Thursday : Maison du Biere in Barnsley

I’ve posted about this pub separately to my daily post about my repeat visit to Barnsley before the LDWA 100.

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I had already been to the other pubs we had visited in Barnsley, so I was looking for somewhere new. I hadn’t visited Maison du Biere before, I think they slipped between the Good Beer Guide list and they’re also not listed on Untappd. I’m very pleased that we visited though, this is an outstanding pub.

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I don’t suppose that I’ll ever run a pub again, but this was the shop section of the bar. I was conscious that the dust on some of the bottles meant they weren’t selling as much as they hoped, but the selection was excellent. The prices were very reasonable as well, and it’s a shame that they’re so far away, otherwise I’ll go back. Although I think I’ll find a reason to go back to Barnsley to go here again anyway.

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And if that bottles weren’t enough, look at the number of taps. And there are some very decent options there, not just generic beers to make up the numbers. I’m always excited to see beers by Vault City and the Strawberry Sundae was smooth, decadent, fruity and also very keenly priced here. Then there was the delight of the Triple Cream Milk Stout from Cassels Brewing, smooth and sweet. The Salvation Raspberry and Chocolate Stout from Abbeydale Brewery didn’t quite have the depth of flavour I’d like, but it was well kept and still had an enjoyable flavour. I can’t think though that there’s anywhere else in Barnsley offering beers of this quality.

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When we entered the bar, I knew that they closed in one hour and there was no-one else there. The staff member, who was knowledgeable and engaging, made us very welcome even though she was cleaning and likely expecting no more customers. It is in my mind a complete travesty that this bar was empty when some nearby pubs, which to be honest were bloody awful (oh woo, look, Fosters and Carling, what a smorgasbord of beers we have), were busy. Everything about this bar shined, including the service from the team member, the decor and the beer range. I could find no fault in any single part of this bar’s operations and regular readers (all two of them) will know I normally find something to complain about. The staff member made us feel very welcome and was conversational, a very good advocate for the venue.

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Spotlessly clean, with comfortable seating.

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Richard, who is very decadent, bought this gin to take away and is responsible for giving me a headache the next morning (I selflessly helped him try it), but I didn’t say anything….

There are some exceptional bars such as Goose Island and pubs such as the Hop & Vine, but this is certainly up amongst them. I’m not sure if it opened too recently to get into the Good Beer Guide, but it sells real ale and it should absolutely be listed in the next edition. Clearly a contender for my very exciting (to me, although not really anyone else) Pub of the Year award. A complete delight and I hope it does well in the future, it deserves to.