following on (slightly) from my previous post, and as promised, here are the details of that microcosm drinking session, and some from earlier.
Whilst these are two separate events its easier to take them in one circular crawl, so for the purposes of this post I started at the Bath Hotel. Arriving at a time when only a few customers were in. I quickly got rid of them (not intentionally, although I had sweated en route, but one hopes they hadn't noticed!?) and soon set about chatting with Ed. He's an easy going likeable chap with a good sense of humour. No twats in suits for the Bath, and all the better for it.
He quickly drew my attention to the whisky barrel aged Beadecas Well from Thornbridge but I spotted the Amber Ales Revolution and had a pint of that. An absolutely fantastic choice. Refreshing, balanced and hoppy, and lasting about 5 minutes. So I had another! I then moved onto the recommendation...
The aged Beadecas was to be honest, stunning. A truly fantastic well rounded, monstrously luscious, creamy, smokey, spirit infused delight in a glass, but tasting stronger than its 5.5 (?)% strength. It certainly slowed me down, being less quaffable than the Amber, but it was a memorable pint. I finished though, on another pint of the Revolution. To me, it being good enough to have over the Red Willow, is high praise indeed. The Heartless remained untouched.
Down ro DAda next and on both my visits I had the same - a pint of the Dark Star Smoked Porter, which to answer a query from T_i_B is less good than the Beadecas (the aged version at least) and a pint of Hophead. Described by Jamie as the clearest beer ever, what wasn't in doubt was its excellent condition, superlative taste, balancing hoppiness, and refreshing bitterness. An understandable inspiration for my article yesterday - I went to a Thornbridge pub, and didn't drink one of their beers. The guests are always excellent in DAda.
My final stop, the first tonight, was Shakespeares. Surrounded by brewing glitterati, including Dave Unpronounceable, I got to choose from a range of excellent and impressive beers. I started with a pint of the Steel City Cluster Bomb, made with German yeast and being 4.9%. An uncharacteristically Teutonic ale based on its hoppy bite, along with a murkiness not helped by the chill haze but it was a very palatable bitter beer. I had my eye next on the Hop Studio Porter and he North Riding Special but alas both these went off as I approached the bar!
Instead I had the excellent Revolutions Vienna cask lager, which had a weirdly spicy after taste but a brilliantly refreshing body and mouthfeel, plus halves of the Shakespeares 1000th different beer, Sheffield NZ Pale Ale 3 (Pacific Jade) and a half of the North Riding Vanilla Stout. The stout was a bit disappointing to be honest, but the Revolutions was another classic, easy to drink but full flavoured and interesting.
All in all a great couple of nights, which nicely showcased some of Sheffield finest Brewery and Independently owned hostelries, proving that I have every reason to recommend a Thornbridge pub or two, but reminding me that the independents are always going to win in terms of choice.