Wednesday, 11 May 2022


 Evening readers - long time no see, I admit....

But am here now so.....

Hops eh kids? What are they? Like the future, it seems, some people, will never know.....

     last night I was in the Bar Stewards micropub and bottle shop in Sheffield for a CAMRA pub of the month. I got chatting to a bloke have known for well over 25 years, and described to him that I really liked the Gibraltar Triangle - on being asked I confirmed that this was Shakespeares, The Stewards and The Crow.

" you like the Crow then do you ?" he asked. I confirmed. He said he had only been in once and didn't like it as he couldn't find anything he wanted to drink. I assured him that they sold four cask ales as well as kegs and cans just like here - I pointed to the bar and he said " I don't like Abbeydale Heathen - its vile". A bit surprised I asked why. " well its an American style pale" I told him that I had enjoyed the Grizzly grains for three pints and he said it wasn't bad because he hadn't expected to like it because it had Citra hops in it, which he didn't like. He hates Citra Hops. He suggested it was maybe due to Azacca - a hop he had never heard of which sounded Spanish or Mexican......

He also advised he didn't try anything with Mosaic hops in - as he hated them - a trifle surprised at his dislike of one of the original foreign hop brands, as well as his dislike of one of the popular newer hop types I asked him if he liked any Sheffield beers - admittedly a bit of an over-reaction on my part!

He admitted he liked their Moonshine - although that surely has hops init? I asked him what he thought of Abbeydale's 8.5% Rye DIPA in cans and he said "oh no I wouldn't know about that". I found it strange that his principal hatred of any beers featuring Citra or Mosaic and likely also in cans or keg, was based on a lack of tolerance - and perhaps knowledge, of hops.

I worry of course that this maybe my age as am a child like 48, the type of people I go drinking with whom all love hoppy beers or sours ( I din't even bother asking about that !) or whether perhaps my preferences subdued the sensibility of my reaction. But - even though he admitted to being "an old fuddy-duddy about beer" - I couldn't avoid the old fashioned reaction to modern beers.

As I may have told you previously - having met at least three separate CAMRA member reactions to my purchase of " Evil keg" I have received some frankly ridiculous reactions to my buying keg with my own money which is my right - including having blokes I had never met chanting " Evil keg, Evil Keg" at me at an IPA Tap Takeover in Shakespeares,  and being told by a man I had never met at the Bath Hotel on finding out my beer was Keg that he had tasted keg in the seventies and had refused to try it ever again. It was 2016.....

Am not suggesting that my mate or these (and many other keg haters) represent fully the outlook of all  CAMRA members,  but I realise that one of the criticisms agsint them is not only that they appear stuck in the  past, but also that they are full of exclusively old people. The youngest man there was probably about the same age as me. The average age must have been 60. Seems a trifle - predictable?

Even when a man in his late 60s did the description of the pub he only described their 4 excellent cask ales - and then said he wasn't willing to get into an argument about the keg and cans they also sold. What is there to argue about? Surely just list the different reasons people like it? Pretending that a product doesn't exist is not a viable attack on the seemingly ghastly threat of keg on traditional beer is it.....

Sheffield CAMRA of course have a keg bar at their annual beer festival - a brilliant and in terms of previous incumbents groundbreaking change of availability which respected the likes and opinions of every single visitor whilst not in any way undermining the high sale of traditional cask. Of course the team received lots of written abuse from anonymous persons who considered it heresy to invite the vile sewage of future drinks into their glorious beer festival, but hey.......

Despite this odd approach to describing and praising a venue I should say a very well done anyway to the Stewards for their second pub of the month award.

Many congratulations!

Your kindest regards

Wee Beefy

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Two new bars ( to me )

 Long time no see readers!

             I wanted to quickly update you on two new places have visited in Sheffield recently. As you may all be well aware there are a number of new venues in Sheffield - some of which have still not bothered visiting - but last month myself and Wee Keefy went out on a Friday night starting at the Beer engine on London road.

Its not a regular place for me to visit recently alas but I got a pint of Buxton IPA on kftf and WK a pint of beer on cask from the past - and we supped these sat in the garden. From here we went to Jabeerwocky for pints and lovely food ( WK was on their excellent fries with Goulash and that was immense!) before heading over tyhe road for my first visit to Bear on Abbeydale Road.

I think in the past this was called Shipyard Books or similar - it was certainly a book shop for many years - and now its a small two roomed bar serving about 5 beers on Keg, along with a fairly excellent range of beers including a stout wall, containing some excellent brews.

