|» Staffordshire » Shoulder of Mutton, Barton Under Needwood|
Shoulder of Mutton, 16 Main Street, Barton Under Needwood, BURTON-ON-TRENT, DE13 8AA [Map]
Yet another pub that I kind of 'just happened across.' A lot of pub connoisseurs stick to well known 'classic' pubs that appear in most of the printed pub guides but I guess that I tend to like to venture a little deeper into the UK and to visit those that are perhaps a little less well known. The Shoulder of Mutton is a typical example, just a brief mention in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2002 (praising them for their excellent real ale) and Alisdair Aird and Co at the Good Pub Guide have yet to uncover this little gem but a handful of miles down the road from that Staffordshire town steeped in brewing history, Burton-on-Trent.
You can't miss the Shoulder of Mutton, it's right in the centre of the village and the National Cycle Network Route 54 runs right outside the front door an you can guess how we arrived that day, by bike en route from Derby to Lichfield. With Barton Under Needwood a little over halfway, we needed no more reasons to stop here for refreshments and for a good filling lunch.
It's a very popular pub with locals that's been around for over 300 years. We parked our bikes around the back where there's also a place to tie up your cars, I mean park them should you choose to drive. More sensibly you'd stay somewhere near and enjoy their particularly fine real ales to the full. The Draught Bass and Marstons Pedigree that permanently feature are still brewed (at least to the time of writing) down the road in Burton and although the former is sadly not the beer that it used to be it'll taste as good as you'll find it these days here, and I certainly enjoyed my pint of it. The pub also offers an ever changing guest beer or two, always on top form too.
Should you get hungry the pub also offers a good range of home-made food and we can especially recommend the sausages and mash, a good traditional combination. If you've children, they've an area out the back set aside for them to play in.
All in all, a real oasis in a quiet Staffordshire village well worth a visit.