Friday, 13 December 2013

Pie Club AGM at The Wheatsheaf, Shedfield, 12th December 2013

For the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Pie Club we chose to meet at the pub which won our coveted 2012 Pie of the Year Award: The Wheatsheaf at Shedfield.  In truth we were keen to meet there as it was a good excuse to sample one of their pies again, but more on that later. 

Pieman has asked that we do not disclose most of what was discussed at the AGM as it was a private matter, for members only, and many of the items on the agenda were of a sensitive nature. However, he has allowed us to report on one item: the decision regarding the winner of the 2013 Pie of the Year Award. This is clearly a matter of great interest to many people.  Pieman felt that we should show some compassion for the contenders and put them out of their misery by announcing the winner straight away, so here we go.

Here are the results of our investigations to date. Out of interest we show the scores of all the pies that we have sampled since that historic occasion in 2011 when we had our first outing, although obviously only those pubs that we visited in 2013 are eligible to be considered for this highly-coveted award.

2011                        DATE O/A PIE O/A PIE
The Brickmakers 20/01/11 16.33 7.50 6 5
The Rising Sun 01/03/11 19.25 7.13 5 6
The White Horse 31/03/11 16.20 7.10 8 7
The Hampshire Bowman 21/04/11 21.50 9.00 1 1
The Barleycorn 23/06/11 20.38 7.73 2 3
The Black Dog 28/07/11 19.65 7.98 4 4
The Farmer's Home 27/10/11 16.30 6.63 7 8
The Bugle, Twyford 24/11/11 20.30 8.23 3 2
2012                     DATE O/A PIE O/A PIE
The Robin Hood  23/02/12 19.63 7.63 6 7
The Bugle 29/03/12 16.60 6.90 8 8
Southampton Arms, 26/04/12 19.10 7.70 7 6
The Wheatsheaf 29/05/12 22.71 9.20 1 1
The Brewery Bar, 28/06/12 20.50 8.58 5 3
The Brickmakers, 26/07/12 21.78 8.78 2 2
The Black Dog 27/09/12 20.98 8.25 3 5
The Dog & Crook 25/10/12 16.11 4.82* 9 9 * crusty
The Hampshire Bowman29/11/12  20.60    8.44 4 4
2013                  DATE O/A PIE O/A PIE
The Queen Inn 31/01/13 20.83 8.20 4 4
The Wheatsheaf 28/02/13 award event only
St James Tavern 28/03/13 19.10 6.51 8 10
The Barleycorn 25/04/13 19.37 7.59 7 7
The Crown 30/05/13 16.71 7.00 10 9
The Cricketers 27/06/13 19.63 7.37 6 8
The White Lion 25/07/13 21.24 8.82 1 1
The Brushmaker's Arms 22/08/13 21.22 8.76 2 2
The Bush 26/09/13 20.64 8.50 5 3
The Fox & Hounds31/10/13    18.38 7.87 9 6
The Baker's Arms 28/11/13    20.91 8.04 3 5

It was an easy decision to make. The White Lion at Soberton is a clear and deserving winner. Our hearty congratulations go to Alan, the landlord at the White Swan, who must be feeling pretty pleased with himself now.  Reading the report of our visit to the White Lion (which can be seen here) brings back many happy memories for all who were there, and even brings a few tears to our eyes.  We hope to visit the White Lion in February to formally present Alan with our prestigious Pie of the Year Award. We're hoping that we can persuade Pieman to join us for this outing and present the award to Alan in person, but he is becoming increasingly reclusive these days. Hopefully we will be able to entice him out of his secret underground bunker (somewhere under the streets of Bishops Waltham) with the prospect of sampling a truly excellent pie.  

With the business of the AGM out of the way we got on with sampling once again the ales and pie which had been thoughtfully provided for us.  Of course we were eager to see if the pie would be as good as it had been on previous occasions, and we weren't disappointed.  This time it was a Steak & Kidney Pie:

This was our AGM, so we didn't do a full formal assessment of the pie (for that you should read the report of our visit in 2012 here) but our informal judgement was that this pie was every bit as good as the pies we've had before.  As you might expect, the ales were mostly from the Flowerpots Brewery in Cheriton, and all in very good condition, although we did observe that prices have gone up a bit since our last visit. The ales now range from £2.70 to £3.00 per pint.  This is still exceptionally good value. To put these beer prices into context, you can have 4 pints here for less than the price of 3 pints in certain other pubs in the area.

Looking at the scores achieved by The Wheatsheaf in 2012 and The White Lion in 2013, The Wheatsheaf is still our overall highest scorer.  We are thinking of making The Wheatsheaf our club headquarters.