When Ossett Brewery reopened Fernandes last October, all the emphasis was on the newly created Bier Keller. And rightly so. This was a very bold move in a town the size of Wakefield (only Leeds has anything comparable locally) and, with a recent award for best themed beer venue in the north of England resulting in a place at next month's national finals, it now seems to be getting the recognition it deserves.
But of course cask beer is what the company's all about, and whilst all eyes were on the Keller, the Fernandes brewery and bar quietly got on with producing and serving some of the finest ale around in somewhat more humble surroundings. However, after a week's refit, the second floor bar is once again open for business with a stunning face lift.
A redesigned bar is the central feature which is now geared to serve a couple of extra beers (ten in total) - very necessary if guests are still to feature prominently in the wake of recent Greene King & Fullers deals. The roof beams are now more eye-catching than before and new furnishings have put the sheen back that had been on the wain for some time.
Ossett pubs have an image that those who've sampled them will immediately recognise from the photos. For me it's a traditional Olde Inne image just as suitable for hordes of walkers as it is for a party bound for the theatre - i.e. no pretensions, just a perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy your lovingly hand-crafted brew. I think it's safe to say that if Carlsberg did pub interiors they probably wouldn't look anything like this! Thank God there are still a few people around who care enough to produce these kind of places. Nice job!