Flying Scotsman Tap - Town Pub of the Season

In 2014 the local Chantry Brewery from Rotherham did Doncaster a great service, they bought the old Garage pub at the end of Silver Street (The Old Volunteer Club for those of us of a certain age), gave it a complete make-over then, in November, re-opened and re-named it The Flying Scotsman Tap.

They were actually on the verge of being nominated for Pub of the Season last year but a change of management meant they no longer met our strict criteria for the award. Luckily for all of us, Stephen Lines took over and the quality of the beer has remained as good as ever so it gives us great pleasure to award Steve and his staff the Doncaster Pub of The Season award for Autumn 2016.

The Flying Scotsman Tap obviously feature their own excellent Chantry beers, with 5 of them featuring regularly on the bar, alongside a changing guest beer, with yet another handpump dedicated to an ever changing real cider. Or if you fancy a bottled beer you won't be disappointed as they also have a large selection of beers in the fridge behind the bar.If that is not enough choice you will also find draught craft beer and draught Belgian fruit beer available on the bar. Even with an excellent price of between £2.25 and £2.60 per pint they also give card-carrying CAMRA members a discount of 10p per pint off their Chantry beers.

When you come into the Flying Scotsman Tap, you will find the bar straight in front of you. There is a stage to the right of the bar at the rear of the pub, where you can watch live bands on a Saturday evening, Enjoy the free jamming session on a Friday from 7pm, or come and listen to, or join in, the open mic night on a Sunday from 6pm. There is also a free juke box on a Monday and Tuesday so this successful pub really does have something for everyone.

Along the right hand wall you can appreciate the large works of art, especially the floor-to ceiling mural by the window of the magnificent Flying Scotsman itself, in all its glory. You could also turn up to one of their many fund-raising evenings as The Flying Scotsman Tap does a lot of work to raise money for charity.

On 6 August they opened their inaugural mini-beer festival, with 16 guest ales, the next one being around Christmas time. To keep up to date with what's on when, all the details of their forthcoming fundraisers, beer festivals etc. will be on their Facebook page as they are finalised.

The Harvey Arms, Finningley - District Pub of the Season

Winning a CAMRA award isn’t easy, especially for our rural pubs where there’s stiff competition. Congratulations are therefore due to the Harvey Arms, Finningley, which for the second time is our Doncaster District Pub of the Season.

Situated in a picturesque setting by the village green, this is a pub which has seen many changes. There’s been a pub on the site since at least 1822 and for much of the 20th century it was run by the same family. It became a thriving village local which was popular with locals as well as servicemen from the nearby RAF Finningley (Now Robin Hood Airport ). It was certainly a factor which influenced our decision to move to Finningley in 1993.

Current licensees Warren and Sandra Kennedy have been in charge since May 2011. They took over after a difficult period which saw several licensees come and go and even resulted in the pub closing for several months. When Warren and Sandra arrived many locals, myself included, had lost the habit of going to the Harvey Arms. Since then there have been major changes. The interior has been refurbished, the partition wall between the former public bar and lounge has gone and the pub’s surroundings have been transformed into a beer garden. The pub also has a good reputation for food. It’s an attractive venue which draws customers from all over the area.

However, Doncaster Branch's criteria for an award is solely to do with the beer. This is another aspect which has improved under the present ownership. Cellarman Dan Wilson, who joined the staff shortly after Warren and Sandra took over, is a key player here. Four cask ales are usually available with Timothy Taylor Landlord, Leeds Pale and the excellent Cooper and Griffin Vulcan Bomber (Why don’t more pubs sell this one – it’s superb! ) as mainstays.

The pub is owned by Punch Taverns and takes full advantage of its permitted beer range. Recent cask beers on offer have included Wadworth 6X, Sharp’s Atlantic and Moorhouse Blonde Witch. It’s a testament to Warren’s and Dan’s work that the beer quality is consistently good. I’d been telling our members about this for months. After a recent CAMRA social visited the pub they agreed, hence this award