what with the unbridled excitement of beer festivals of late I have neglected to tell you about some of the Sheffield pubs that sell a decent pint of real ale at all times, irrespective of commemorative events. Thursday was payday, thank goodness, so me and Mr P went out for a jar or two to celebrate.
We started in the Three Cranes, neither of us had been in for a while so it was decided this would make a nice change. It was a Sheffield ale extravaganza on the bar, with Blue Bee and Abbeydale providing all the beers that were on. We both went for pints of the Blue Bee Nectar Pale, and due to a mix up behind the bar, ended up with a large taster of Abbeydale Daily Bread as well, which was much darker than I recalled but very nice all the same.
The Nectar may not have been selling too fast since my first out pint was a little sharp, but soon mellowed, if that's not contradictory for a zesty hoppy beer, into a fine pale ale. We then went for a half and a pint of the Blue Bee Lustin for Stout. This was the stand out beer of the night, brilliantly balancing the bitter roast malt with a satisfying creamy malt finish. I am told that the Cranes have removed Guinness and put the Lustin for Stout on in its place - whether this is mere conjecture or not, it was in fine form, so they are obviously selling plenty of it.
Next we headed down past the old Moseleys Arms and across the ring road to Shakespeares. Here there was a surprising lack of beers that tempted me, which doesn't happen very often. I dallied with the idea of a half of the Ossett Mild but went instead for a more standard strength bitter from a brewery I wasn't expecting to enjoy the wares of. Great then that my notes have gone for a wander and I can't recall what it was! Shamefully lackadaisical of me...
After these Mr P headed off home and I hot footed it to West Street and off down to the Bath Hotel, where I bumped into Ken from Harrisons.
In here they had the excellent Oakham Citra on, not as weak as other Citra offerings but still a really excellent 4.0% beer, hoppy, but more citrus hop than dry hop, and with that noticeable Oakham signature background malt. Or, as it may be, yeast. Have yet to understand the way that would show in the beer's flavour, but will let you know when I do.
My final resting place was the 1854 where it was Farmers Blonde all the way. Fellow project member JW turned up and we had an impromptu and not desperately sober convening of the project team, accompanied by rather a large amount of refreshments as it happens. This was a great way to end my night out, celebrating the glory that is payday.
And further still in the past....
What with wretched finances I haven't been out that often in the last week of May, and my disappearing Internet meant I forgot to update you on the Rutland.
Me and Chala were in a Wednesday or two ago supping excellent Blue Bee Bees Knees bitter (the darkest bitter ever?) with the lovely brewing team, and along with Chala enjoying the Freedom Organic lager I was ploughing my way through a number of excellent pints of Stroud Brewery Budding.
This is only the second beer I have tasted from this brewery, noticeable on the bar for its excellent traditional pumpclip designs, and both have been delicious. As it was this was in fact a trifle hazy but it didn't mean that it tasted any worse for it. It was a fantastic malty beer (but there were some hops) which had me rushing back to the bar for more.
My final update is on the Tap, where I went after the Commercial beer festival in Chapeltown on Friday (and (its on) today and tomorrow don't forget!). From a goodly range with plenty of Phoenix I think, I went for a half of the Marble Mild, and a pint of the Cromarty Brewing Co Red Hop Rye Ale.
Unusually for me I actually wrote some notes on my phone - since this is time consuming and fiddly it must have been a really good or bad ale to warrant such an action. As it was, it was a negative review, but not as bad as I have suggested above. Essentially, I thought the Red Hop Rye was too dry and one dimensional, and almost every mouthful tasted of sage or rosemary - not good ingredients in a beer, nor good bedfellows for hops. The burnt toffee notes and dry bitterness that you get in red ales were there, but they clashed with the weird herbal notes.
The drinking experience was alas made all the more disappointing by the decision by the staff to start using what must have been a gallon of bleach before last orders, meaning that sat in the panelled room at the back I soon started to smell nothing but. The smell was so overpowering that I had to go and sit back in the busy bar. Here the more ascorbic and jarring flavours of the beer lessened slightly, but I still enjoyed my Marble Mild far more.
A slightly disappointing end to a great night, which better bleach management could have avoided...
That's all for now, I have a craving for some dinner (alas not getting out and about on the bank holiday, disgraceful!) so must leave you. More news and views coming soon.