The last Saturday in October saw 12 hardy souls from Sheffield & District CAMRA brave the wet autumn weather to head off into the Peak District to (finally!) award the Spring District Pub of the Season award to the Cheshire Cheese Inn in Hope, via a few other pubs along the way of course.
After a slightly delayed start, we departed for our first stop of the day, the Maynard in Grindleford. Although nowadays the pub is more food-focused, there was still a modest selection of real ales available including Peak Ales Bakewell Best Bitter and Abbeydale Moonshine. From there we headed to the Bull’s Head Inn at Foolow, a real old-fashioned country pub with a good selection of ales from local breweries such as Kelham Island, Stancill and Bradfield.
The heavens opened as we made our way to the third stop of the afternoon, a little detour out to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Castleton that actually took us past our final two destinations. It was standing room only, as people came in to shelter from the rain outside. Real ales on offer came from Abbeydale, Peak Ales and Storm Brewing, among others.
A short hop back down the A6187 took us to our penultimate destination, the Old Hall in Hope. Here we enjoyed a range of mostly Theakston’s beers, including some very well-kept Old Peculier.
Finally, we were back on the minibus for the brief drive round the corner to the winning pub, the Cheshire Cheese Inn. A nice selection of real ales were on offer, including Abbeydale Moonshine and Thornbridge Wild Swan, as well as more interesting examples such as Intrepid’s New World Amber. Our branch secretary, Andy Cullen, was on hand to present the certificate to Becky Hill, the pub’s head chef and deputy manager, before we headed back to Sheffield.
Congratulations again to the Cheshire Cheese Inn on their accolade! Our next District Pub of the Season takes place on 2 December, when we are visiting our Summer winner, the Olde Nags Head in Castleton.