As we were on a crawl we only stopped for the one in here but I went for a pint of Verdant Even Sharks need water, which was cloudy and delicious. We sat at a small table looking out of the window at the restaurant on the other side of the road and I had a quick search of the beers on offer to take out - I ended up with a can of " Bring me the head of John the accountant" from Sureshot brewing - a DIPA which currently lives in my fridge. Am thinking that I may try it tonight, along with other delights.

The room behind the bar is small and comfortable and there is - crucially - a loo - I was in it whilst two people walked in and asked to use it - and had to leave! We finished off our pints quite quickly before heading off to our final stop at the Dead Donkey - definitely a place I will pop into again.

The second place is on the first floor of the Krynkle building at Shalesmoor. I remember that years ago there was a roof top bar - it was fairly dreadful if am honest - so have not been in again since apart from back in February where myself and my friend Hal tried to find the very same venue as I went to at the beginning of April.

The Cider Hole has been open - and brewing Cider - for what is possibly a year or nine months now - its a fascinating place which when I was told about it's existence I was warned about its restricted opening hours and difficulties to find it open. I popped into the Beer Stop at Dronfield the next day having found the website - " is the Cider Hole Open". It turns out that Luke the owner there helped set up that website and possibly the bar - such as it is - last year.

Interestingly I had looked at that site when planning to visit on a Saturday when they open at 1400 - and then visited on a Friday, arriving at 1430 - two and a half hours before they open!

After a few pints of cask (from the past) in Shakespeares I got back at 1705 and found a sign outside Krynkle - I was their first customer of the day. There was a guy called Ben working behind the tiny bar with two or three barrels of freshly made cider next to it. I know that Cider can have an effect on me - I had just a half pint of Cheddar Valley in the Orchard in Bristol and was quite "discussive" en route back to the hotel. Having already had three pints I opted to try a tasting slate of a third each of the three Sheffield ciders brewed using donated Apples found in Sheffield including (possibly) Crookes and Walkley.

I tried a third each of the Exemption Cider House Cool Neighbours, a 5.5% dry cider, their Ask Albert Dry cider at 6.5% and also their Too many apples, a 5.9% dry blend with notes of tanginess and very refreshing. The apples in the Ask Albert were proivided by Ross on  Wye Cider and was possibly the most traditional of the three tastes.

Having got chatting to a young couple visiting from Nottingham I finished on a bottle of Zapiain Gure Sagardoa Gorenak - a 6.7% still and dry cider from  Astigarraga in the Basque country - and very tasty - if a little tart - it was too. I also got some Oliver's Cider Pomona Blend and a can of Columbian Cider which I hope to share with Hal when I next see her!

Lastly I should mention a chap possibly called Wayne - although, as you may be aware - he could have had one of many thousands of himan male names. I met him in the Crow last week and he told me he was the owner of the bar on Worksop station - the Mallard. I did have to admit that I hadn't been for about ten years - simply because have not been to Worksop for about ten years! I was however pleased to hear that he appreciated my blog! I will hopefully see you soon mate.

So overall, both were excellent venues - I would however advise you that if you are planning on visiting the Cider Hole you check out their website istheciderholeopen before you go since it opens at 1400 on a Saturday and 1700 on Thursday and Friday.  

Your very best of health


Wee Beefy

Friday, 18 February 2022

New three counties Tour - with 2


    long time no see....

One of the joys of language is that the title this time reflects the fact that there is only in fact 2 counties in which the pubs are, and also that this is the second tour with just two of us - amazing! Etc....

On Saturday my chum Mr G suggested he came over to Sheffield - as it was pissing it down most of the day I suggested that rather than meet up in town and walk around, he might wish to drive over, pick me up, and go on a tour of Unspoilt pubs, other oubs, and roads. Thankfully he agreed.

I should point out that we had al---ready done a similar undertaking back in January. We started first off in the Black Bulls Head in Openwoodgate - although we got stuck in traffic on the motorway so came off at the Clay Cross tiurning and made our way from there.

Remembering their excellent range of boohars I got Mr G a half and myself A pint of Oakham Green Devil, and we shared a pork pie. In fairness I would also have stopped for a half of DIPA on keg but sadly, sat in the front, a table of youts were busy spouting their inaccuarte antivax nonsense - including hating everyone who worked for the NHS, hating everyone from Manchester and Derby with their diseases, and also the overeaction of everyone wearing a mask. They finished by, when wished goodbye by an elderly couple, b telling them to "fuck off". Impressive. Just the one pint then.....

