payday is fun isn't it. Money falls into your bank account (hopefully, not intending to alienate anyone) and there are bills to pay, shopping to buy and chores to perform. Me? I just go to the pub. I mean Jesus, I've earned it. I hadn't been out since Sunday. It was Tuesday....
I started by bussing it to the Closed Shop which you may remember from the world cheese matching championships. It was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday at 7ish, although, despite my having had a bath, many people mysteriously jumped ship after I arrived. A thinner skinned, and indeed, thinner, man, could take this badly. I, on the other hand, had eyed up some Blue Bee Lustin for Stout.
One thing I will say is that' its confusingly bitter these days. Ascorbic sometimes, which is strange since I always used to find it too heavy, but in a robust creamy sort of way. That night it was almost like the sheer magnitude of flavour has been inched out by a blob of extra dry hops. Its a shame because I really rate the stout, but I suppose with the best will in the world, not every brew can be the same.
Next up was a pint from the cellar. Paultous disappeared to fetch it, based on my waiting time from a cellar in Crookes, and I quickly realised that the much loved Titanic Plum Porter was a bit one dimensional. You see, I like plum, and I like porter. However, Plum Porter isn't both of these things. Its plum cordial with a drop of bitter. I kind of liked it. I was almost impressed. However, I couldn't help thinking it might have needed to remember it was a beer.
It was at this point that I played "an hilarious" gag on myself. Having divested my leather jacket on the nearest bar front hook, I became annoyed by my work bag, so passed it to Paultous and said "here's a great gag - you put this behind the bar for me, and we can both be amused when I get home at midnight and remember that you still have it". We both laughed. Well, it was a quiet night....
The silence was broken by the arrival of Tony Kennick from the past. I used to know Tony when we were both in CAMRA, around the time of the Crimea. Tony was good at shouting and was the only man in all of CAMRA to own a computer. He was basically in charge. That is not, I hasten to add, connected to my leaving.
He was on something reasonable whilst I next had a pint of the Blue Bee Pink Ball, which is fab, but somehow tasted ever so slightly of sandalwood incense, or perfume. The other brewer who is not Rich (sorry, other brewer who is not Rich, I have had a sleep since then) was at a loss to explain this unique feature, but that hardly mattered since in fact, the beer was still bloody excellent.
I had a couple of pints of the pink ball and a catch up with TK before I headed off for pastures new. En route I noticed the Hadfield wasn't exactly open. I managed through sheer determination tonight to find some details for them (on the Facebook, you've seen the Facebook), but am unsure as to the "plan". On 7th March they stated they had only 12 wees to survive - if they reopened at the end of March then that's not long off.
OK, so Tuesday night isn't a winner but some opening times info would be helpful. I'd take a pub called the Hadfield over a Shamesburys any day but its a bit incongruous me urging readers to use it or lose it when its not, erm, open? Feel free to tell me the opening hours The Hadfield, who is a person...
I headed off toward the next pub before I realised just how funny my bag-gag had been - the chuffer was still behind the bar. Cue a breathless sweaty rampage uphill back to the Closed Shop to deliver the punchline, and head back off again in the direction of the University Arms.
Here I was pleased to see a beer on gravity. Kelham Island (good God, don't tell them like The Devonshire Cat did, or they'll come and demand you serve it through handpump, if we believe the implausible reason for not selling Pale Rider on gravity provided by the Dev Cat is true), sorry where was I? Oh yes on gravity, Doctor Death, a rather smashing dark ale from Kelham.
I had a half of that and a pint of the also excellent Citra from Great Heck brewery, fast becoming a reliable and indeed desirable brewery choice on the bar. I'd only intended to stay for one pint but its so rare to see gravity dispensed beer in Sheff these days it was worth an extra sup.
My final port of call was the venerable Bath Hotel. I opted for a pint of the ascorbic, bitter and tantalisingly hoppy Mallinsons Tammie Norrie, which was just as boisterously challenging but ultimately rewarding as I remembered. A great finisher at such a low strength.
With a whopping extended weekend of liquid ahead it was probably best I got my money-shock drinking out of the way early in the week. Because there are some huge sessions ahead over the holiday. Not a task for a man who still has the pre payday drink monkey on his shoulder, I can assure you...