knowing it was going to be a lovely sunny weekend I set about planning an invigorating walk. Yes, there would (obviously) be pubs, but there would also be walking, possibly up to 10 miles. I was to head off into Derbyshire, and sample the delights of Kirk Ireton, Carsington, Ashbourne, Belper, Openwoodgate and Derby. Until I found myself getting a mite tipsy on Green Devil IPA on Friday. Was I getting up at 8.30 and catching a train about 9.30? Was I f
...airly unlikely to be so I set off for a more realistic Sheffield walk around dinnertime. I got off the bus in town and walked past the Church House (I imagine a lot of people make this choice) and onto Trippet Lane to visit DAda. To my horror chuffing Kipling was still hogging the pump that was destined for Melba. I tried the Rok Fall bitter, which was unremarkable, and decided to have a lovely cold beer instead - so I had a pint of Chiron, which was perfect. I had a good catch up with Jamie and a half of Oakham Bishop's farewell before setting off on the next part of my"trek".
At the Bath Hotel Steff was on hand, along with a much needed through breeze, to make the visit an enjoyable one, a feat made all the easier by my having a pint of the Green Devil IPA. You know, to check it was still great. It was. An hour into my arduous hike and I'd had 2 and a half pints. And despite having decided to walk to Crookes I remembered, crucially that I couldn't be arsed. so I caught the bus instead.
Once in Crookes I dallied with the idea of popping in the Prinny but instead walked down Newent Lane to the Cobden View. Wee Keefy had informed me Friday that he had been supping an Inveralmond brewery beer in there, and I wondered if this was notice of a slight improvement in their beer range. When I got there the Inveralmond had gone but had been replaced by a favourite beer of mine Wincle Waller. I got a pint of that (£2.90) and went to sit in the hot sun in the beer garden. The Cobden is a great back street local the like of which are becoming rarer. It sells well kept beers at sensible prices, and hires its beer garden out for barbecues. Go visit!
Next I walked down towards the University Arms and en route popped in the Hallamshire House, where I spotted Mr Canning, and joined him briefly for a half of Thornbridge Pica pica. I also went into the beer garden for the very first time, where I bumped into Becky. The garden, such as it can be called one, is a large deck overlooking the city with a huge array of plants and tables and chairs. Its fair to say it's Becky's project, and must have been hard work. I understand the sun gets on it between 12 and 15.00 so I might try and time any visit to the Hallamshire accordingly to get the full benefit.
The University Arms was busy and Katedave was behind the bar. I had a pint of Crouch Vale Yakima Pale Ale and went and sat outside in the sun. The garden was understandably packed, but I managed to get a table to myself for a quiet read and to slightly change colour. Had I not noticed I was becoming significantly less sober than was sensible, I might have stayed for another. However, by now, using the miracle of text, I had established that the Melba was on at DAda. The next part of my ramble began...
DAda was quiet but to be honest I didn't want to be waiting to get the last of yet another barrel of Melba. This time it was in perfect condition, crystal clear and tasting as lovely and peachy and like a mixture of Halcyon and Qosh from the 1980's as it should. In between talking to a guy from Crookes called Louis and his slightly tipsy lady friend, I managed to have a couple more pints of Melba before I got word that Clare and Gav were at the Fat Cat. It would have been rude not to join them.
So I walked down to Kelham Island, by now having completely abandoned the pretence of an actual walk, and met them in the Cat's beer garden with a pork pie, a glass of water and a half of something. And a red face. I must have made a great impression upon their friends Gary and Clair as I met them for the first time in a particular tangle. Still, everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet as I quickly worked out.
Its important to clarify now that apart from definitely having water and an Abbeydale Pocket Anchovy in the Kelham Island Tavern, our next destination, plus a pint of Nelson Gun dog Stout in Shakespeares (and stylishly leaving my wallet on the bar) I really don't know what I drank. What I do know is the potentially confusing (name wise) combination of Gav, Clare, Gary and Clair were great company, and if it hadn't have been for my camera there would very little that I could have recalled about the night.
So. If I walked 3 miles I'd be surprised. I never reached the countryside, but I did get some sun. I also drank some fantastic beer - with not a bad pint encountered in all eight pubs en route. Another reason, if one were needed, to stay in the Steel City when seeking great beer.