Next we headed down towards Wirksworth and headed up Wood Lane outside Idridgehay and soon ended up in the Barley Mow at Kirk Ireton - as always an absolute gem, and I had 2 and a half pints of the excellent Whim Hartington IPA.

Next we used the unusually effieicnt Sat Nav to get to the Barley Mow at Bonsall - sadly although it was only 2100 the pub was cleasrly closed so we headed up through Bonsall and Brightgate to the Miners Standard at Winster - a pint of Aldwarke ales for me and a box of eggs followed, before we hedaed home.

On Saturday I decided to start our tour at Axe Edge and head down Dowel Dale past the Buxton Raceway via High Edge. Surprised to see a COVIT HORX scribbling on a sign in an isolated field, and also a lot of rubbish, but as soon as we saw Chrome hill our hearts lifed. Despite some thick mud and water enroute down the dale the road was fine and we came out at Glutton Bridge. Turning into Earl Sterndale we passed the now sadly sorry looking closed Quiet Woman and headed left to Crowdecote and popped in the Pack horse. Sadly ity shut at 1500 ( and it was 1545) so we headed off up to High Needham and then right and right again to Pilsbury Castle and into hartington, ending up at the Manifold Inn at Hulme End.

Its a long time since my last visit, but despite it being primarily a restaurant they still had 4 national real ales on - I had a pint of Pedigree and Mr G a glass of coke. There was only seats just below the telly so we did not hang around long - and given the late time we headed straught to Cauldon for the Yew Tree using Sat Nav.

I have to say that for no specific reason I felt really nervous about asking about the health of Alan East (?) the former landlord? I therefore cannot confirm if he is well. The layout remains the same ( but the room on the far away right is currently closed), and they have also dropped down to a single beer - that said, the 2 pints I had of the Burton Bridge bitter were excellent, and am happy to say that the pork pie I took away was excellent!

Next we headed back into Ashbourbe and wquickly up to Bonsall - this time the Barley Mow was very much open! Having established that we could set up a tab if we had more than one, I chose a pint of Abbeydale pale ale and Mr G a half of the same and we sat in the far corner near the fire. I also had a whole pint of BH brewery ( possibly Black Hole?) pale before we headed off in the dark to get to Elton. 

We arrived at 1930 and found the pub losed - but to be fair I don't think they open until 2030 or 2100? So we headed back out and pulled up round the back of the pub in the centre of Winster where I had a pint and a half of Abbeydale and Mr G a slowly supped glass of coke.

The fact that we managed to get to so many pubs over the two visits was a celebration in itself - although it was sad to miss out on the excellent Duke of York, and equally to see the state of the quiet Woman.

Looking forward to another trip out that way soon!


Wee Beefy

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Craftworks Micropub Mosborough

 Evening all!

     on the 12th of this month I ventured out from luffly Handsworth on the 30a to Mosborough - it was "only" 20 minutes late and it quickly transpired that the driver was partially deaf. This became apparent when he missed a stop mid route, and then when we headed up what may be called Plumbley Lane towards Plumbley as the bus only stops on the way out of Mosborough - as he drove straight past the only stop near the High Street.....

Ten minutes later I was at the Craftworks micropub, just about opposite the Admiral chippy - and I was gobsmacked - not by way of it's size, but mainly because of it's popularity - I had to stand up for the first 2 of my pints! Perhaps I should provide some background.....

I first went drinking in Mosborough in 1992. Back then, almost every pub sold cask from the past. But this trend sadly dwindled, as did the number of pubs staying open in nearby Eckington. The last time I went out in Mosborough I went to firm favourite the Alma which sells one or two real ales - but that was our only stop. I was therefore very happy to see the range of excellence available in the Craftworks.

From a range of 8 or so kegs along with 4 cask ales I started on a pint of Fierce IPA on keg - I was warned how much it would cost, but being keg at less than a pound a percent I was fine with the price - and this is likely the first time have had Fierce on draught anywhere!

I stood near the bar and listened in on the conversations of the locals - and there were many - a quick and thorough check confirmed there was literally nowhere to sit! Sadly the Fierce IPA did not last long so I went back to the Bar to order a half of the Three Hills Fudge Brownie imperial pastry stout, also on keg, and spotted a table whilst I was waiting. Just as this happened a lass came in with her mother so I let them sit down whilst slowly supping the fabulous Three Hills - but eventually asked if I could squeeze on with them - and that was fine.

