We’re taking this opportunity to have a look back over our winning pubs from the last twelve months, starting with the Eyre Arms at Hassop, which was our first winner of the year back in January. The first pub from the Derbyshire part of our branch to win a Pub of the Month award since April 2015, it has recently gained further recognition with its addition to CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. February brought us back into Sheffield, when we sheltered from the wintry weather with a bowl of chilli in the warm surroundings of the Sheaf View, Heeley. The usual excellent selection of Neepsend Brewery ales helped too! A few days later, we headed off into the Peak District for the belated presentation of the Autumn 2017 to present the Rambler Inn at Edale with their certificate. Just as we were thawing out from the Beast from the East, it was time to visit one of our more familiar haunts, the Rutland Arms for the March award – it was surprisingly the pub’s first win since April 2013. April 2018’s winner was a little less well-known; for many of us it was a first trip to the Ale House on Fraser Road, but we were made to feel very welcome and quite a few have made return visits in the months since thanks to the hospitality and the excellent range of cask beer. Our AGM in April also saw the announcement of our big awards for the year. The Kelham Island Tavern continued to prove popular with voters, taking the Pub of the Year accolade for a sixth year in a row. The Clubhouse on London Road was named our Cider Pub of the Year, while Club of the Year was the Interval Café Bar in the Sheffield Students’ Union. In May we were back to our regular awards and back to Heeley, this time to hand over the certificate to the White Lion. This was the pub’s second win in less than two years – quite an achievement! One of the biggest names in the Sheffield real ale scene, the Fat Cat on Alma Street, took our June award – the latest in a very large collection of branch awards the pub has won over the years. A lovely summer’s day in mid-July saw us back out in the Peaks, this time by public transport. First stop was District Pub of the Season for Spring 2018, the Moon Inn at Stoney Middleton, followed by a trip to our District Pub of the Year, the Red Lion at Litton, an excellent country inn with a great range of food and cask ale. Our decision to trust rural buses to get us home proved unwise but we made it home eventually! The same month also saw us head down to Shalesmoor for the Pub of the Month presentation at the Wellington, where we were treated to a buffet and some more great Neepsend beers. August and September’s awards took us to two pubs who were very excited to be recognised, with complimentary tapas on offer at the Beer Engine in August followed by the chance to try Abbeydale’s latest Voyager IPA for free at the Devonshire Cat the following month – both very much appreciated! Transport problems again plagued our District Pub of the Season trip in October, with the minibus breaking down the day before the presentation was due to be made. Unperturbed, a hardy group of branch members still managed to make it to the Monsal Head Hotel to hand over the Summer 2018 award. The Harlequin on Nursery Street was our destination for the October Pub of the Month presentation on the eve of our festival opening – a great way to start the festivities with some Exit 33 ales. A short walk round the ring road a month later led us to our final award winner of the year, the Bar Stewards on Gibraltar Street. This micro pub recently celebrated the first anniversary of its full-time opening and took no time at all to reach the 10 votes required thanks to their great selection of cask and keg beer, along with fridges full of craft bottles and cans. Well done once again to all our winners from this year. Pub of the Month winners will now go forward for consideration for Sheffield & District Pub of the Year 2019, joining the 36 pubs from our branch region featured in the latest Good Beer Guide. Thanks to everyone who has got involved in 2018 whether by nominating a pub for an award or by voting. If you haven’t voted before, it’s easy to have your say – the list of all the current nominees can be found on page XX and you can vote online or at any branch meeting. Let’s try and make sure we have an award ready for February! Dominic Nelson
Unfortunately we don’t have a Pub of the Month for December or January as none of the nominated pubs had reached 10 votes by the time Beer Matters went to print. However, 2018 has been a great year for awards for Sheffield & District CAMRA, as we have managed to present 11 Pub of the Month awards, as well as our District Pub of the Season certificates and our Pub, District Pub, Cider Pub and Club of the Year awards earlier in the year.