Once upon a time, it was a shop dedicated to cake decorating. Now, it is the latest addition to the celebration of real ales and ciders in these parts, and it is fair to say that the Arcade Alehouse has been garlanded with praise by those in the know

Pub of the Week: The Arcade Alehouse
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Drinks selection80%
Atmosphere80%
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And that includes the local branch of Camra, who have given it, within the space of only a few months, a trio of awards – Pub of the Year, Pub of the Season (in spring) and Cider Pub of the Year.
It is a quirky little place, with one bar on the ground floor that is about the size of an average front room, and another above it, climbed to by stairs, which has the added attraction of a small seating area that looks down into the busy Victorian Arcade below.
According to its own manifesto, the Arcade is a small free house “which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment, and dabbles in pub snacks”.
Aside from a barmaid, who was more engrossed by her mobile phone than she was in chatting to customers, this is a smashing little place.
The beers are wonderfully, you might even say lovingly, kept – a pint of Geeves Clear Cut (a new one for me) slid down so well that it would have been rude not to have another.
There are another five hand pumps and three or four cider ones, plus a couple of craft lagers.
Another plus is that local artists turn up regularly for acoustic music sessions.
The Arcade Alehouse, 31, Victorian Arcade, Barnsley, S70 2QL. 07843 930974.

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Phil Penfold

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