They said they were regulars - the youngest from Killamarsh and the Mum from Mosborough itself - I didn't chat long with them but once they had gone I grabbed another ale - this time 2 thirds, but am not sure which it was as I did not photograph the beers board alas! By the this time a guy was sat near the stairs playing guitar and the number of guests did not dwindle - I checked the time of the next bus into town and having left at 1715 I was in town before 1800!

So far this remains my only visit - but I will definitely be going back!


Wee Beefy

Monday, 29 November 2021

Social to the Royal Cottage.

 Hello all,

            Apologies for the length of time with no blog posts - stuff, never mind things - have happened. Nothing bad I should point out, but still stuff. Not to mention....things.

So using the joy of language, in naming this post as I have I have created an expectation that I organised a trip out to the Royal Cottage. Except I didn't. It's initially quite believable though isn't it?

So on the 19th I was supposed to be meeting up with the wonderful Tash about 1515 for a walk - sadly, this did not happen due to events. So we agreed she would get a bath and head into town later, and meet me there. At this point my lovely new phone had once again stopped recharging, so I headed into town with my old phone, knowing I could use it on Wi-Fi. 

The Social on Snig Hill was my starting place - I had a pint of Serious Bodaceia on cask from the past, along with a pack or two of crisps. When ordering my next at the Bar I asked if they had any WiFi - they said they did, but did not have a password - this explained why , when I checked, neither Tash or Matt had received my messages. After a third of Hophurst DIPA I headed up to High Street, and could not find them.

I thought about popping into the Three Tuns for one but half of it was closed off for a celebration so I headed to my chums at Bar Stewards where I can get onto the WiFi. Here I had a pint of Liquid Light pale - or any other beer, and found I had missed a call from WK. I said he could call me and he suggested that despite it's late notice we could go to the Packhorse at Crowdecote. Having asked Matt and Tash, she was sadly not up to it so WK picked me up after 1800 in his new car, and  hour ten minutes later we were at Crowdecote!

Having ordered food we had a choice of 4 real ales and I went on to two pintts of Storm Milk of Amnesia and a pint of Eyam Golden ale, with Keith on a half of the same. The meal was very enjoyable, although sadly we didn't meet up with the guy who knew my Dad - primarily to confirm his recent passing.

From here we drove up into Longnor - now seemingly supporting just a single pub - and headed across the moors past the mermaid's pool and ahead spotted a light in the difference - stopping soon after we found the unsigned road which leads down the side of the Royal Cottage and to our delight the front light was on!

I will never forget how happy it made us both - the smiles on both our faces - and we parked up directly outside before letting ourselves in. When me and Keith and Carlos had been in the funeral car back in January I had said we ought to pop back to see Cliffe - if nothing else as he would possibly say " a thot tha'd deed". On this occasion,l after saying hello, he simply said " a notice thus only two f yer - whes yer Dad - as ee not med it?". I should point out, that nothing that Cliffe says is ever insulting. It's brusque, yes, but reflective of his location and life. We calmly told him that Wee Fath had been found dead at Christmas.

We only stopped for one in here - a bottle of Old Speckled Hen for me and a bottle of Manns Brown ale for WK. Whilst I was in the loo Cliffe told WK all about his thoughts about the passing of Ken at the Quiet Woman and also how he felt things were progressing at Carl's, the Butcher's at Reapsmoor. Always full of info ais Clifffe, and usually reasonably reliable.

On reflection, its an increasingly sad story re local pubs - two have changed hands and four local hostelries have closed permanently in the last ten years. Thankfully the Ner Inn at Flash and the Packhorse at Crowdecote seem to remain strong, but there's less certainty regarding the Butcjhers and especially the Quiet Woman.

We drove straight home from Cliffe's, arriving back about 22:50 for me, with WK hoping to grab a last drink on Crookes in the Two Sheds. Despite the intention of referencing WF's sad passing, I have to say that this was a very enjoyable night out/

Your very best of health

Wee Beefy

Friday, 17 September 2021

Emmanuales - eh?

Orw waaaaarh. 

You may be thinking. 

              I know I was - I thought that Emmanuales had closed down? Do you not remember that number of slightly grim bottles without the leter K that they produced a few years ago? I did!  So it was with a certain amount of surprise that I saw 2 or 3 of their brews advertised at Beer Central back in August. And, purely on a research basis, I went for two - their Black IPA which was about 6.9% if memory serves (and it doesn't) along with their 10000 Saisons, described at the front of the can as a "Rustic saison". What would it be like? And who and where are they these days? 

