Pigs are in the news again, I hear (possibly not in Canada). Any excuse for a classic “pig head on the Barnsley pub bar” shot. I still can’t work out what it was for.

Hotel prices in University cities always rocket up when students move in. As a revered “tight git”, this meant swerving the usual options in Sheffield city centre (£130+) and instead heading to the cheap bits of Barnsley.


First of all to the Premier Inn at Tankersley (Junction 36 to you and me), whose Brewers Fayre competes with McDonalds for the gourmet pound.

I took Son 1 to Maccy Ds (surely a future East Cheshire micro name) for chicken selects while Mrs RM and Son 2 looked for more edible options next door.  An hour later, I got the message “You must come now. Doom Bar’s drinking well“.

Well. How could I resist. Actually, they were two distinct statements. The essential nature of the Wentworth (Brewer’s Fayre) derived from an extended Irish family on the lash.

It may look like Gomorrah to you,


but it was lively, and boozy, and noisy, the very essence of a pub.


Youngest son chastised me for taking photos of people (rightly so, Matt), so here’s a picture of Mrs RM’s second pint of Doom Bar.


It was really cool and tasty (NBSS 3.5), helped by the Yorkshire head.

I’ll be entering that score, and replying to the rather snobby comment on WhatPub;

Big food pub, not even sure its a pub anymore ?”

That may have been true when it was a real ale lacking Taybarns (RIP), but this was an authentic a pub experience as at the very similar Whitbread diner in Newark this year.


A short hop along the Trans Pennine trail and over the M1 into Hoyland, where Keys is patently the sort of posh modern diner that Barnsley CAMRA want in the Beer Guide, sitting a few yards along from the identical Saville Square of recent GBG fame.


People still dress up to go to out round here, and I almost expected to be refused entry for being a scruff, which would have made a better blog post.

Note the authentic gold handbag in front of the pumps.

Jam Jar alert

While I waited for service, competing with folk ordering champagne yapping about their being a “legend at the Hacienda“, I sensed the need to make a random decision on the ales. Neither the lady with the fascinator, the bloke dressed like Demi Roussos or the pig were of much use, so I went for the Abbeydale, and went and hid in the corner.

It was superb (NBSS 3.5), an experience only slightly soured by the “Rawk ! ” music and the realisation when I walked round the bar that I could have had a CAMRA discount.

Two Barnsley pubs, one posh, one not, both with superb beer. Just goes to show you never can tell.

Of course, if you come to Hoyland you must visit Brad.


NB I finished off Mrs RM’s Doom Bar when I got back at midnight. It tasted like cold tea.



  1. I blogged about Taybarns here, but contrary to my prediction, it never really seems to have taken off. Pity, because as a picky eater I’m a big fan of buffet-style restaurants, because you don’t have to put anything on your plate that you don’t want to eat.

    Seems that people also dress up to stand in yapping crowds blocking the bar 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What pub snobbery,well that surprises me.
    Women should get dolled up for a Friday or Saturday night out,they do round here and should do everywhere,blokes should go out casual smart,ie a sports shirt and smart jeans.


  3. “Pigs are in the news again, I hear (possibly not in Canada).”

    Certainly not for this week at least. Our Thanksgiving is this coming weekend (unlike the Yanks who do it in November) so it’s all turkey around here right now. 🙂

    “Youngest son chastised me for taking photos of people (rightly so, Matt), so here’s a picture of Mrs RM’s second pint of Doom Bar.”
    I see what you did there. (heh)

    And quite the difference in ambiance between the two pubs (that photo of the Keys is another nice one by the way). Both have good beer though so at least one can decide to go “uptown” or “downtown” for a pint, depending on your mood.


    PS: “As a revered ‘tight git’”

    I take it in this case the “tight” is used to indicate spendthrift rather than tipsy. 🙂


  4. Just be very careful where you’re going here. Barnsley borders are very close to my original home! You should have gone to The Wortley Club, a very fine little village (spoiled only by the A629 going right through it’s heart) and apparently the club is outstanding for good ale. The nearby Wortley Arms is currently my folks dining pub of choice, although I am unsure of the beer quality.

    Liked by 1 person

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