it seems I have wound up in (or maybe been washed up in) Shakespeares quite a lot of late. The benefit of which has been some very nice beer and company, and friendly helpful service from the staff.
I was in briefly on Wednesday on a gloriously quiet afternoon enjoying a surprisingly nice pint of Bartrams Galena, a quaffable 3.8% blonde beer with plenty of hops and on at a decent price of £2.50, making oit probably the cheapest of the guests. I have always had reservations about Bartrams, not least because I have one or two dreadful beers of theirs, and because I am always concerned about small breweries who bottle condition their beers (they may not do now, am not sure). They used to brew a range of about thirty beers and they seemed very samey and not very good.
The Galena however, although retaining the Bartrams flavour (is this the yeast?) was a much better offering than anything I'd had before. Almost yellow gold and really easy to drink, but all the time with that pleasing hoppy fizz in the aftertaste rounding the beer off very well.
I also tried a half of the Salamander Practical Pipsqueak Porter, 4.8% and £2.70 a pint. This was everything I wanted it to be, with characteristic roast malt bitterness, and was, thankfully after some reddy dark brown finds recently, as black as sin. One thing you can say about Salamander's output is that they are brilliant at dark beers.
I was in again last night with Middlemarch and had a whole session on the Galena, I even got my fruit fancier drinking partner to try Abbeydale Deception, which she stuck on for the duration. The Galena was still on and on good form, and I finished with a really nice half of the Revolutions Brewery Esca bitter. I remember hearing a band of the same name on John Peel in the early nineties, with a track called Trucking and Paving. I never knew if it was Eska or Esca - given Revolutions musical interests I wonder if this beer is named after the band?
Its great to work near to and regularly have chance to visit a classic boozer, with probably Sheffield's cheapest sandwiches on the bar, real cider, 8 real ales, a changing keykeg guest, lager wheat and fruit beer on draught, and a great range of whiskies and bottle beers.
We really are spoilt here in Sheffield it seems.