Another overnighter in the Kingdom of Barnsley, this time in Dodworth, about which I can tell you nothing.
Except that it has two chain hotels (bargain Ibis), a business park, a health spa, two curry houses and six pubs. Take away the health spa and you’ve got an attractive town there.
The Ibis is next to a Toby, which we guessed wouldn’t quite match the pubby joys of Barnsley. I considered suggesting to Mrs RM we walk into town to see if the Conservative Club was still serving Wobbly Bob, but I didn’t want to end up in Barnsley A&E.
So Dodworth Costcutter it was. Alongside a tea of cream crackers, goats cheese and Balti mix, we had a choice of the following;
Luckily, Mrs RM could see the shop assistant was hiding the “craft beers” alongside the prophylactics and paracetamol (don’t get them confused) behind the counter. Blue Moon, Brooklyn and Brewdog. And that was just the “B”s.
I need not bother telling you her choice, The fact you can get Punk IPA in a Costcutter in Barnsley, but can’t get Draught Bass in any Beer Guide pub in Cambridgeshire, says all you need to know about the genius of Messrs Watt and Dickie. I think.
It was still lively well past peak food hours, so Mrs RM found a seat next to the giant toy grabber. She couldn’t win the cat, but did find herself in earshot of another family group determined to play out their domestic dramas for our benefit.
Back at the bar, for a moment I thought all the attractive pumps were dispensing Doom Bar.
Stupidly, I paid the extra 60p for a pint of the Barnsley Bitter that Mrs RM described as “foul“. It wasn’t that bad, perhaps NBSS 2, but I bet the Doom Bar was better.
American and Canadian readers may be interested to see the Toby Craft Keg range;
A Toby Carvery is hardly a destination pub on the outskirts of any town, but when tied to Innkeepers Lodges they’ve always been a reliable place for a cheap roast over the years in places as exciting as Stoke, Wigan and Stockport (OK, Heaton Chapel*).
They’re distinguishable by the tat on the walls, which is often a collection of bawdy postcards, UK musical history, and Toby jugs. Better than Ember, anyway.
For a while a decade ago they had some decent beer on, seeming to settle on Thwaites, then Brakspear, and now Doom Bar.
I can assure you that no-one else in Dodworth that night cared how well the cask was drinking.
*Selfless research at IndyMan confirmed the Heaton Chapel Toby is now a faceless Miller & Carter steakhouse, without an obvious handpump. Bad news on the A6.