Thursday, 27 September 2012



    I was going to write up a few recent beery delights that I have encountered, but aside from the fact that if my Diabetic consultant ever read this we might have to have a "chat" it also occurred to me that what I had embarked on last night was a regular monthly pub crawl. So I thought I might personalise the journey, literally, and tell you how to do that same route, and what you might expect along the way.

Me and Mr P have, on our last 3 monthly, after work, beer wanders, gone and done the same route. The things is, we always used to go to the Harlequin then the Kelham without even thinking about it, rarer still we wandered to the Blake or the Sheffield Tap but recently we have settled on a regular trail.

Starting on Bridge Street (think Whitbread's brewery) we walk up past Irwin Mitchell's and follow the road round past Plum Lane and out onto and across the dual carriageway. Theres a cashpoint here for butter memories like me who never have any cash on them...

Round the corner next, then we walk past the Fat Cat, at which point comes your first choice. Obviously, the KIT and the Cat are here, and well worth a visit - but we usually walk onto Green Lane, then right over the bridge past the Milestone, up Ball Street. For a more scenic walk take the next right, Cornish Street, follow to the end and walk down the jennnel to join Waterloo walk which comes out at Rutland bridge. We normally take a left over the river off Ball street and follow the path out onto Neepsend Lane, which we follow to the Gardeners Rest (if going tother way turn left at the junction over river).

Here of course there are beers a plenty and outside seating. There;s nothing finer than sitting by the river on a sunny day, or sheltering in the conservatory during a heavy shower. Somehow, half of the time, the latter happens.

Last night was no exception. We were nearly drowned out chatting over our pints - we started with pints of Eden Best for me, which was a light refreshing little dryness in the aftertaste, whilst Mr P had a pint of a Tintagel ale, which I had low expectations of, but was in fact probably gutsier and more hoppy than my choice. Mr P had another of these, and I had a very unusual tasting but very enjoyable Wharfebank Treacle Toffee Stout, which smelt like Dandelion and Burdock and tasted of vimto and roasted barley. Despite this clumsy mix of descriptors I assure you it tasted fantastic.

Should you be able to tear yourself away, you could go mad and ditch the crawl and head for the Hillsborough - this of course is part of the rather longer and rightly more famous Don Valley pub crawl. What we do, however, is head back down Rutland Road and turn left onto Old Penistone Road, and head onto Shalesmoor.

At this point, assuming you didn't fancy a saison or other invented beer, you could cross the ring road and tram track to visit the Wellington, and try their excellent Little Ale Cart beers plus guests. What we usually do, however, is press on to the Ship.

Now, the Ship is a pub that I like very much but we're never quite sure of the opening hours. We consistently aim for 19.30 but at different times before now the landlord has insisted its 20.00, or, presumably in jest (!) 21.00. Either way, I think a sensible plan would be to aim to get their for 20.00, to avoid disappointment.

On our last visit there was Abbeydale Moonshine, Kelham Pale Rider and the excellent Welbeck Abbey Red Feather, which was our tipple of choice, perfectly kept and on sale at a decent price - £2.60 a pint. I understand that Kelham Wild Rider and the Barlow brewery stout are to feature soon, along with another few from Welbeck. Should be well worth finding out.

Our final stroll is fairly simple, just along Shalesmoor and keep right up Gibraltar Street to Shakespeares. Last time in Mr P was on the Axholme Best Bitter and I was trying, enjoying and all round being impressed by a sumptuously orangey bitter called Mudhopper from Mallinsons. Alas we were both pushed for time and it was getting really busy in the pub what with events on upstairs and down it seemed so this was our only drink. I could easily stayed for many more Mallinsons to be honest.

From here we usually go our separate ways, if I am being a good boy (which of course I always am), I go home as well, although its not unfeasible that I might instead head off for DAda or the Three Cranes. The KIT, Cat, Riverside and Harlequin are all 5 minutes away of course, so if you so wished you could walk on round the ring road and check them out aswell.

I hope you get chance to try out this trail sometime, if the weathers nice (ahem...) its a lovely walk for the most part, and crucially its populated with excellent pubs. Which is nice...

Wee Beefy

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