to quickly get you all right up to date with the thirsty life of Beefy, I'll take you through Thursday to Sunday, a period of time when more than one drink was bought, more than one bottle was opened, and more than one toast to a poet's favourite stomach was mooted.
Thursday was application form day. End of. Work, then writing, then fretting, then 5 hours kip. Friday night, hours after submitting my form, I was off on the omnibus to the wilds of Westfield to celebrate Burns Night with Wee Fatha. A mountainous haggis and mercifully fewer neeps and tatties helped us toast the Alloway wordsmith in style, accompanied by a dram of Edruador and a hefty taste of 20 year old Bladnoch.
Beers were bottled obviously, and came at opposite ends of the colour spectrum - Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted, Schehallion and Mr Snowballs plus Williams Caesar Augustus provided the crisp and refreshing pale coloured foil to the malts. Still pale was Brew Dog Punk IPA, which reminded us of some rather unfortunate aromas, but tasted fine, and the surprise turn of the night was a bottle of Traquair House Jacobite, a heavy spiced dark Scottish Ale of 8.5%. Complete with about 4 years date left, and tasting fairly damned incredible, though not always a style I like this was a welcome beer on a wild snowy night.
Saturday was breakfast - (which became dinner) in Hillsborough with Mumrah Martin and Wee Keefy followed by a few stops in rather too many pubs. Starting at the Hallamshire House there was nothing on offer that exactly blew my mind but I do love Thornbridge Pollards, so it was a welcome return to the bar for this old favourite.
I went to the Nottingham House in Broomhill next, if nothing else to see how it had improved since October 2011. I say that because it can't possibly have not improved, and stayed open. Surprisingly, for the first time in years I was stared at by 4 barflies (complete with, one imagines harmless and friendly, dog) when I entered, making me feel quite uneasy. To distract me from the atmosphere I opted for a half of Moonshine from a choice of that and Taylors Landlord. The Nottingham is still an unprepossessing transient pub but at least you can drink real ale in it, and it seemed busy enough. Just not my scene.
The University Arms beckoned and any ideas of a short stop were shattered based on an excellent line up on the bar. I started with halves of Welbeck Abbey White Canon, a 2.8% pale beer at £2.25 a pint, with plenty of hop character and thankfully no cereal or biscuity malt, along with a half of the Raw Endeavour. This was another excellent Raw outing, but their Dark Peak Stout was also on so I had a half of that and the Redemption Brewery Big Chief IPA at 5.5%. So moreish was this excellent beer that I stopped for two more pints whilst chatting to a former colleague at the bar. A great way to spend an hour or two.
A brief stop at The Bath Hotel followed, this time to sample an excellent pint of Dark Star Darkness, before I headed into the Devonshire Cat for the first time in about 6 months. From a decent range I had a half of mystery obfuscate fragment, a memory description intended to cover up my woefully bad recall. I do remember it was rammed and I couldn't get a seat though.
I headed for Henry's next where, noting that I was feeling a bit tired again I opted for a half, this time of the very palatable Dukeries Gold - the first beer I've tasted from that brewery and a notable start.
Talking of starts, its been a rocky one in terms of renown and well, consistency for Wood Street Brewery, and a quick visit to the Roebuck did nothing to help change my mind about their beer. My half of Buabob was returned having nearly knocked me out before I'd even tasted the beer (I did by the way, it was vile) so I swapped it for a half of Sparkleberry, which was drinkable, but that's all I can say. Once again a serious dearth of customers makes me wonder if the Roebuck is a step too far, especially given that the brewery can't seem to get the beer right.
I stopped off briefly in The Red Lion next to sample a commendable half of Moonshine, but I was craving sustenance and a wider beer range so headed quickly on.
Into a rammed Rutland Arms next and despite my phone battery suicide plot I managed to guess I was in time for food, and having secured a quarter of a table I got sat down with a beer. Its shameful to admit that, despite the good company of JB and having a tasty sandwich to fill me up, I can't remember which beer I had, or if it was responsible for my nodding off slightly. Not an impressive Beefy display. Hopefully starting there on Wednesday will enable me to pull off a slightly less embarrassing performance, and, who knows, maybe recollect the beer?
I finished my trek in the Sheffield Tap where I was delighted to find an Outlaw beer I had been wanting to try, but also a new brewery that had somehow slipped under my radar. Apparently, a brewery has opened off Rutland Road just past the Woodside Inn (formerly the Forest). Who was to know?! Well, I didn't, but enjoyed drinking the Sheffield Toolmakers Brewery Razmataz Blonde, along with a fairly hefty Gadds Black Pearl Oyster Stout and a pint of the oddly enjoyable;e but surprisingly not that refreshing Mad Hatter, Outlaw's much discussed Jasmine Green Tea IPA.
So, a slightly silly night of drinking, but one for the most part of which was very enjoyable. Luckily I haven't time to drink tonight what with blogging, but tomorrow is a Wanderians event, Wednesday a Twissup, and Thursday is payday, so anything could happen!
All the best