having fallen gratefully into the welcoming bosom of payday my drinking and socialising has received a timely boost. So here are a few details of some of the Sheffield pubs I've visited in the last week.
I popped in here on Tuesday to buy a beer festival ticket for Thursday night at Magna. Naturally it would have been tremendously rude not to stop for a half at least. I tried a half of a beer that (yes, I have forgotten, duh) was almost certainly called chocolate malt stout, which tasted only vaguely of chocolate, and a lot more of malt. Not quite what I was expecting, or it seems, remembering.
Interestingly I also noted a first 2.8% real ale. I was fairly confident that I would like it but a quick sniff and a taste persuaded me otherwise. Straight furrow from Wincle, a brewery who's beers have been very nice whenever I have sampled them, was just not right. Not off, but tasting of malt and biscuits and some sort of unidentifiable sweetness, with little hoppiness. I am anxious to try some more sub 3% beers but didn't venture to purchase a whole half of this one alas.
As promised the Welbeck offerings were making their debut on the bar at the venerable Cranes. It seems I missed the Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA but the Welbeck Abbey Brewery Cavendish and Dark Horse were on offer when I popped in on Wednesday.
I only had time for one so having tried neither before I opted for the Dark Horse. This was served in good condition and was a well rounded bitter dark ale, probably half way between a porter and a dry stout. At 4.8% it was slightly weaker than the Cavendish but it was a substantial starter to the evenings drinking. Blue Bee Rugbee Rugbee Rugbee may be coming soon as well.
After the unbridled joy of Pollards I am still awaiting the arrival of the much vaunted Magic Rock beers at the Da (Christ on a bike, I hope no-one calls it that). Despite claims as yet and likely to be forever unsubstantiated, by Jamie, that Cannonball was on its way, it now seems that Curious and another strong ale are the likely offerings from this excellent micro.
I have somehow contrived to visit the Old House 3 times in less than a week. On my first visit I had a pint of the True North (I checked the pumpclip just to be sure) First Born, and a half of the Bradfield Farmers Stout. On the other two occasions, slightly later on in the evening, I had pints of the Bradfield Stout only. The stout was in good condition both times (but running out on one visit, although thankfully we were spared that trauma) and being late visits this afforded me chance to confirm that they open until 01.00 on a Thursday (so, maybe every "early" week night) and 02.00 on Saturday.
Mind you, I think they should take a look at their drinking up policy. I thought twenty minutes was your entitlement not a favour? I fully appreciate that staff want to get home but I would be surprised if there was more than about 12 minutes available on Saturday. A minor but annoying blemish.
Briefly, nothing much has changed in the overall set up here but notably there is no longer a Blue Bee beer on the bar. They now in fact have two handpumps, on my visit selling a Kelham Island beer (also spotted in the Old House) with a record label theme, and Thornbridge Sequoia. I tried the Kelham, it was a little tired but on the plus side, the change in ales offered does perhaps suggest that the range may alter more regularly.
That's all the pub news for now, as I have a separate weekend pub news update to come later in the week.