well, so finishes another refreshing bank holiday where I laboured under the laughable delusion that I might not end up using it as a massive 72 hour alcoholic sponge, but instead an opportunity to do something constructive. To be fair, I did - I cut the hedge (and the hedge trimmer wires, like a bellend), I did some cleaning and I worked overtime. I also hosted a friend for a night of offal and alcohol and took some photographs. In reality though, these were just supporting turns to the unfolding acts of libation.
Official relaxation begin Friday night but that's a separate post. Saturday, in a move that made people think it was in fact Friday, I was at work doing something I hear people describe as "overtime". No idea why I chose such a lovely weekend to spend 6 hours indoors but at least it made me ready for a pint afterwards. Luckily, there was no shortage of potential venues.
Shakespeares has a beer yard and around 14.00 it gets the sun. So I popped in, bought a pint of Revolutions Brew Severin Mild and sat outside delighting in remembering what sitting in hot sun feels like. Alas the Severin didn't stick round long so I headed back to the bar to replenish - returning with a half of something from Wansum Brewery, and a half of Ommegang Hennepin saison, at a not terribly practical 7.7%. I needed to be back for 5ish to start prepping the meal. This had the potential to get messy.
I got chatting to a couple with an large friendly dog (sorry couple with a large friendly dog, but in not having tattooed your names on my arms I'm afraid they escape me...) and this preempted another round of Wansum and Ommegang, before finally finishing on a half of Black Iris Top Hard. Nice to see the Iris about, but the felt-tip pump clip was never going to match up to their usual output.
Sunday dawned sunny so I did a bit of hedge (and other) cutting before heading off to town about 15.00. My rewarding trip out was annoyingly stalled by my realising I forgot my wallet, just as I got of the bus in town. When, after going home and back, I finally arrived at the Sheffield Tap, it had been a pointless 2 hour trip. Time to catch up...
Here I had a pint of Tapped Brewing Co Growler Citra Pale ale and a half of the Tapped and Thornbridge collaboration Lady Grey (I think) unfiltered IPA. A stonking strong pale ale with an odd but not unpleasant aftertaste that went down well, even better when mixed with the Growler. I got another round of this just to robustly test the theory then had a pint of Magic Rock High Wire and half a Tapped Brew Co Miami Weiss whilst sitting in the sunshine, chatting to Dada Ems about the important things in life. Like beer, for instance.
The Closed Shop welcomed me next via the worst portion of chips imaginable from the grumpy Chinese nearby. Here I caught up with Dave on her quiz reading debut, and had a lovely pint of something which the overwhelming fear of having to listen to a quiz at all completely erased. I would have stopped to talk to various fine folk and drank more had I not been desirous of running away. Jim at the Alma at Mosborough set the tone for pub quizzes. Its really not worth competing.
My final stop was the Bath Hotel where I sat in dusky seclusion in the lovely snug with the cold blue night of the set sun falling beautifully onto the blue upholstered seating and scrubbed tables. Accompanying me was a rather splendid pint of Hawkshead Windemere Pale Ale.
Monday was an even later start as I finished hedge pushing (with my spare but blunt hedge trimmer which is about as effective as stroking the foliage with a spoon) before finally escaping at 6PM for a late one. I started at Shakespeares with a pint of Steel City Walpurgis Nacht. This hefty hoppy dark wheat beer was a pleasing if slightly OTT starter so I went for something pale and had a pint of the Sheffield brewing Co EFA IPA. Usually their IPA series beers are pretty good but this was really disappointing.
Amid the crescendo of noise form the loudest and most overbearing people on earth in the bar, I finished on a pint of Little Valley Stoodley Stout, which was excellent, before heading for the Wellington. Here I had a pint of their rather brilliant Little Ale Cart Sorachi, a Sorachi Ace and Citra pale ale late hopped with Herkules. I also found time for a half of their mild, which was very enjoyable, if not strictly really a mild at all.
Next I ill advisedly struggled skywards on Upperthorpe before popping out at Commonside and heading to the Hallamshire House. I only had a quick half of Jaipur here because for some reason the Thornbridge beers I like never seem to have been on when I pop in, and this was another such occasion. Across the road at the Closed Shop it was dark beers all round with my having a couple of pints of the Lincoln Green Tuck Porter, nd a refreshing half of Whittlebury Amarillo, before Chris persuaded me (a bit) to try an absurdly strong yet rounded 46 year old whisky from, erm, a distillery. I had a pint and a half of water with that double, which seemed scarily large, and i think this may have been what got me home. An excellent end to the session but probably a very bad idea.
Luckily for my liver its 3 months til the next bank holiday, so for now I'll just have to remember how much I've enjoyed these last three sunny days, whilst staring out of the rain lashed window at work, or struggling through icy stair rods on the way there and back, until the next one.