its a bit late I know but have been "otherwise engaged" since the Tuesday night when the event happened, so apologies for anyone reading this as old news.
This year I was quite grumpy at the suggestion that Shakespeares's was only Sheffield's 5th best pub. Partly because of some of the candidates above it, mostly because no-one could give a clear reason apart from the toilets and a lack of settees and Chesterfields to lounge in. Some people agreed, many were shocked, but since then, I assume many changes have taken place to assuage the doubters. I mean, they have, right?
I think any regular readers will know that I love Shakespeares. its my favourite Sheffield boozer. Fabulous cask and keg and bottled beers, from traditional milds and bitters right through to pale ales, strong IPA's porters, stouts siasons, sours,wheat beers - everything to tempt the palate. It has a fantastic beer garden, some comfirtable and yes, some less comfortable seats, value sandwiches and snacks, and a fantastic team of staff.
One of the things Mr Bamford said in response to asking what had gone wrong with Shakespeares since 2013 was that the issue with the slightly pongy toilets was not a quick fix. They have however seemed to have taken steps to reduce the aroma since then, and although basic, the toilets are no worse than others in Sheffield pubs, including those in the top 4. And, unless I missed something, that is all that has changed (oh, and sadly, Kaisha K has left, and been replaced). So perhaps this award recognises that the pub was simply brilliant all along?
Anyway, whatever the reason behind it, the award is richly deserved. And, very well celebrated.
We started in the beer garden supping pints of Red Willow Directionless, a tasty well hopped but balanced bitter, and Siren Dinner for eight, a very tasty and well rounded Vienna lager pale ale from Siren Craft Brewery - to note - I think the Dinner for seven was similar......? Both beers were well kept and served from the cask.
As Chris B said with a wry smile, being a CAMRA pub of the month award, he had put on extra keg beers fr the masses to enjoy. And chuff me - we did! The first up was the exceptional Kernel Citra Mosaic pale at 5.5% - a fantastic mosaic flavour predominates but with the Citra sitting nicely in the background. This was an exceptional drink. Next up, and what we in fact drank for the rest of the night was a Steel City Mango IPA. Wow.
It looked like Mango juice. It tasted of IPA, hoppy, very hoppy in fact and dry, but with Mango juice added. It was a soft drink at 7%. It was heaven in a glass. And another glass. And another glass. We met up with Mrs Giant in the clock room and joined him for at east 2 maybe 3 more pints, including as I forgot earlier, another of Directionless for Tash - which considering she was off and I was at work the next day was strange....
The award was presented and food was served as is always the way at such events, and people continued to drink and celebrate and wish Shakespeares well for their achievement. No comfy chairs. Same types of beer. More or less the same staff. Same loos. Always the best pub in Sheffield for me.