Wheatsheaf Presentation

Sunday 3rd May saw a small group of local branch members journeying over to what is one of the farthest-flung pubs inwheat1 our branch area, but also one of the best. The pub in question is the Wheatsheaf at Marsh Green.

The reason for our visit, apart from to enjoy the excellent beer and unspoilt atmosphere of this excellent free-house, was to present landlord Neil with a couple of certificates to add to his growing collection of CAMRA awards.

The main certificate was one celebrating the Wheatsheaf’s 15 years consecutive appearance in the Good Beer Guide. The other certificate was one celebrating 10 years. The reason this second one hadn’t been presented before was that CAMRA only introduced it last year. It therefore seemed appropriate to present the two certificated together.

The plan had been to meet at around midday at Edenbridge station and walk across the fields over to Marsh Green. As it happened, only two of us actually did the walk, the other two members having missed their connection at Tonbridge due to the non-appearance of the rail-replacement bus service from High Brooms.

No matter, we all eventually met up at the Wheatsheaf, and landlord Neil had a good selection of beers waiting for us to sample. Harvey’s Knots of May was a good starter, especially for those of us who had done the walk. This 3.0% abv beer is a seasonal light mild, but despite its low strength is a very tasty and thirst-quenching pint. Also on offer were two other beers from Harveys – Sussex Bitter, plus their summer offering Olympian Ale, alongside Roosters Farmyard Ale. The latter was a well-hopped, well-balanced beer with that hall-mark Roosters taste (brewer Sean Franklin is renowned for his experimentation and use of American hop varieties).wheat2

Most of us took advantage of the pub’s extensive menu and indulged in a spot of lunch before the presentations were carried out. My liver and bacon, on a bed of mash potato, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, was excellent (I’m beginning to sound like one of those poncy restaurant critics that used to write for the Courier, but the food really was good, and Neil is an accomplished chef).

Neil was genuinely pleased with his certificates; the fifteen consecutive years’ award is something of an achievement and has only been matched by one other pub in the branch area. For those not familiar with the Wheatsheaf, it is a multi-roomed village pub, with a conservatory built on the back. Neil has always made a point of serving beers from micro-breweries and often has brews from Larkins, Hog’s Back and Whitstable on offer. Every August the Wheatsheaf hosts its own beer festival, as part of the village fete. The festival normally features over 50 real ales over the course of the Bank-Holiday Weekend.

Other attractions, include poker nights, held every Monday evening, plus quiz nights, held every Tuesday. If you are in the vicinity, or fancy going somewhere a little bit different, then why not make a point of heading for the Wheatsheaf.