17th January 2023.
Late last year Boak & Bailey visited Sheffield and lauded the Union Hotel, making it their Pub of the Year.
I’d never heard of it, but then it hasn’t graced the GBG in the 25 years I’ve been visiting the city, and I’ve made only steady progress walking out to the unheralded pubs in Sheffield’s south-western suburbs.
Google said an hour’s walk, down through student-land and gorgeous Endcliffe Park.
The Union isn’t unique; there’s similar pubs up in Crookes (Princess Royal and Cobden View sprang to mind).
Proper locals that stick to the knitting of serving good beer, open every day, and good value grub in a pub seemingly unchanged for decades.
Half a dozen blokes, improbably all younger than me, all on the Moonshine or Landlord. Now, Moonshine or Landlord probably don’t make you a destination cask pub, but that level of turnover does mean your cask is more likely to be good if you get the basics right.
And both pints were easily Beer Guide standard, the Moonshine a cool and chewy NBSS 3.5 the pick of the two.
Boak & Bailey mentioned the menu, all under a tenner, and with half a dozen signs subliminally telling me to have a burger I had a burger. It was superb (NBSS 4.5) and I think you’ll agree the pickle on a stick is a winner.
The two lads on the table opposite (Joe and Mac) me were about to open a bar on the other side of Encliffe, “A Crafty One” I think, and I pondered the eternal question.
At what point during someone else’s lunch (pie and chips) do you interrupt them to be nosey ? They were happy to be interrupted, and chat pubs and wine and Hexham. I’ll pop in when they open.
The landlord popped over to say hello and I told him how good it was to see a pub open every lunchtime (shut afternoon, trad hours). What a lovely man he is, here over 30 years, and as typical of Sheffield, a bundle of positivity.
A Sheffield corker. Yes, another one.