Husband and wife team Kevin and Steph Woods, who have run the pub for 12 years as managers, have bought the business to become independent and totally ‘free trade’.
“We’re indebted to the vendors, Castle Rock Brewery, for their confidence in us,” says Kevin. “We came to Sheffield to manage this pub in 2004. We had already found our new vocation in the licensed trade while doing one-off shifts in pubs in other towns. And what with Steph’s addiction to Sheffield Wednesday and our daughter Rebecca’s early swimming passion, this has proved to be a good decision. Sheffield welcomed us, and we couldn’t be happier.
“On arrival in Steel Town, our aim was to bring our daughter up, enjoy ourselves, and build the pub up as a community place for our neighbourhood, football fans, and for those looking to enjoy live music, comedy and real ale.
“Thankfully our efforts have been rewarded with 12 consecutive listings in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and, most recently, Sheffield CAMRA’s pub of the month award,” he says.
Kevin is convinced Sheffield deserves its title of England’s real ale capital. “Now that we’re free of tie, we can broaden our real ale and cider range, make ourselves available for more local suppliers and reflect even more strongly the preferences of our wide customer base.”
Colin Wilde, Castle Rock Brewery managing director, and former Tapton School old boy, says the couple deserve the opportunity. “Over the years, they have developed the business and expanded their customer base to make the New Barrack Tavern the CAMRA award-winning pub it is today. At a time when we’re told 29 pubs a week are closing, this is an example of what can be achieved by people dedicated to serving the public well,” he says.
The New Barrack Tavern was given a £35,000 makeover in February. The new lounge replaced a derelict Victorian shop and outbuilding. This has already proved its worth on busy days at neighbouring Hillsborough and when the pub holds its regular music, comedy and real ale days.