Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Another day, another celebration


    well its not quite as dishearteningly familiar as the title may imply, but after a 5th day of Jubilee fever I am craving a more temperate physiology. Today, despite my grand plans for travelling afar and sampling delights from Derbyshire, we have been out on a nearer to home pilgrimage to the Jubilee festivities here in Sheffield.

Except, its noticable that apart from pubs making an effort, and a free music event in Western Park, absolutely nothing civic was going on at all. Not even a flag, not bunting, not a union jack painted or hoisted or even showing in any municipal space or capacity across the whole of the centre. Excuse my text parlance here, but WTF?

Those who know me well know I am not a monarchist. Never have been, never intend to jump onto the hereditary privilege boat and never cared a jot about how the Royals might continue to stamp or smear their marks on society. However, this is the diamond Jubilee. I assure you this isn't likely to happen again (and I mean any 60th year of reign, obviously not W-Liz, as the kids probably call her) in our lifetimes. So irrespective of your views, you'd surely want to have something to declare that you did on the weekend of the Jubilee? If you are pro monarchy you'd surely want something to attend, if you are anti Royal, surely your protest by absence needs an event or happening to be absent from?

Who knows what the council's reasoning is, maybe our Chartist past in Sheffield means we are eternally dissident (I realise that dissident is usually political not monarchical opposition), or maybe our socialist republic past confirms us universally anti inherited rule and suspectly acquired wealth so we have to abstain from all celebration? Either way, its a shame that the only people making an effort are individuals and pubs.


Still, that means I could shoehorn a trip to a pub or three into the legitimate celebrations of the last day of the Jubilee Holiday.  We started by taking a trip to Western Park, and having a look around the museum and the free music event, then walked towards town. A required loo stop meant a trip to the Forum (please note, we don't have to go to the Forum everytime we need to visit the lavatory. That would be silly).

Here there were two True North brewery real ales on, First Summer (I think, not tried) and First Porter, which was a really very nice drink. I had a pint of that, Chala a Peroni, then we stopped for dinner, with which I had a pint of refreshing Franziskaner wheat. There was flags and other red white and blue theming on beams inside but it was understated. Probably looked better for it.

Fat Cat

After getting to town I pointed out to Chala that we needed a further walk after dinner and sold her on the idea of a vintage red bus ride from the Cat. We walked down past Bower Spring furnace remains and arrived at a busless pub. We enquired about there being another trip (based on a lack of info on their website) and were told it would return soon and would probably go out again.

Whilst we waited I had two halves, the Spire Queen of Diamonds, a fruity and refreshing ale, and a half of the excellent Salamander Black Eyed Boy stout, whilst Chala had a half of Erdinger Dunkel.

The bus duly arrived and we went to chat to the driver and found out it would be a bit before our tour began, so I had another half, this time the Derby Brewing Co Diamond Jubilee (unless they wrote it on the board wrong, that wins a prize for the most unimaginative Jubilee beer name) which was a pleasant enough drink.

Eventually departure time arrived and we set off on a half hour tour of the city, which, if nothing else, starkly highlighted the astounding lack of any outward recognition that it was an important day. Thank God when we returned to the Fat Cat there was a nice line in mini flags strung up and a barbecue, where we filled up on beer soaking snacks. Well done to the Cat for putting on a celebration.


Our last point of call, and with rather a lot less celebratory paraphanalia than the Cat, was Shakespeares, although they did have a Jubilee beer or two on. Here I had an excellent pint of the Arbor Brigstow Bitter at 4.3% and £2.60 a pint, and Chala had a half of the Fernandes Jackdaw mild, a jet black slightly strong mild at 5.0%.  I also had time for a quick half of the Cotswold Spring Ambler, which was a pleasant malty bitter but paled in comparison to the dry fruity bitterness of the Arbor.

Just a reminder by the way that the Shakespeares beer festival starts Thursday, and a quick neb at the brewery list (posted on the wall and door) shows ales from Locale breweries including two new from Blue Bee and Steel City, along with the likes of Ironbridge, Revelations, Tynebank, Llangorse, Black Hill, Arbor and many others that I didn't write down (pushed for time, sorry, indeed these are all remembered, i.e mostly, but not entirely factual!).

Make sure you go along for a pint or 6.

So, that concludes my details of a rather unusual Jubilee weekend celebration for myself, with not as many pubs as I would have preferred, but plenty of beer and celebrations to help me along.


Wee Beefy


  1. Enjoyed the day in my Hastings local, watched the tv, drank loadsa ale, and the lasses behind the bar did make an effort in their dress. Cheers!

    1. Nice One! In the Fat Cat interior picture, admittedly a little short on focus/detail due to being taken on my phone, the union jack stood at the bar is one of the barstaff. A nice touch I thought.

      Meanwhile, have found a little evidence of Jubilee fever in Sheff but out of town; still waiting for someone to point out that it was jubilicious Friday through Monday....