Well, perhaps to my surprise - both were excellent. I tried their black IPA first, which had a name and everything, and it was fab! Quite an old time flavour if am honest - but not in a bad way. It was actually the perfect blend of bitter hopiness, fruit/citra and dark smokey malt. I loved it.

And what of their Saison? Well, to start with, it was a marvelous 7.8%. One of the things I very much appreciated about the Emmanuales bottles back in the day was that they were always strong - and in this case, not afraid to breach the 7.4% barrier that many brewers currently and understandably stay away from. So I was very pleased - and admittedly not surprised - to find that this saison was simultaneously strong as well as very refreshing!

There was also thankfully a lot of yeast left in the can - one thing that disappoints me a little the lack, irrespective of the cloudiness, of yeast in any substance, or possibly other adjuncts(?) left in the bottom of a can? Not least because I like to ensure that I get a good drop of each brew so am usually willing to wash out the bottom of the can or bottle in order to add more murk or depth to each taste, and of course' slightly prolong it's consumption. This ticked every box.

So - where are they based these days I hear me ask? Because I distinctly recall the brewer/founder being interviewed on Look Norfff about 5  years or so ago showing him selling, and presumably brewing, his bears at a Sheffield Brewery tap - am thinking perhaps at Sheffield Brew Company? Or I may have misremembered one of those facts....

I know that Neepsend had to move last year or  similar, and there's nothing preventing Sheffield Brew Company doing the same. But I wasn't actually sure whether firstly that would see him leave, or whether the issues with the brewing or bottling previously caused him to at best postpone production.

Now the can says they are based on Cromwell Street in S6. As a can it rather unsurprisingly doesn't name the brewer, but I have no reason to presume it has changed hands or indeed brewers. Either way both of the beers tried were more well balanced and perhaps more accomplished than the brewery's previous offerings. Alas, having as yet not carried out any internet searches - where everything is true - on the same, am unsure of whom it is brews there, and what happened to their previous undertaking or location.

I am however sure that they are now producing fabulous and very quaffable brews here in fine, sunny, Sheffield - go give them a try!


Wee Beefy

Thursday, 9 September 2021

A few drops in sunny Ayrshire.

,  Afternoon all,

      when myself and Wee Keefy traveled up to Ayr, Portpatrick and then finally the isle of Whithorn in September  2019, our showing the pics to Mumraah persuaded her that she fancied a last trip up to Ayrshire, where her and my Dad used to live, and where myself and Keith were born. Initially we booked rooms at the Chestnuts Hotel in Ayr for April or May 2020. So that didn't happen. We thought about rearranging it for March this year but restrictions did not lift in time and we eventually agreed to go up this month. As sadly Wee Fatha passed away at Christmas, we found in his funeral details that he wanted his ashes scattered on the headland at Maidens, where my Grandad's are. So on the 3rd of September we drove up.

Arriving about 1630 at the Chestnuts, we got settled into our rooms before eating at 1830. I headed downstairs around 1745 to see what beers they had on in the bar. There were 3 ales on cask from the past, and to be honest am not sure what they all were - not least because firm favourite Fyne Ales Jarl was on. So I had a pint of that sat outside in the sunny Garden before I came in to eat. The Jarl was in excellent condition so I had another 2 pints.

We were planning on walking to town and back - but en route we popped in the Glen Park Hotel, the Ayr Brewing tap. I was on a pint of Summer Mittens, a cloudy session pale at about 4%, and Wee Keefy was on their bitter Jolly Beggars. After a couple of pints of these I finished on a pint of their Leezy Lundie Pale ale, before we headed back to the hotel. This showed us something that we hadn't previously realised - I knew that staffing levels were low in the licensed trade, but many pubs and bars now shut at 21:00.

The next day we drove to Maidens via Maybole - where none of us could remember where we used to live! Having stopped off at a castellated farmhouse just outside we turned right at Kirkoswald and soon parked up in Maidens. Myself and Martin walked carrying Wee Fatha's box of ashes along the lane and through the woods to the headland - whereas WK took Mumraah and himself to park in Culzean Castle, at about £457, and they walked from the swan pond to meet us.

To be fair the scattering of Dad's ashes wasn't as stressful or upsetting as we had worried. And once that was done we walked back to the swan pond for a cuppa each before we returned to the car and went for lunch from K's Kitchen in Maidens before visiting the harbour.

