last night I got to the new brewery room at the Sheffield Tap (formerly a dining room, situated to the far left as you look from the outside). Having become convinced it was a fairytale or trick to frustrate me, I was relieved to discover that you really could just walk in, sit down, soak up the fab vistas, and, one assumes had I arrived earlier, watch beer being made.
Meanwhile I had two fab beers to keep me company - half a Marble Stout, which was excellent, like almost all Marble beer is, and a Junionaire (most probably not the name, but Sheff Tap FB page deactivated so no idea what is on!) from Thornbridge, brewed by young people. Somewhere. Admittedly this paucity of detail is a reporting failure, but I assure you I was too mesmerised by the grandeur of the brewery room to care.
Interestingly, it was surprising how many people seemed to arrive and then immediately walk out - but then, yer can't ignore the fact that there's nowt as queer as folk.
One slight downside to my visit was the much vaunted arrival of Kissmeyer beer in keg, and a forthcoming meet the brewer event. Not that meeting a fermenty spargey chap is a bad thing, just that the beer from said brewery took the piss in terms of price.
Of course, one could suggest that the fault of the heinous over pricing should lay fairly and squarely with the retailer, but am not so sure. In a pub where people wee themselves at the chance to buy the "latest" and most talked about (dear God, trending?) beer, no matter what the price, you can't blame the Tap for putting on something unusual even if its cost is astronomic. However, I wonder how much of the eye watering cost is profit, especially if the producer is taking the piss?
Lets face it Denmark's craft beer isn't cheap - but the argument for buying Mikkeller is that its renownedly excellent. So it could be a country thing. I realise Carlsberg isn't expensive, but then, the likelihood is, any you buy in the UK is brewed in the UK.
I like to think that Thornbridge and Magic Rock are a great example of brewers setting the bar higher than most of us would like to jump. Recent excellence in a bottle has made me less begrudging of that ethos regarding Thornbridge; likewise the stupendous Bearded Lady and Human Cannonball offerings from Magic Rock have done the same. Thornbridge in particular though seem to trade on an "our beer is simply excellent so you should pay more than the going rate for it" business outlook. So maybe Kissmeyer think they are likewise uber fantastic?
I say they, but the blurb on the Tinternet is all about one guy, Anders Kissmeyer. He could still be incredibly certain of his own brilliance though.....
The final puzzle is that being keg, I don't think there is an expected extra cost that would come with a Keykeg. I don't think continental kegs are single use, yet, I don't know for certain that this was in a conventional continental keg.
For info, the beer was called (I wrote it down as "f*ck that" but sense I may have been having a giraffe), was 7.%, and was £4.40 a half. Making it as, or possibly more, expensive than Magic Rock Bearded Lady - yet being 3.5% weaker, and below the HSB duty limit, and not definitely being in a single use container.
Lastly, Mikkeller and Magic Rock and Thornbridge have a really good reputation. I am willing to be wrong here, but I suspect Kissmeyer doesn't have the same enigma. Perhaps if it did (bearing in mind no tasters were available), I might have been willing to fork out for a half.