A beery day out in..

Barnsley, a town I had not visited for decades, in fact not since racing my cycle through its streets and precincts in the ’80s races held their. So, after hearing good things about its transformation, I decided to make the trip on my NR £2 return.

I started my day with a couple of swift drinks in the Bankers Draft. The first pint was a very nice Salamander Juicy Lucy, a pale of 4% with banana overtones. As the train was departing at 11:35, I followed this with a half of JHB bitter of 4.2% before the walk to Midland Station. 

As always, or so it seems, the announcer stated the train would depart from 4a, rather than the 1a we were all sat on. The mass exodus over the bridge was quite chaotic. The short hop to Barnsley quickly passed, and before I knew it we arrived in the town. 

As usual, I had a little exploration before hitting the bars. I must say that they have regenerated the town centre with great success. It is nice and bright, with a mix of old, new and very few vacant units. The market in particular is worth a mention, busy and vibrant with a variety of stalls to suit everyone, and a very busy food hall with Artisan food vendors. There was a Deli that sold tapas style dishes, now I love pitted olives with chilli, but be aware these were dynamite and good value at £2 for around a dozen or so. 

With my mouth tingling, it as time for a drink. I made my way up Market Street to The Kestrel. A little like a Wetherspoon, but with music, TVs and a very good darts set-up. There was 2 beers on from the 6 wickets on the bar. As one was Landlord, I plumped for Ringwood’s Razor Back, a 3.8% session bitter at a reasonable £3.60 and served by a friendly girl. 

A customer recommended my next port of call should be the Old No 7, so off I went up Market Hill. As I approached, ready to take my photograph, there was a chap about to have a cigarette who kindly stepped back in while I did so. This turned out to be Matty, a customer and part-time custodian of the bar. I was immediately impressed with the 8 pumps, only 1 of which had run out. I plumped for the Acorn CF299 IPA, a full-bodied 5% of English heritage. I also put a SALT Suede stout in the pump and a very tasty 4.1% with notes of chocolate and coffee, nicely roasted it was.

Manager Adam certainly knows his stuff and after moving from Skipton’s Blackhorse, he is certainly making this establishment a success. Beers regularly come from Acorn, Thornbridge, Little Critters and Ossett, as well as further afield.  

Matty had said that my next visit should be Bar Ruelle on Regent Street S, as it was another that carried an impressive array of cask. A little awkward to find, but close to the Interchange on a little side street. The bar nestles in-between small shops. Stepping in, you are faced with a bright and modern interior with the normal sight of regulars sat at the bar. As stated the pumps were varied between dark and light beers including Acorn, Theakston’s and Titanic. My first drink was Fixed Wheels Chain Reaction, 4.2% APA with Ossett’s White Rat 4% EPA closely following on. I still had over a hour to go, so 2 more beers were consumed here, those being Acorn Barnsley Bitter 3.8% and a rather nice Old Moor Porter 4.4% from the same brewery.   

I left to make the short journey across the road to the Interchange for my train home. Faced with a short delay, the train arrived 10 minute late for the short journey home. As it was still fairly early, I popped in the Old Queens Head for one last drink. The pumps on the bar have changed slightly with 4 of them being dedicated to Thwaites beers, so I plumped for a pint of Vocation Bread & Butter 3.9% APA and very nice it was too. 

All in all, a very pleasant and successful reconnaissance for a summer social to the town with the branch. As Arnie said “I’ll be back.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.