I set out on Wednesday for a trip round Neepsend taking photographs with Maureen. He is mad keen and takes it all very seriously, whereas I am frustrated with my little snapper (insert euphemism here) and take hundreds more photo's to compensate. Given that it was chuffing freezing, this trip also required warm rooms, and so morphed into yet another predictably threadbare excuse for a sup.
En route, having photographed some gloriously grim seventies tiles on the side of the Cannon brewery, and a building on the corner of Harvest Lane and Neepsend Lane which proclaims Bottled Beers above its doorway*, we popped into the Gardeners Rest. Maureen alas was pre vehicular so opted for a girls drink, whilst I enjoyed a very drinkable and tasty Vale Red Kite.
Its good to see a wide range of the Vale beers getting in here especially since the Hadda's seasonals are rarely seen, and beyond that its nowt. Drinking my beer I was a little sad for Maure, but he quickly showed how deserving he was of his purgatory by saying he find the Gardeners amazing because "its so ful of random shit and junk". A comment, under minimal duress, he tried to pass off as being made in admiration. Bad Maureen, back in your car.
We headed off for the Ship next, not to go in as it was only half 5, but to photograph it and steer a course up the hill at teh side of the dual carriageway along Upper Allen and Beet Street to Portobello to photograph the church and the surrounding floodlit buildings. Unfortunately, after nearly 2 hours in the cold and wind our hands were unresponsive and there were needs to meet so we headed to DAda for a drink and a warm.
The excellent Pollards was back on, and also what may be the last of the Thorny Goat, so there was much to enjoy, and Maureen seemed quite taken with the Pollards, as any decent person would be. This proved to be the catalyst for a rapid improvement in beer choice at DAda and The Bath nearby, which I will catalogue further on.
After waving Maureen off I nipped into Henry's for an excellent half of Great Heck porter and Crouch vale Yakima Gold. I don't know why but having tasted it on gravity and hand pulled I don't like this beer anywhere near as much as my senses tell me I should!
Straight of to the Rutland Arms next for a sandwich, which had become smaller but cost less, and some great beer, which was nice but not deemed worthy of recording (slack of me), followed by a very enjoyable half of Magic Rock Human Cannonball. Which was tremendous, of course.
On Thursday I popped in Shakespeares after work for pints of Steel City Brewing Nuclear bomb, an excellent hoppy pale ale highlighting the almost cereal like characteristics of Cluster Hops (in a good way, despite that description), along with Oldershaw Grantham Stout. I also had time for a couple of halves, of Toolmakers Brewery Apprentice, at £1.25 a half, and the excellent Raw Endeavour, at £1.30. It seems it doesn't have to break the bank to sup in Sheffield after all.
My final ports of call over the last week were a couple of visits to the Bath Hotel, where the brilliant Marble Stouter Stout was on, and the Thornbridge Pollards, both of which I enjoyed, along with pints of the Dark Star Espresso Stout and a Red Willow beer that ended in "less" and had red malt in in it, and which I forgot the name of.
Finally it was DAda's turn to welcome me and I noted with joy unbounded that Halcyon was back on as well as Pollards, I also had the Dark Star in here, although, being approaching 1am when I left you'll forgive me for forgetting whether or not it was the stout.
This is a great recent show from my two regular haunts, and long may it continue. And what a great advert for beer choice in Sheffield.
*UPDATE: I have found via the rather excellent Lost pubs Project website that this pub used to be the Britannia Inn. However, further down the page is information and a photo of it purporting to be the sawmakers . If the Britannia closed in the 1940's it maybe was on the left hand side in the photo. Allegedly, the Sawmakers didn't close until the 1990's.