posts have been a bit thin on the ground recently due to my being "busy" AKA not exactly at home. Or particularly sober. The upshot of which is that all sorts of things have happened, which I hope to recap below.
On Thursday I went to the Closed Shop. As mentioned last time out, the pub has reopened after its refurbishment, and as predicted, does indeed have a slightly increased beer range, and as hoped, continues to be rather fab. There are a few last minor issues to overcome, like planning permission for alterations to the beer garden, but overall its much cosier and beerier and looks good.
There are minor concerns based on my two visits thus far, and in the interest of balance (I'm rubbish at hiding bias am afraid) I'll list them here.
Firstly its chuffing warm (and this isn't entirely down to the weather), and also, the standard international spacial tolerance allowance for gaps between tables and fixed seating has been blatantly flouted in an attempt to seat more folks. Not that this is a great problem, not least because the above regulation is something I made up, but it is marginally problematic for big lad. I can, if I like, scare small children and the weak hearted by placing my hernia on the table. Or I can sit elsewhere. I'd rather do neither.......
Still, its ironic to consider that the more time I spend sat in said environment the more it in some way contributes further to spacial issues, since there has been quite a lot of very good beer on. Arriving first (no matter what anyone tried to claim) on Thursday I had a pint of Abbeydale Dr Morton's Angler Management, followed by a Nethergate lager, and several pints of Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA, which true to form, was rather nice. I also think I had a Titanic Plum Porter. In summary, people were very generous and lots of drinks were bought, and I had the pleasure of good company all night. It was ace.
Sunday saw me invited to the Closed Shop for the soft launch of the food service, which starts on Tuesday. The idea (for dumplings like me who don't understand what a soft launch is) was to put on a range of dishes and see how popular they were, what time and place people prefer eating in, and generally how this whole "food" malarkey pans out. Personally I found it all very tasty, and as many others commented, offering free food to everyone on a Sunday is bound to get the punters in. Mr Stephens has not yet but surely would, ask me to point out that food actually has to be purchased under normal trading arrangements. I still would.
The beer range was once again rather good, but I only tried two ales - the Nook Brewhouse Oat Stout was great but once I'd gravitated to Titanic 9 below zero, a fruity 5.9% pale ale, it was that all the way. I'm fairly sure Chala enjoyed her Staropramen, although I couldn't tempt her to a cask beer. It was also good catching up with tree expert Robin, Vickie (this is probably wrong, sorry probably not Vickie) Mister Christopher, and his flat mate Allan.
Leaving Commonside we headed down the road in-between huge downpours to the Dam House. A beautiful walk through Crookes Valley park in hot sunshine ended with 20 minutes sat admiring the view and supping ale. Chala had a half of Wentworth Oyster Stout, and me a pint of Banks and Taylors S.O.D (Shefford Old Dark). I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but two dark beers from a range of two is CHUFFING BRAVE in Sheffield! Luckily I love dark beers....
Our final stop was in the Bath Hotel, where weird new opening hours have been imposed. It used to open at 18.30 maybe 19.00 so we didn't want to arrive early only to find it shut - but had we dallied any longer we'd have not made it in - it seems to shut at 19.30! Unperturbed (well, unaware), I had a pint or few of excellent Mallinsons Topaz and some Chiron whilst Chala had some beer. We weren't really doing research, not that you can tell.
A last mention goes to Shakespeares where I headed after work on Friday. A short session played out in which I was joined by Mister Christopher, and Patrick, from the world of hair. I had a few pints of the excellent new Steel City beer from the cellar, and a half of a Wilson Potter beer (which was excellent) with the word go in it (probably), along with a half of the Arbor Monsoon Saison. Cracking beers and good conversation prevailed as always.
So rounds up some recent slaking and pub related news. Hear's looking forward to a thirsty August ahead.