a quick report to inform you that I have escaped from my sick house shackles and gotten out into the pubs for a change. Details below.
I got in after work for a quick one early; rumour had it that erstwhile riffsmith Mr H was due in for a chin wag with friends but I didn't spot him before I left. The pub was quite busy when I arrived, with a few folks in fancy dress at the bar. Before I'd been served a whole troupe of costumed folk dancer types had arrived, so it was looking pretty busy.
I grabbed a pint of the excellent Dark Star Hophead and settled down in the bar room with my pint and a a newspaper for company. Pat from Abbeydale was in for a chat but I didn't get chance to collar him - suffice to say he and his team were all steadfastly on the Deception, which was likely the second of two renowned pale beers on offer - there was also a Salamander dark beer, but I did not stick around to try it alas.
Off next up to the 54 via an arduous bus journey full of time oblivious young types on the 52 to Crookes or Broomhill. On entering Harrisons resident DJ DBH had a very good selection of tunes on, and following a reported earlier visit by the Abbeydale "crew" I was surprised by a lack of Deception. Moonshine however was suggested, and it was a decent pint of the golden Sheffield favourite. I stopped for another half whilst planning far off escapades in ale for us both.
Into the Red Deer next I was bowled over by an inescapable smell of chorizo. Thing is, I love chorizo - tis the food of heaven. Alas I couldn't see what on the menu featured it and besides had my eye on a decent piece of fish in the fridge at home, so stopped only for a half amidst some salacious disappointment. I had half a Broadside from Adnams, which was thicker and more nutty than I remember. I'm sure the sparkler ruins the more subtle nutty flavours in this beer!
The regulars were in here, that being the bar staff of course. Brother Rabbit, Ashford, Jaipur and Brock made up an equally drab/exciting roster of Thornbridge ales, of which I had the Brock. The pumpclip declares a smooth creamy stout - it was admittedly smooth but there was almost no creaminess and far too much dry hops in this beer to allow it to fulfil the tastes promised. Unfortunately, a tight schedule meant I did not have time to taste the Jaipur, which I'd been hoping to. The Kipling is the new key keg for now. Jamie reports more Magic Rock on the way, potentially cask Dark Arts. That would be a real coup if it shows up.
A new venue for me was the last of the night's stopping points, mainly as I needed the loo and wanted somewhere quieter than the Spoons to buy a half and head for the facilities. The one real ale (Bombardier was off) was the Taylor's Landlord. I had a half, at £1.50, and it was very very much stronger in nutty malt than I remember. Nothing about the beer was horrible, it was just overpowering and unsubtle. I don't think Cavell's are pretending to be a new real ale venue, and its good that you now have an option of drinking something with a bit of flavour for the first time in years, but its a shame that the Landlord was a rather odd version of itself, rather than a well kept example. It seems a little work is required of this new real ale venue.
That's all the news i have for now, hopefully more to come over the next week.