Once we had dropped Mumraah back at the hotel, WK, Martin and myself went to Dalmillington and then to some nearby waterfalls for a short walk and some pics. We then drove over the hills to Straiton and onwards into Kirkmichael. Here we went into the Kirckmichael Arms, where I had a pint of Kelburn Jaguar, Martin a glass of orange juice and WK a half of the Kelburn. On our last visit they had served a cloudy Ayr Brewing pale and it was ace - this visit did not disappoint.

 After tea we walked into Ayr town centre and having looked at some un suggested options, we ended up in the Smoking Goat downstairs from a side street near the bridge. Jarl was once again on here, and at £3.70 a pint was cheaper than the hotel, but they also sold another beer from Williams brewery which  Keith had. I had a "slotter" before we shared a bottle of Williams Bros 7 Giraffes IPA to finish our first visit to this loud but busy and friendly bar. Must revisit!

We next went to Wellingtons bar, under a building in Wellington square. When we got there it was quite busy but despite their opening until midnight it quickly quietened down. Here they had two beers on cask - Loch Lomond brewery summer clouds or similar for myself and Kelburn Pivo for WK - we had a few rounds in here before walking through the park by the sea in complete darkness, and finishing for a last one in the hotel bar - Jarl once again. 

Sunday we visited Girvan and Pinmoor and then drove to Glentrool. We grabbed scran from the cafe there before driving up a single track lane to park up for the Robert the Bruce memorial where we had our nosh. We drove the long way back over mountain roads to Straiton and back the same way as the day before, and having dropped both Mumraah and Martin off myself and Keith drove to park up near the Failford Inn to walk up the Great Ayr Gorge and to Peden's cove further up.

The weather was fantastic with bright sunshine and the path was easy to follow - although the usual route along the side of the water had sadly slipped away due to a landslide so it was initially uphill and back down again. Having let WK climb the steps and walk along a thin cutting into the rocks above Peden's cove to get pics, we walked back out and quickly popped in the Failford Inn.

The last time I had gone here they had the Windie Goat brewery. A quick check on the tinterweb suggests they brewed from 2006 until 2010 only so that must have been when we were last there. They had two real ales that night along with excellent food - but this time the range was Tennents or John Smiths Extra Smooth. Luckily WK spotted some bottles of Williams Bros the birds and the bees IPA so we shared a bottle of that, sat outside in the back garden with small birds whizzing over us throughout.

That night we once again headed into town - after having a couple of pints of fab Jarl - and only went into one bar - back into Wellingtons. Its worth pointing out that they were very kind to WF when we had gone in 2019 - helping him back up the stairs and bringing a chair outside to sit on whilst we awaited a taxi back to the Chestnuts. That. along with 2 real ales and excellent music made this an easy choice for our last night sup.

I remember asking the barmaid if I could look at the pumpclip in order to recall the name of the Loch Lomond beer - and I promised that after a couple of pints I would forget the name. It worked. It may have been summer weather - or any one of thousands of other Scottish beer names......

This time I switched to Kelburn Pivo for 2 of my 4 pints but the main memory I had was of how quiet it was in there - 3 people were in when we arrived along with the lass behind the bar and 3 other members of bar staff. The pub was cosy and freindly but although Sunday is oft a quiet night in many such places, we were very surprised at how quiet it was. We were the only customers for a while. We left about 2100 I think as the hotel locks it's door at 2200 on a Sunday - and making it in good time we also got caught in our first - and only - rain of the trip!

On our way home the next day we stopped twice - once at the Cairn Lodge services near Douglas - where I got 2 cans of Black Isle, and finally at the Tebay Services near Penrith - where I got my 3 bottles of Keith Brewery.

Despite the sad reasons for our trip I have to say that I enjoyed everwhere that we stopped off for drinks, and the beers they served in all of them.


Wee Beefy

Monday, 30 August 2021

New venue - Heist Craft, Neepsend, Sheffield


       regular readers, and certainly my chums here in fine, sunny, Sheffield, may be aware that a number of new venues have opened here quite recently. I have heard poor things about Perch by the Dead Parrot brewery, and better things about Social off Waingate, but I have never been to either. So when, following a grim day on Saturday, my great friend Mr G messaged me and asked if I fancied a few pints in Sheffield, I initially suggested the Shakespeares, my second home. But as we drove towards town I asked if he wanted to go to Heist instead. He did. And we did.

