after my refreshing beer festival visits and a mildly unimpressive fortnight of stress inspired over indulgence, I can finally take a breather and tell you about what happened when I visited pubs recently.
The day of my fretful job interview saw me "relaxing" (I was unexpectedly very thirsty afterwards) in Shakespeares, who recently and unfairly planned a beer fest to coincide with SIBA BeerX, having some fine pints. Most notable amongst those on offer was the rather unfortunately named Uranus from Mallinsons. Having not spotted it on Pumpclip Parade yet I'd like to think it shows a planet. And no black hole. Etceterra.
Luckily despite the potential for groansome despondence the beer was unsurprisingly brilliant, zesty but well balanced and very moreish. Before Wee Keefy came down to wish me well, I also tried a pint of Salamander Zulu Bride which was no doubt a porter, and against my better judgement, a Rat Brewery beer, their collaboration with Brew Co, Brewtown Rats, which is a wheat beer. Erm, probably. It was ages ago.....
After my jaunts on Tuesday and Thursday I was meeting Angie at The Bath Hotel for pints on Friday afternoon, yer know, practising for the beer fest and all that. As I was off that day this occurred at 14.00 and I arrived to an empty pub. Frustratingly other people arrived but I suppose Friday is a bad day for an exclusive pint. As is one when you invite a friend.
Steff was on hand to dispense beers and exciting news about Thornbridge collaborations with their staff. Two new beers are soon (well, May-ish) to hit the bars, with the names a complete secret. One is a pineapple and marmite gueze called Agadon't, and will be brewed by the Man of Ash, the other an ice cream and paracetamol mild called Nurofun Light, brewed with Ed and Steff at the Bath. Both promise to have real names, and exist.
On the bar here I tried a pint of the Saltaire Cascade to ease me into things followed by something very enjoyable from Dark Star which I can't possibly remember. I also had, amongst crisps and halves of Thornbridge Colorado Red, which is far better this time round, a fantastic roast pork sandwich to guard against sudden sleep or lack of cohesion later. It didn't completely work, but tasted lovely as always.
Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest but I had reluctantly agreed to go on a walk with Chala. Having run into monetary confusions (i.e. where the hell has it gone?) I opted to take enough change for a warm drink and a snack and we headed off to meander, a plan postponed slightly by the dumplings at Wirst Mainline running the 17 15 minutes late. Well done.
We alighted at Norton Church and walked into Graves park, and soon arrived at the Rose Garden Cafe. Cracking bacon sarnies in here, and my coffee was nice, but one thing that struck me was they sell bottled beers. A range of small Thornbridge offerings including Jaipur, and larger Wentworth bottles. Not sure what restrictions apply (if any) but it would be a great place to sit in the summer with a cool beer looking out over the park.
A longish circular walk followed before we came out onto Derbyshire Lane and into the Mount Pleasant. Landlord Stuart doesn't yet know the dates of his next beer festival but expect a Summer one to be announced soon. Five beers were on, the Tetley Rebadge Mount Pleasant, Milestone Sherwood Stag, Greene King IPA, Kelham Easy Rider and Adnams American IPA. I had the latter whilst Chala had a pint of the Easy Rider, both were sensibly priced at under £3.00.
Seeing as how we were walking down to Chesterfield Road next, it seemed churlish not to pop in the Cross Scythes, since they erm, take cards. I quickly bought a pint of Halcyon on cask, alas this was, as I suppose I should have guessed given its run out most other places, a little tired, but still a great drink. Chala meanwhile had the Craft Union, a beer she took quite a shine to, having decided against Black Harry.
As time passed we accidentally had more beer - me a pint of the surprisingly sweet Dark Star Festival, Chala plenty more Craft Union, whilst I also tried the Hopfweizen Dunkel and a pint of Jaipur, before heading back to the safety of Halcyon. Deliciously decadent afternoon removal.
One last stop beckoned, that being the White Lion where we saw Mandy, John, a bloke in a tiger suit and Aussie John, whilst supping Jaipur and something called Celtic Dark. I got some great pics sat in the snug, and it was a really nice way to finish a lazy Sunday.
So its been a boozy old time of late, but nice to get in some rarely visited venues as ever, and to be reassured by the commendable reliability of old friends like Shakespeares and Mallinsons.