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3.64/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
After a great meal and several pints of Timothy Taylors Landlord at the Blue Bell, Wentbridge (see BeerFly), it was soon time to head back into Pontefract.
Pontefract has long suffered the lack of a decent Ale House, especially since the demise of the Tap & Spile chain and the local Tomlinsons Brewery. However, the Robin Hood serves a decent selection of Real Ales, and even given its limited range, is by far the best place to get a pint in Pontie.
Named after the well-known character Robin Hood, it has long been argued by scholars as to whether he even existed at all, and if he did, who he really was. His origins are also fiercely fought over; it is argued he originally came from Nottingham, though some documents also state that he may well have lived in and around Pontefract for some time, hence the Pubs name.
Located on a busy roundabout just off the A645, the main road to Wakefield, it is situated at Town End nearby the Tanshelf/Baghill Railway Stations. The exterior can look grubby at times, but being so close to a busy roundabout and main road, it is almost impossible to stop the build up of road grime. But you should never judge a book by its cover, or a Pub by its exterior, for inside is a cozy four roomed hostelry. The bar is to your left as you enter, running parallel to the road outside, and being in the middle of the Pub, it equally serves both the front and back rooms. A rectangular front room, basic in décor, serves as the Tap Room, and is host to some thick smoke and language at times. The back room is a more plush and often a little quieter and is located near to the toilets. To your right, as you enter, two well upholstered, but small, rooms serve as close as to what can be called a Lounge.
The Bar area is reasonably small, and it can get very busy at times, but the turnover of its Real Ales is therefore very good, so that and the fact that I believe all of the Guest beers are served from Firkins (9 Gallon Casks) means that the beer is always fresh, and that the Guest Beers change frequently.
On my last visit, the Robin Hood had John Smiths Bitter and Tetley Bitter from the big boys. Nothing special there, but they are served in good form and are not the Nitro-Smooth versions found elsewhere which is at least a good thing. The two Guest Beers were Salamander Medusa, a fruity Pale Ale - I had a few pints of this. But I finished the night with a pint of the other Guest beer, the excellent and very warming Jennings Sneck Lifter, a 5.1% very tasty dark brown ale that had lots of roasted malts with a mildly complex fruity aspect, I just had the one pint as this beer tend to creep up on me. Value is very good and the service sharp, though it was reasonably quiet on my visit.
The Robin Hood focuses mainly on local trade, hosting Quiz Nights on Tuesdays and Sundays. It is also big on traditional pub games, fielding both a Darts and Dominoes Team that play in local leagues. A small TV in the (front) Tap Room usually shows Sporting events including Football matches; indeed on my last visit I caught the end of Newcastle beating PSV Eindhoven to reach a semi-final clash with Marseille in the UEFA Cup. A decent well appointed rear beer garden is available for the warmer summer nights. Serves no meals, only pub snacks.
Winner of several Wakefield CAMRA Pub of the Season Awards, and even Pub of the Year as far back as 1998. Its commitment to Real Ale in what can only be called a Real Ale Desert is highly commendable. Every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend it holds a small but exceptionally well run Beer Festival that is well worth a visit.
Not really worth a trip in of itself, but worth a visit if you are in the area.
Last Visit: Wednesday 14th April, 2004.
04-25-2004 02:24:13 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Robin Hood in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (England)
- out of 100 based on 1 ratings.