OK, I know, its been 10 below freezing in the wind and icicles have fallen from the sky and cleft our skulls in two as we flail helplessly between car, wall, pavement and gutter in an orgy of calamity and despair. I get all that. However, I have a refined Saturday routine. No amount of silly white fluff sheet ice and howling misery was keeping me from the fine public houses of the Sheff.
Mr Protest was at work in town Saturday so I arranged to meet him for refreshments. Having arrived early I went to the Harlequin first, one because I don;t seem to go there very often these days, and two, because I heard they had a special beer on. Regular attendees will no doubt take some persuading that this is unusual, but I wasn't complaining sat listening to an admirable compilation of Lightnin Hopkins, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny Terry and brownie McGee whilst supping a Brew Co porter called Muddy Waters.
I also noticed their rather swanky hand written and bound menu's, including all their spirits and bottled beers. Assuming the range is updated regularly (by hand of course) its a stellar line up. Perhaps I need to spend an hour or two more in the Harlequin.
Round the swoop of the ring road next to Shakespeares where initially I had half of Axholme Mild, a pleasant enough dark beer which lacked a little life. Next up was a half of the Blue Bee something about Bees and erm, something. It was a handwritten pumpclip - and chalk board. It was also a black IPA but I don't think gravity dispense worked for it. Shame.
I also had a pint of the Raw Empire Ghost IPA, a ludicrously hoppy but well balanced beer that went down alarmingly well. Three times. I was joined by Protest, who was on Deception, but I saw no reason to stray from the Raw.
After he left I wended my way up to - West Street. Due to Crookes road being the only main road in Sheffield remaining uncleared I was intending to disembark as near as possible and walk u to, Commonside, but I was dropped off at he top of West Street to spend £1.40 on a 51 to Broomhill some 5 stops away. Disgraceful. From here I walked through uncleared streets in biting wind to meet Jambon in the Closed Shop.
Here I had a delicious but regrettably not aged pint of the Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA. This was on sensational form and was disconcertingly easy to drink. Me and Jambon got chatting and supping before we made the "treacherous" 20 yard jaunt across the 3 foot of visible road to the Hallamshire House.
Here we sat in the snug enjoying pints of beer which alas the photograph forgets to record. I know I didn't try the Baize as I want to review that separately, but I genuinely don't recall what I had. Besides, the roaring fire was the winning feature on this occasion.
Because by now, the roads and pavements were frozen, and the temperatures plummeting. So we trod almost carefully down the alley at the side of the pub and on down Winter Street to the University Arms. I had a pint of Abbeydale Matins. a beer so ideally suited to long sessions and Summer (whatever that is) I can't understand why it was discontinued, and Jambon had the Acorn Thirst Degree. How tremendously sensible of us.
Alas on arriving at the Bath Hotel things were starting to be vaguely somnambulistic for Beefy. Reports of my nodding off slightly are corroborated by Mr J and it seems that the delicious pint of Mallinsons Chinook finished me off.
Still, at least this haziness provided the threadbare excuse to pop back in tonight, when frankly, going home would have made more sense, to try and find out what I had. This time the Chinook was the only disappointment, its end of the barrel froth accentuating the brutal bitterness at the expense of the balancing malt. Not so their excellent Tammie Norrie, a 3.9% beer named after a puffin and sold at £2.80a pint, which was the beer of the night. I also had a pint of the Thornbridge Sequoia, a rare taste for me, and one which nicely balanced out the bitterness of the waning pint.
All in all, meteorological mayhem has provided no obstacle to thirsty lad, and will continue ever thus. Am out for a few tomorrow with Mr P before a Good Friday wander in Sheffield, so it looks like Jack Frost will have to stick to lending his name to fizzy apple loopy juice....