Pub of the Month November 2016

Now my association with the Hillsborough Hotel goes back a long way. From the heady days of Dell Tilling, when the bar only opened Thursday to Sunday and we packed in to drink Brian Hendry’s excellent Crown HPA and Stannington Stout.

Well since then the Hillsborough has gone through some ups and downs and in recent times more downs, culminating in what looked like the end last October (2015). News of its demise was premature as I received a text from Tom and Brigitte Delaney to turn up as usual for my Tuesday Quiz. Tom who has been involved in a previous management along with his now wife, Brigitte, a former barmaid at the Hotel, had taken over and were re-launching,

There had to be changes, the previous owners had dismantled the brewery, so there was no more of the Wood Street Beers which in the latter days had been of poor quality.

Tom set about trying to regain the Hillsborough’s reputation and started with improving the beer quality. Anyone can slap a handpump on the bar and sell it but to sell it in good condition is an art. Throughput is important but cleanliness is paramount. Tom completely deep cleaned the cellar and lines and looked after his beer from day 1 of re-opening. Now a wise landlord friend of mine had said the secret of good ale was ‘Clean lines and Clean glasses’, this certainly was the rule now. Building up the beer range as the trade increased there are now at least 7 handpulls working selling a variety of LocAle and national ales with two regular beers Tapped Mojo and Acorn Barnsley Bitter both priced competitively at £2.60 a pint.

The quality and consistency is there to be tasted and that is reflected in an increase in punters who can always find a warm welcome coupled with a fine glass of beer.

Tom is also a well respected Chef and the kitchen soon started to turn out good home cooked food using fresh locally sourced produce with wonderful Sunday Lunches.

There is a very popular Quiz run by some Scottish bloke on Tuesday night. Live bands perform regularly on Fridays or Saturdays, usually at least once a month. A Pop Music Quiz on the 2nd Thursday. By popular demand the Folk Music Sessions have returned on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Other events like the Alternative Burns Night and Gin Tasting have also been hosted.

A Year on it has been great to see the Hillsborough filling up again and getting the ‘buzz’ back. With many of the former great members of staff returning behind the bar and also in the kitchen, making a fantastic spirit to Team Hillsborough

Our current Chair Kate Major said about the Hillsborough in a blog about ‘Bars to Visit in Sheffield’ – ‘The Hillsborough Hotel has gone through some lean times but if anyone can revive the place then it is this couple’

Well done Tom, Brigitte and staff on winning this well deserved award.

Jim McDonald

The award will be presented on the evening of Tuesday 8th November, all are welcome.

Buses 57,81,82,85 pass outside, Langsett Primrose View tram stop is just around the corner.

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