View Full Version : Rotherham

sheffield hatter
17-02-2014, 21:34
An unpromising location for a pub crawl, you might think. Certainly that's what I thought when consulting both the Camra website (http://whatpub.com/search?q=rotherham&t=ft&p=1&features=Pub%2CRealAle%2COpen) and Pubs Galore (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/areas/rotherham-central/south-yorkshire/) before setting off. The Rotherham branch of Camra was apparently an off-shoot of the original Sheffield branch, but the untimely death of the mainstay resulted in an enfeebled group that apparently can't manage a single photo of the pubs in the town centre and have failed to correct the obvious duplicate Bridge Inn/Nellie Denes.

I met my drinking companion in the Bridge, where there are 10 hand pumps spread around the bar, with about half a dozen different beers split between owners Old Mill and the local Chantry brewery (http://www.chantrybrewery.co.uk/). The Chantry Iron and Steel was very quaffable, and my mate confessed that he had once stretched his "one pint before the train" visit to an extraordinary nine pint marathon in this very welcoming traditional pub. We thought about a second, but decided instead to promise ourselves a return visit at the end of the crawl - it's very handy for the station, after all.

The next stop, having by-passed The Angel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34012/) (which is in joint ownership with the Mail Coach - see later) and The Rhinoceros (JD Wetherspoon) (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34125/) (in anticipation of a probably better JDW experience later in the crawl), was meant to be The Town Gate (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/75637/), a modern Marstons pub in a shop conversion which seemed to promise cask beers. However, a quick look from inside the doorway revealed only a solitary and naked hand pump, so we beat a retreat and headed up the street to The Mail Coach (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34086/). Both this and the Angel have banners on the walls outside advertising the availability of cask ales, so we went in and gave it a try. There were two hand pumps on both the front and back bars, with Old Rosie cider and local Wentworth Bumble Beer available. We went for the beer, which was OK - well kept but a little bland. It was a much larger pub than the frontage suggested, going quite a long way back over a couple of different levels. A lot of standing room, but also some seating in railed off areas. A surprising collection of modern art prints from the likes of Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon adorned the otherwise fairly plain walls. A pool table but no darts - we speculated on the reasons for this: if it's potential violence, are pool cues and balls less dangerous than darts?

Just along the road, the former Hare & Hounds (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34073/) is now called the William Fry. A recent refurbishment with plain walls and tartan carpet, the latter clashing very nicely with the red striped upholstery on benches and stools. Again, a pool table but no darts. Four hand pumps, with Tetleys pump clips reversed but Black Sheep Bitter in very good condition on the one live handle. A Monday offer of £1.75 a pint was rejected in favour of just two halves for £2.90. We contemplated asking for a pint with two straws but thought better of it.

Up the hill from here via a railed footpath is The Bluecoat (JD Wetherspoon) (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34062/), probably the best of the three 'Spoons in Rotherham. As described in reviews from our boating reviewers, this is quite a pub-like venue, with 10 hand pumps. There were only a few people in, but this was early Monday evening. The usual Ruddles Best (a mis-named beer if ever I saw one) and London Pride, but no Abbot; all the other beers were from Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire, including two from Chantry and others from the likes of Kelham Island and Welbeck Abbey. This would be a good one for a session, especially at only £1.99 a pint.

Next stop was the recently renamed New York Tavern (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34109/), taking its name from the new football ground of Rotherham FC. Chantry Brewery has taken over this pub since my review of less than a year ago, and there are now 11 hand pumps where there used to be only one. Six of these had Chantry beers on, plus two ciders and three guest ales. The Chantry beers are mostly named after aspects of the coal or steel industries - we had "18 Eight" which is apparently the percentage of chromium and nickel in stainless steel (http://www.stainlessrestorations.co.nz/what-is-stainless-steel.html#4). The pub is not much changed from my previous visit, apart from real ale replacing Carling on the bar, and a bit of sprucing up. Definitely worth the short walk from the town centre or the station, especially as it's just £2 a pint for real ales, though it's quite sad to walk past the magnificent and sadly closed trio of the Cutlers Arms (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34048/) (Stones), The Wellington Boot Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34167/) (Wards) and The Alma Tavern (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/34010/) on the way.

Checking our timetables we found we had judged it just right for another half in the Bridge before our train back to Sheffield. A surprisingly pleasant crawl had yielded three very good pubs and two that, at least, we didn't regret visiting.

17-02-2014, 22:20
Thanks for taking the time to scribe this; I've always overlooked Rotherham on my (almost annual) Yorkshire ale holiday. Perhaps I should rectify that this year...

Bucking Fastard
23-02-2014, 08:54
Will,a very good piece of research and sounds like you had a good crawl.From a boating point of view Rotherham is an obvious place to stop given the infrequent hours of the lock keepers on the Tinsley flight up to Sheffield Basin.Both the New York Tavern and the Bridge are close to the navigation, so it's just a matter of finding a safe mooring then enjoying some fine ale.

Next time I'm up that way, I now know where to head.

Many thanks.

Al 10000
23-02-2014, 15:30
It seems there are a few decent pubs to do in Rotherham.

I had planned a crawl there for early this year but London tempted me more,i was going to do all the Spoons early doors then do all pubs in Kimberworth,then end up doing a crawl round the middle of Rotherham,all map work sorted but not got round to doing it yet.

Al 10000
20-03-2014, 17:39
Off to Rotherham on Saturday,

It will be an early start in the Spoons that nobody has reviewed then move onto one more spoons,i will then head out to greasley and do all pubs there,then onto Kimberworth and do all pubs there,i will then end up in masborough and do a few there,if time and light permits i will end up in the town centre.

If all goes to plan i should get to do 17 unreviewed pubs,i am setting my targets high,hope to do 23 new pubs and get to take photos of a few we did there many years ago.