last week the Three Valleys Festival, that signpost for casual violence and pseudo EDL allegiance in North East Derbyshire (only pulling yer legs three valleys organisers...) interrupted an otherwise normal but no less enjoyable week of drinking, thus:
Thursday started with a pint of Blue Bee Light Blue at Shakespeares after a late escape form work. This went down rather well, as did chatting with Andy M and Dave U from the world of beer. I followed this with a pint of a Steel City Brewing beer that I have no intention of remembering. Under duress, Dave U agreed it could be called Arthur. I prefer Douselb macken alle honig und devouren sie wollen die fliegen. Catchy.
So that was a nice Black PIA that isn't (or something), and I supped that along with a couple of much needed pork pies and a pint of Little Valley Dark Mild. A very palatable and well rounded mild. I also got chatting to Keith, whom I met when the legend in his own lycra Ron Clayton was in talking about the Robin Hood. It's goo to catch up with someone who not only remembers some of the older hostelries in Sheff, but is also interested enough to talk about them.
I had a half of Toolmakers Easy Driver and an excellent half of Black Iris Peregrine Pale next, the latter being a very palatable and well balanced pale beer with a subtle but acceptable hop kick. I then finished on the two best halves of the night - Raw Centennial and Great Heck Andromeda, both excellent well balanced pale, hoppy, beers.
Next up was the Bath Hotel. I say next - last up is the truth. In here I met a man from the US of A who despite the minute size of his country, didn't seem to know anyone from the bone study (stop sniggering now kids) course I chatted on Tuesday with. On the bar were beers (investigative journalism is clearly my forte) of which I had a pint of the Riverhead Floating Light and Thornbridge Chiron. Yum.
Friday saw me and Mr Dave H from the world of music traipse to the Gardeners Rest. Whilst it would seem more mature and constructive to voice my concerns with the staff directly I'll mump about it on here instead. I do find, unfortunately, that rather more significantly poor real ales are being put on at the Gardeners. A case in point was the Big Hand brewery Dark Anto (? - no info online, but definitely Big hand....) - reminiscent of the dire full mash Whitbread oddities that used to grace their Brewpubs in the dark days of the nineties. It was seriously debatable if it was drinkable, but in the end we decided it was just poor and ploughed on through to select another. This time the Cromarty Atlantic was poor so I had a pint of Sheffield Blanco Blonde which was very nice.
Its a concern because I love the Gardeners but now I think I need a taste of a beer every time before I buy. I don't know what the explanation is for this sudden malaise but it's not a good state of affairs.
Anyhoo, a quick run round to the Ship followed where the Pale Rider was not only £3.00 a pint but also in excellent condition. Alas Dave was off to meet a companion so I ordered us a taxi and arranged to meet in the Bath Hotel. Here, a pint of Dark Star Darkness and a couple of halves of the Thornbridge Chiron finished things off nicely.
A final note concerns the Three Valleys Festival. According to the Facebook (you've seen the Facebook) another smaller festival of pubs further down/lower down (?) the valleys called the Ridge is planned for August. I sincerely hope this can all go ahead but I think so soon after the trouble and idiot quota at the last one it seems optimistic to be planning another. I do however wish them the very best with any add on celebratory do. Assuming am not in hot climes I will, of course, attend.