Olde No 7                                              Dove Inn                                               Joseph Bramah                                        The Keel Inn          

I have tended to drink in Sheffield before and after going to Barnsley, particularly with the very good, but relatively expensive, Sheffield Tap on platform 1 of Sheffield Station (see our Sheffield page). This is a bar that sees a variety of travelling fans going through its doors every match day (on their way North, South, East or West), though sometimes the doormen/bouncers won’t allow obviously football shirt wearing people in, so don't be blatant. Of course, there are also numerous other places to visit in Sheffield as well, so well worth the stop over before and/or afterwards.

However, there are 2 small brewery owned pubs worth visiting in Barnsley now, the first, which has been highly recommended to me, is Old No 7, 7 Market Hill S70 2PX (01226 244735), owned by Acorn Brewery (closed on Mondays).  7 or 8 ales are served from handpump, obviously Acorn ales, but guest ales are served too, eg Titanic Iceberg, Ilkley Siberia and Fullers Chiswick Bitter, and a good selection of Belgian and other quality bottle beers from around the world.  The interior has lovely wooden floorboards and panels, with a long bar along the side, plus a cellar bar that can be booked for meetings.  This is a must for my next visit to the region.

The second is the Dove Inn, 102 Doncaster Road S70 1TP (01226 288351), with Old Mill Bitter its resident ale, plus seasonal ales.  The Dove is close to the football ground, and has been recommended by many away supporters, serving up good ale and with a friendly atmosphere.  For fine weather, there is a good sized garden too. 

There are 2 Wetherspoons to mention, my preference is for the Joseph Bramah, 15 Market Hill S70 2PX (01226 320890), which opened in December 2006 and covers two floors, with open plan drinking areas and much seating, particularly upstairs, where the loos are found. When I first visited, I was amazed at just how big it is inside, as the frontage is just like a small shop front width, boy have they joined up other buildings and extended extensively, that's Wetherspoons for you.  The pub is named after the prolific Barnsley-born inventor, Joseph Bramah (1749-1814), who is best known for inventing the flushing water closet, hydraulic press, a machine for printing serial numbers on banknotes, and an 'unpickable' safety lock that was admired by the Duke of Wellington and Czar Alexander I of Russia. Weatherspoons do like to involve local history and/or characters as a focus for their houses.

I particularly liked the Osset ale they had on (Osset is consistently a brewer of very fine pale and hoppy beers) when I was first there, and a good ale always makes a good impression.  As previously pointed out the toilets are upstairs, where there is plenty of seating (though pretty much full up by 13.00hrs on matchday) and another bar that sometimes serves a different guest beer to downstairs. Upstairs is worth checking out, particularly after a few pints.  The other Wetherspoons is the Silkstone Inn, 64 Market Street S70 1SN (01226 320860), which was Wetherspoons 700th outlet.

I have also been recommended a pub, north of the town centre, next to the now filled in canal, just off Old Mill Lane, and less than 10 minutes walk from the bus/rail interchange. This is The Keel Inn, 18 Canal Street, Barnsley S71 1LJ (01226 289 813), which also offer B&B. Inside, is a distinctly nautical theme, including a huge ship's wheel by the bar, also former Oakwell Barnsley Brewery memorabilia, a real fire (great in the winter), and table tops that are covered entirely in old 1/2p coins. There are 3 rooms and 2 heated outside areas, the large function room at the back includes a large screen TV. There are 2 to 4 real ales on handpump, mostly serving ales from local microbreweries. It should be noted that The Keel Inn does not open until 7pm, and from 12.00 on Sundays.