This Thursday sees the start of a five-day beer festival at the Old No7, Barnsley. The pub on Market Hill is Acorn Brewery’s tap. The beer list wasn't available when I called yesterday to buy the new Barnsley guide and take some photographs. Alas my lens skills are not the same as the two David Bailey’s who run this blog. So go and see the pub for yourselves.
As documented elsewhere, Barnsley wasn't a renowned ale town. Yes, it had Barnsley Bitter but that has come and gone and come back again. It’s a bit much to say Barnsley was a total ale wasteland. There were places where you could find a decent pint like the Good Beer Guide stalwarts The Huntsman (Thurlstone) and The Market (Elsecar). But such places were on the outskirts and there wasn't much to keep you in town.
However, the brewing landscape has changed over the last few years. Acorn and Oakwell have now been joined by two fine micro-breweries, Two Roses (Darton) and Geeves (Stairfoot). But there was still something lacking: a great centrally-located pub to tempt the Huddersfield and Sheffield bound lot off the train for a pit stop. It arrived in 2011 in the form of the Old No7, which in its short history has won a number of local and regional awards.
The bar boasts at least eight cask conditioned ales, split between Acorn’s range and guests. The main bar is at street level but there is also a cellar bar, which comes into its own at festival time. Speaking of which there is one from Thursday 28th to Easter Monday, with 30 plus beers on offer.What I like about this pub is the friendly staff who care about what they serve you. Can you ask for anything more?
The Old No7 is a few minutes walk from Barnsley Interchange. It is easy to find. Leave the bus station near the escalators, go left at the cinema along the main road, turn right shortly afterwards into the Victorian arcade. Go up and you’ll see the pub over the road.