Heist Craft is a newly opened bar on Neepsend lane next door to the Gardeners Rest. I say bar - because am quite picky about using the word pub to describe what is clearly not, irrespective of it's intentions. Heist brewery started in Clowne about 5 years ago and I only got to try one of their beers, which was a bottled stout I think, that they brewed with some European visitors. I sadly never got to their haunt in Clowne so when they left I wondered what might happen to them. They now brew hear in Sheffield (you can see the brewery from the seating I think) and when they opened a pop up bar in the car park next door to their present location last year, I tried one of their cans and it was lovely. Having heard good things about this new venue I popped in as we parked across the road.

I now realise that I  have  4 friends who know people either involved with the brewery, venue or its construction - and that, along with mostly positive comments online, made me even more excited to visit. The first thing my companion noted was the small signs advertising food sellers - he had encountered the burger sellers in Manchester previously and was very complimentary. Once we got in through the door at the front the bar was busy, and there was a very good choice. I will say thought that firstly we only saw one list of beers and incorrectly assumed that was everything - which alone wouldn't have mattered, but there's another list at the other end!

Mr G also rued his not reading the description of the 3.5% drivers ale he had a half of - not least because it was a sour. He doesn't like sours as a rule, and so didn't enjoy this one alas. It was frustrating for him as it clearly described it as a fruited sour ale! I think I had a pint of Howling Hops myself and it was lovely. Sat near the entrance we were briefly joined by nutters from the ten pints o lager crowd, but when they left everything became calm once again, and we sought out the loos and then our next drinks.

Mr G this time went for a half of bitter - and confirmed that it tasted of an old school bitter. Sadly that ran out just after but I then got a pint of an NEIPA from Bethnal Green which have sadly forgotten the name of, and this once again satisfied my palate nicely. Whilst we awaited a third I got a pint of a Heist IPA at 7% or so and this was also lovely - I know they are only glasses but I have to say that the way they looked on the tables made them look even more tasty!

Finally, having assessed the second screen, including a brilliant selection of generally stronger beers, I forget what we chose but I got another plus 7% IPA and I know that I really enjoyed it.

When we had got sat down initially I said to my mate that this reminded me of the sort of Manchester bars that I assumed he went in all the time - he said it was, indeed, very similar - but that the opening of a new keg bar in Manchester would barely raise an  eyebrow, what with there already being so many. I admit that the venue may seem a little "hipster" to many - but its range of 32 keg lines, at least 2 of which ran out whilst we were there, along with the excellent food from the room next door which could be eaten at the tables, will make this a desirable place to go, for many.

Its definitely somewhere - hipster or otherwise - that I would very much fancy returning to.


Wee Beefy  

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Feather Star Wirksworth - now at the Red Lion

 Evening readers,

      its sad to say that I only two weeks or so ago found out that the fabulous micropub, the Feather Star, in a tiny former antiques shop on St John's Street in the market place, Wirksworth, had in fact, closed down. Wee Keefy was in Wirksworth doing one of the 4 local circular walks, and said that on trying to find a place for a drink, many places had been shut but the former Feather Star micropub had since become a cake shop or similar. I told him, of course, that he was being ridiculous - since I followed the Feather Star on Friendache. But a quick search online proved that the owners had purchased the former Red Lion market place pub, and were selling a wide range of real ales along with fabulous keg from the future. More woe my Friendache checking! Of course -  I had to visit......

Following our own, admittedly sodden walk, along another Wirksworth based circular walk, we quickly spotted the pub which may be the Hope and Anchor, and then the Blacks Head, before spotting the thankfully open Feather Star, and it's sign, outside the entrance to the Red Lion. Straight away hearing music, and reading the sign, we worked out quickly that they had a brass (instrument) band of 3 blokes next to the bar - and the pub was rammed.

Carefully reaching the bar there were a range of 5 cask from the past on the bar - which I have to say both the beers and settings looked amazing - along with 5 kegs from the future. WK had a low gravity Buxton stout on keg and I had a half of the fabulous Cloudwater Barn in Edale Valley, a wonderful DDH IPA or similar, and in absolutely excellent condition. We then decided to sit outside in the now sunny and dry outdoors, and took off our sopping coats and looked at the view.

Outside there was seating for about 40 people, probably more, on tables and under two covers, and as we admired the view w also admired the fab beers we had bought. I had already tried a glass of the barn in Edale valley in can earlier in the month and remembered I had really liked it - strangely on this occasion it may even have tasted nicer on draught? Either way it didn't take long to sup - so leaving Wee Keefy in the baking sunshine I popped back inside to get a pint of Shiny Cloudy session IPA on cask.

