yesterday I was invited out to have a few drinks with Wee Keefy, Half Pint, Lauren and Paddington. It seemed rude to refuse this kind offer, but those teasers at the Rutland Arms had made it known that Blue Bee Light Blue was on the bar, and having moaned endlessly about not getting to try iy it, it seemed equally important to go and have a taste.
So, an arduous public transport trial and a brisk stomp brought me to a very quiet Rutland where as well as Lustin For Stout there was the Blue Bee Light Blue sitting happily on the bar. I decided to have whole pint of it. It was 3.6% and pale. It didn't last very long.
Long enough though to make me aware that this is one of the best session ales I've tried. True, hoppiness in lower gravity beers isn't new or I assume impossible to pull off, but this was probably hoppier than their Nectar Pale and yet with the same balance. It was similar to the hoppy delights found in Brodies Citra, zingy and zesty citrus and exhilaratingly refreshing. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some Citra in it, but I really don't know.
I think that if we ever get round to summer this year this will be a big seller - now that Abbeydale have ditched Matins and since Kelham stopped making the scrumptious Fat Cat Pale Ale years ago, I can't see a similar beer in Sheffield breweries portfolio, and at £2.60 a pint in the Rutland, I can see it being the beer of choice for many.
Before leaving on what was a whistle-stop visit I also paused for half a Dark Star Espresso, which was different again to my last taste at Shakespeares, and was a little tiny bit more rounded at the same time. A nice "bridge" beer before my next pint in the Tap..
In here it was 3 thick at the bar as one would expect, but what I wasn't expecting, was an orgy of Thornbridge beers (I think there may have been 7 on cask) and the rather less tempting prospects of some sweet and malt driven beers from Skinners from far away. The only sensible option therefore was to have a pint of the excellent Pollards Coffee stout.
This once again served to remind me that Pollards demonstrates a dreamy meld of complimentary flavours, with a sub plot of creamy roasted malt bitterness and coffee tastes, each taking their turn in the spotlight. Mores the shame then that I didn't have long to sample this delight, because time, and friends, wait for no man.
I arrived to find the crowd at the bar and quickly got myself a pint of Blue Bee Lustin for Stout, which as well as being an excellent beer was what I and some of the others had for our next three rounds in here. This was also a chance to have a proper play about with my new camera., which, to my joy, has a setting called "through glass" - despite it being meant to be used for taking pics through windows, it seems well suited to my hobby of photographing people through pint glasses.
After this things became less clear. We went to the Ball on Crookes, and I remember having a pint of one of the few beers that was on which wasn't Greedy King brewed. Other than that I am at a loss to recall (and Wee Keefy can't remember neither) what was supped. We followed this with a visit to the Noah's Ark on Crookes, which was the landlord's last night (I think the pub will be closing or swapping tenants once more) where alas the real ale had run out and I was on Guinness. Humph.
So, a great night out with friends, and the opportunity to drink some of the best Sheffield brewed beers I've had for a while.
Look out for the Light Blue in all reputable independent retailers.