its an unavoidable side effect of being known as a beer blogger that acquaintances and work colleagues either demand information from you about every facet of beer and pubs, or simply assume that you would be willing to lead them on a wide ranging tour of hostelries and highlights of the local beer scene. Presumptuous as this may be, I actually like showing people what Sheffield has to offer, and a chance arrangement to meet with a friend gave me the ideal opportunity to show someone what, as an irregular beer drinker, they might be missing.
I was due to meet up with Miss M for a pint or two after work, and intended, what with it being Black Friday, to avoid nobhead rich aggro warehouses on West Street in favour of my regular haunts nearby. As with all good plans, things went a little askew as Miss M was delayed, so having put up with work as long as was tolerable I headed for Shakespeares to meet up with Wee Keefy, Steve Prewash, Bob, Bill, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob and Kevin, from the NGH.
I fancied a half of Arbor something I couldn't read but it was 10%, so in the absence of Revolutions or Hop Studio or other guaranteed excellent brewers offerings I went for an old reliable - a pint of Deception, which may have been only £2.30 a pint. It was very quaffable - the perfect start. It was busy in Shakespeares, but not as rammed as it would have been had the pub been nearer town. Hence, my theory was proved to be correct.
Being as I had more than an hour to fill before meeting my intended companion I stuck with the team to the next pub, the Three Tuns. I don't often get in here so despite my fears about its busyness (and it was rammed) I opted to pop in for a pint. Bradfield Farmers Blonde was my choice in here - but only because the Absolution was a tad too strong.
Off to the Three Cranes next where there were three beers on and plenty of happy customers soaking up the excellent atmosphere. I started with half a Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA on the basis I would be heading off to meet Miss M, but she joined us in the pub after all, so I quickly ordered another two. A very easy drinking beer for its strength, the Tangled Up was back to its best, and selling at around £3.30 a pint.
Soon we were off to DAda, and I was determined to give my companion a taste of a wide range of tastes and styles from the excellent beers on offer. We started with a pint of th Dancing Duck Abduction IPA at 5.5%, which was a gentle starter for Miss M, who usually drinks stronger but more lager malted beers. I then decided to to buy a couple of slightly more off the wall drinks.
We had a glass of GluhKriek between us, along with a beer cocktail made with Thornbridge Chiron, which I can't recall the name of. I am ashamed, dear readers, to admit, that the cocktail was simply fantastic. More interestingly though was the fact that we couldn't quite detect the beer element in the mix but noting it had Chiron it it I ordered two halves of this immediately after and we could recognise it straight away. It feels wrong to champion the idea of a beer cocktail, but given how bloody boiling it can get in DAda, its a highly recommended way to cool off and enjoy an easy drinking, erm, beer. Cocktail.
We finished with halves of the excellent Schlenkerla Rauchbier before the frustrating passage of time harried us out and back yto the bus stops to escape home - on returning to which I had one of my stash of Dunham Massey bottles, this being their porter.
As well as being an enjoyable trip round some great pubs, this proved to be a great example of the breadth and quality of beers available in Sheffield today. With two locally brewed Pale session beers, 2 locally brewed IPA's, a German smoked beer, a warm Belgian ale, a Derbyshire fruity pale Keykeg beer and a beer cocktail, I had the opportunity to try wildly contrasting styles, all served in excellent condition, at decent prices. And all withing about 10 minutes walk of where I work. A joyous microcosm of beer brilliance to render any nights drinking a success.