Thursday, 23 May 2013
Sheffield CAMRA Pub of the Year 2013 - Shakespeares
Last week, we were fortunate to attend the presentation of a well-earned and prestigious award. Sheffield is nationally acclaimed as being, at least, a strong contender for England`s ale capital so being recognised as the best pub in the Steel City is not just news-worthy within the boundaries of South Yorkshire. Near neighbour, The Kelham Island Tavern has won more ale awards locally, regionally and nationally, than Ryan Giggs has won on the football field. The `K.I.T`. is oft regarded as a cert in this race. Meanwhile, The Fat Cat draws in the tourists and The Rutland Arms is seen as Camp CAMRA, so any winner would be expected to come from that triumvirate.
However, `Shakie`s` won it! A relative new kid on the Kelham block having opened in 2011, with managers Chris and Robin at the helm, this Gibraltar Street hostelry has forged ahead in the Steel City ale scene. Service is unmatched with bar-staff often willing to traipse down to the cellar to let you sample the delights not yet on the bar. The 19th century pub now has shabby-chic styling with an eclectic clientele that some other establishments might not welcome quite so readily. Don`t be surprised to find folk singers and a darts match in the long room, on-line gamers in another and burlesque beginners bouncing their way upstairs to the Bard`s Bar!
On presentation night the beer line-up had obviously been planned carefully. I got stuck into some low ABV Mallinsons Epicurion (3.9%) to start with which was a belting citrus`n` hoppy opener and then tried Steel City`s latest experiments, including the wheaty but dark PotY Mouth and another unpronounceable one. Neither were my `cup of tea` but then they always push the boundaries, more so than any other local brewery. My beer of the night was Titanic`s award-winning Plum Porter which possibly tasted even better as it was a freebie; everyone in Shakespeare`s was treated to a gratis pint courtesy of the Sheffield`s hardest-working bar-staff. Cheers!
To end a momentous night, Danny`s better half was the holder of the winning ticket in the raffle so we left our fave boozer clutching an armful of fine bottle-conditioned ales whilst the party carried on long after we reluctantly left for home. The only thing that could have been better would have been if it had not been a Tuesday night.: Maybe a Friday next year!?
Titanic`s Plum Porter:-