I am unexpectedly off work (due to the sodding boiler having died) so thought I might use my waiting time carefully by writing this. In between Bank holiday stumbling and Ploughmans nights and other fun and games, I have carefully set aside time to have a pint or two. Here's some details thereof.
Tuesday saw me sat in the sunshine (the what already?) in the beer garden at Shakespeares supping ale with my mate Abz. First up was a pint of Harthill V.B Ace of Harts, which was a pleasant, pale, bitter session ale, followed by a rather more robust Porter from Salamander, Tree Hugger. This was followed by a very hoppy pint of Hopcraft Test Brew 9 "The Beast", a trifle reckless at 6.7%, before I finished on half of Anchor Flying Cloud No.3 San Francisco stout from the keg. A tasty, but not overly heavy beer, despite its 7.4% strength.
A rather protracted trip to the Blake followed, since a road was shut somewhere along the route the bus helpfully went down Fox Road and popped out near the Hillsborough Hotel instead of going up Daniel Hill. Cue a sweaty breathless stomp through sheltered housing and across Rutland Park uphill. Humph. Here I had a much needed pork pie and a delicious Great Heck Powerhouse 5% IPA, sat in the sunny beer garden, before heading home for food and beer tasting (more to come on that in another post).
Friday was Carlos' birthday, so we all met up in Crookes to celebrate. I started off by having a pint en route in the University Arms, a tasty Welbeck Abbey Brewery Cavendish pale ale. It was completely rammed throughout, but I did get sat on a bench for 20 minutes before hot footing it for the bus.
We met up in the Ball on Crookes, where I had a very palatable pint of Hopback Crop Circle, a beer I haven't seen for ages. Its light but not weak, if you see what I mean, and was a good quick pint to sup whilst we caught up.
After the meal we decamped to the Punch Bowl. I was never a fan of this pub when I lived on Crookes, perhaps only going in once or twice for Tetley in my teens. When it became Mr Q's it was a definite no go but since last year I have been in a few times and am warming to it. I think credit for its gradual improvement should go to the couple running the pub, who have put a few interesting events on, including regular live music, and seem to have attracted a core of regulars.
There are two real ales, usually Kelham Easy Rider and a guest, often from Everards. They won't in any awards for beer choice but its well kept and about average price (£3.10 a pint) for the area. Its crucial draw is that it feels like a proper pub, despite its rather ill thought through decor and modern furnishings, and seems friendlier than the Ball or Masons nearby.
We were in for a couple of hours having, in my case, several pints of Easy Rider until we decamped to Wee Keefy's for something in a bottle, so I'm told.
The next day I was back in Crookes - to pick up my bag! Having collected my stuff I got down to the Closed Shop at gone 18.00 for a late-ish session. I decided to eschew the delights of Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA, in favour of something a little less strong. My pint of Ashover Butts Pale ale was delicious, although, I had developed a taste for it by the time I realised it was 5.5%. Oops.
I had 4 pints of the Butts, a brilliant hoppy pale ale, whilst chatting to Paultous and Georgina, before I figured it was time to head for town. En route I popped in the Dram Shop for a couple of bottles, only to find their selection of small un's a little, ahem, smaller than I anticipated (although I did pick up a bottle of Sam Smiths Imperial Stout).
My penultimate stop was at DAda, which you may remember from 2012, where I had a pint of Bitter Californian from Bristol Beer Factory, as well as a half of our old friend Halcyon. I did not linger long though, since there was a "do" on with free champagne. And I'd forgotten my dicky bow....
I popped in the revitalised Dog and Partridge for my last pint, a decent Abbeydale Alchemy which I supped in what somehow seems to be a shorter back room (?!) soaking up the atmosphere and watching a steady flow of customers arrive. After my doom laden posts in late 2011 about the pub's future its great to see it back on its feet again, and the addition of Street Food Chef burritos and the like is a real winner of a partnership. I shall return soon.
So, that rounds up my recent adventures, in the next couple of days there will be a beer tasting post, and details of yesterdays Manchester and Salford wander.