For those of you enquiring about supplying beers for Doncaster Beer Festival 2018, I’m sadly no longer involved with the organisation. Sorry!
Following on from my top 10 ticking pubs in 2016, I thought I’d take a quick look at my 2017 ticking pubs.
As I said last year, I’m a beer ticker – I like to try as many different beers as possible and as such I’ve ranked my top ten pubs in order of the number of ticks that I’ve had there. I’ve not included beer festivals. Ticking isn’t the be all and end all of pub life, but it just so happens that I rather do like most of the pubs I’ve visited.
1. Friends of Ham, Leeds (Up from 2 in 2016)
Since it opened, FoH has always been my top ticking pub, although it was relegated to second place last year. This year, it’s back in the top spot.
2. Tapped, Leeds (Down from 1 in 2016)
After spending a year in the top place, Tapped is back down to second. Still a great pub but the thing that lets it down is that they don’t serve beers in third pints unless they’re really strong or expensive. In this part of Leeds, there’s such a choice of pubs and bars and many of them do serve thirds so given the choice, I’ll go there first.
3. The Queen Crafthouse & Kitchen (New entry into top 10) – top Doncaster pub
Straight in at number 3 is the Queen. They only opened in September 2016 so didn’t make last year’s rankings but with a great selection of cask and keg and great staff and a great vibe, they’re definitely there with the front runners.
4. Piw Paw Parkingowa and Piw Paw Foksal (Down from 3 in 2016) – top non-UK pub
The combined score wouldn’t have got them to number one this year! Still 150 different beers between the two branches but while the selection is good, the quality of breweries used isn’t always the best.
5. Bundobust, Leeds (New entry in top 10)
Not quite sure why they didn’t feature in last year’s list, but they’re here now! Not the biggest selection out of the pubs here, but always very good quality.
6. Doncaster Brewery Tap (Up from 11 in 2016)
Aided by their beer festival and continuing guest ales from other breweries as well as keg beers now, this pub goes from strength to strength.
7. Arcade, Huddersfield (New entry into 2016)
The bar has been here a little while, but was a while before I discovered it. A little strange as they don’t serve cask – only keg, bottle and cans. Their position has been helped by quite a number of takeaway bottles.
8. Sportsman, Huddersfield (Down from 6 in 2016)
They’ve slid a couple of places although quality and quantity haven’t. Still an enjoyable visit as well as great beer
9. The Corner, Huddersfield (New entry into top 10)
Another new entry in the fabulously beery town of Huddersfield. Just like The Queen, this fantastic pub that’s owned by the owners of Mallinson’s brewery opened at the end of 2016. Great choice of cask and keg beers, all available in third, half, two-thirds or pints, brilliant staff and tasty home cooked food.
10. Alexandra, Derby (New entry into top 10)
It’s always a pleasure to visit the Alex. It’s just down from Derby station and has a strong railway theme in it. I’ve seen pub cats and dogs before but they have a pub rabbit! As well as great beers on the bar, always a good stop off for train beers too.
11. The Draughtsman, Doncaster
I had an eleventh place pub last year so I thought I’d do the same this year. Only opened in April, I’ve written a full article here. I wonder where they’ll be next year?
So – out of eleven pubs, only three are in Doncaster. All independent, with no ties to breweries or pub groups with enthusiastic owners and staff. Says a lot, doesn’t it?