vote open to all our members, the ballot paper contains all the Pub of the Month winners from the last 12 months along with those pubs we listed in the national Good Beer Guide – so Pub of the Year is kind of a grand final. The vote whittles the list down to a top 6 Sheffield pubs and a top 3 District pubs (District being the Derbyshire part of our branch area, except for Dronfield which has a separate competition run by our sub branch there). Our team of judges (who are a good mix of old and young, male and female) then independently visit these pubs and score them on a variety of criteria – the same used by the national competition judges – which are Quality of Beer, Atmosphere/Style/Décor, Service and Welcome, Clientele Mix, Sympathy With CAMRA Aims and value for money. There is some weighting in the scoring to promote beer quality as the priority – however of course if you have several pubs with great beer, the other factors come into play!
SHEFFIELD PUB OF THE YEAR
The finalists included the Blake Hotel in Walkley, the Gardeners Rest at Neepsend, the Fat Cat in Kelham Island, Shakespeare’s by West Bar and the Sheffield Tap in Sheffield City Centre.
However the winner – again – is the Kelham Island Tavern. This pub keeps on winning awards, testament to the fact that Trevor, Lewis and the team aren’t sitting on their laurels – they are not only maintaining standards but subtly getting even better. There is a wide range of beers on the bar, always well kept, with all the main beer styles always represented to ensure there is something for everyone and not forgetting real cider & perry plus modern craft beers. The prices are also very reasonable.
The Kelham also scores highly beyond just the beer showing effort, care and passion is applied throughout the pub – it is clean, comfortable and welcoming, oversized lined glasses are used ensuring a full measure every time and the beer garden gets a lot of attention too with lots of plants and decorative features making it a pleasant place to be.
The Kelham hosts a mid-summer beer festival every summer with an outside bar featuring an extended range of real ales and ciders which attracts beer lovers from across the country to try the new beers showcased here.
We’ll be presenting their award certificate during this years beer festival on the evening of Thursday 17th June, all are invited to come down, enjoy a beer and join the pub’s celebrations.
DISTRICT PUB OF THE YEAR
In the final three was the Cheshire Cheese in Hope and the Three Stags Head at Wardlow Mires, however the winner was judged as the Anglers Rest in Millers Dale. This is a friendly pub with three rooms – dining room, lounge and tap room – with the later featuring a pool table and hosting walkers from the nearby trail during the day and locals from the nearby villages in the evening, the pub offers a selection of well kept ales sourced mostly from breweries within 20 miles of the pub such as Storm brewery in Macclesfield, the pub also takes part in community focused events from time to time.
We are in the process of organising a minibus trip out to the Anglers to present Graham and team with their award, look out for details in the next issue of Beer Matters.
DRONFIELD PUB OF THE YEAR
This has already been presented and is selected by a voting process conducted by the Dronfield sub branch. The winner was the Travellers Rest at Apperknowle with the Coach & Horses in Dronfield a close runner up.
CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR
Following a vote this was presented to the Three Tuns in Dronfield which has gone forward into the Derbyshire competition. Our entry into the Yorkshire competition is the Harlequin on Nursery Street, Sheffield.
CLUB OF THE YEAR
This is selected by a simple branch meeting vote to choose the clubs we are putting forward into the Yorkshire and Derbyshire regional competitions, which feed into the national contest. Our Yorkshire entry is Crookes Social Club and our Derbyshire entry is the Dronfield Hill Top Sports & Social Club.