Its a shame to admit but as the pub was so busy, I couldn't see if there was a third room inside, or see what was behind the bar area - I also got chatting to the lovely Jo behind the bar - both when placing my order and also when she popped outside under cover later. When I went back out with my pint it was tipping it down and I found WK sheltering under the covering, sat near what looked like a former settee/chaise lounge or similar, which may have been at the Black bulls Head, Openwoodgate. I have nothing to back this up however.

Jo told me that other Jo and her business partner had closed in December or January 2021 and bought the lease of the Red Lion in May 2021. Recently it had been service outside only whilst they tided up and cleaned the inside of the pub. Puzzlingly if you go on both the Feather Star and then teh Red Lion details on Whatpub it says on th Feather Star that they have taken over the Red Lion - but then on the page for the Red Lion tells that the pub was currently up for sale.

Sadly we only had chance to stop for one - or two in my case - of the selection of beers at the Red Lion, but I have to say that I absolutely loved it! Its somewhere I would like to go back to with Tash next month if possible - the cask range was very good in being reflective of locally brewed cloudy beers along with slightly more traditional Mallinsons and Shiny offerings - not that am saying both of the Shiny or the Mallinsons would have not been cloudy...

So having only recently discovered that the "old" Feather Star had sadly closed, am now very happy to report that the "new" Feather Star has now reopened at the Red Lion. They have an outside area for ordering food but as far as I am aware you can now eat inside - alas I never got to check that since neither me or WK were planning on stopping for scran!

Wishing Jo and Jo and the others others all of the very best for the future.


Wee Beefy

Thursday, 5 August 2021

Three new Sheffield brews

 Evening readers,

         last month Beer Central and Neepsend Brew Co along with Roscoe Road Liqour store brewed a West Coast IPA called High Summer, at an acceptable opening strength of what I recall was 6.8%. It was brewed in relation to the Indy Beer Shop day, if I recall, and was stuffed full of fabulous hops. Sean at Beer Central is a fan of traditionally bitter beers and this was certainly on show here - Citra, Chinook,. Idaho 7, Cascade and Falconers Flight gave this an impressive hop and bitterness back drop which I really took to. This was the first of my beers from Sean which I tried this month and I have to say it didn't disappoint. Very well done to all involved!

Meanwehile it was the Bar Stewards 4th Birthday - and they held do's on Friday Saturday and Sunday to celebrate. In respect of this they had brewed two stunning 4.5% beers to celebrate - Rocket Surgery and Brain Science. Of the two, am not sure where they were brewed but the lovely Helen did quickly point out that Rocket Surgery was the most hoppy of the two - I therefore only had a single pint of Brain Science. This alone was a fabulous concoction of brewing flavours. On the other hand I had several pints of the Rocket Surgery - served in excellent Turning Point glasses, cloudy, as all beer should be, and streaming with hoppiness.

Sat in the sunshine on Saturday, this was equally well hopped and bitter, as well as sumptuously enjoyed - it ran out around tea time, and I enjoyed every single pint. If we clearly skip over the nonsense that I brought upon these fabsters on Friday (we will never speak of this), am happy to say that Saturday was a truly fabulous day and night of supping with Gavin Keiron and Dave Unpro and other folks from th world of beers and brewing. Apparently, I got the bus back. So my pockets tell me......

Finally - and not necessarily a new brew so to speak - but I have to mention what I had in the same Bar Stewards last night. Abbeydale Heathen has long been a popular Sheffield brewed beer, along of course with almost all of their output, but I started on and continued with a Dry Hopped version of Heathen - and it was stunning! I had initially said to Nate that I fancied a pint of the Turning Point and he said it was very nice, but also pointed out the Dry Hopped Heathen. It did not disappoint - very clearly hopped with a good bitterness in the aftertaste. Its in some ways a disappointment - since Heathen for all its qualities cannot usually reach those hoppy heights. That said however, points to the fabsters at Abbeydale for pulling this cracker out of the brewery - not sure they will brew it again but this was simply stunning!

I may have sadly missed out on Indie Beer Shop day if am honest - so many apologies if I have to all my fabulous Sheffield freinds whom stumble lovingly through the never ending horrors placed upon their fabulous trade over the last two years - am looking at you Hop Hideout, Archer Road beer Stop especially - your hard work remains very much appreciated!

With warmest regards

Wee Beefy