its been a lovely long weekend of doing very little, which as regular readers may have observed started on Friday night. Before that there was the small matter of a pre weekend warm up warm up at the Sheffield Tap, and an evening of reckless abandon in the Crookes Valley. Featuring, amongst other things, a certain populist brew...
The Tap was busy as always and as is also a regular occurrence I studiously timed my arrival to be on the arse end of about 20 other thirsty folk. Mind you, a beer going off and two of the slowest and least expeditious drinkers tarrying at the bar over some Keykeg hardly pushed things along. My pint of choice was the Tapped Mojo, my destination some seats near the bar, and my intention? Well, it was always lovely beer, but I soon realised there was more that I wanted to sampled than I could sensibly drink on a school night. So I didn't drink sensibly. Duh.
Next up was half a Magic Rock Dark Arts, which was very tasty but it was so long since I last tasted it on cask I couldn't work out if it was somehow different? Either way it was very enjoyable and unless my maths has gone awry, it's not all that expensive by Tap standards. Which is code for - I am wrong. It was ages ago. Soon I was joined by my companions for the night, which included a surprise catch up with Alan whom I know from my Archer Road Beer Stop days. Always nice to catch up with a former customer, especially one who likes a chat and a beer.
I moved onto the excellent Thornbridge Raven next, which was just as fantastic as I remembered it. Take note of the price - £4.05 a pint - to partake in a little quiz later in the post. This was far too easy to sup for such a strong beer, so I decided to remedy the situation by having half a Weird Beard Brew Co "Fade To Black" black IPA, a 7(or 7.5)% monster which lacked some of the subtlety of the Raven if am to be honest. Not that the raven is really still a black IPA. Whatever one of those is. Craft *coughs* or something I imagine. It was also £2.30 a half, so I needed another pint of Raven to recover.
Saturday afternoon saw myself and Miss N recovered and restless in equal measure. It was a lovely warm day and the football was too depressing to even consider paying attention to so I racked my brains to come up with an innovative schedule of culture and contrasts. Despite which we ended up at the pub. The Princess Royal in Crookes was fairly busy but was strangely lacking any Locale - not that it mattered since I had a lovely pint of Bass, and Miss N a Hobgoblin, which she seemed to correctly identify as a guilty pleasure. Like Wham. Not that it would be my guilty pleasure you understand. On either count...
Off next to the Cobden View where the Raw JR best bitter was on - just. In the end, after a good 10 minutes thrashing the beer was declared finished, so I opted for all of the beer that had come out for the price of a pint, whilst Miss N did something truly unspeakable involving singers with Greek antecedence. A quick chat in the beer garden followed, and then we were off to the Closed Shop on Commonside.
Here, in a surprising more, we both had a pint of the Blue Bee Pilcrow Porter. And then another. We may have had three - I know for certain we had a chip butty and it was bloody excellent. The only downside was that the new crack team of chefs at the Shop hadn't realised the extent to which I love bacon butties. So as yet, I will under all but the most extreme circumstances, have to decamp to the Rutland for pub food. Harsh, I know. And damned inconvenient!
After probably three pints each of Pilcrow which you may recall is excellent, we went over the road to the Hallamshire House to pretend to be disappointed at the Thornbridge Raven being on. To win a prize, can you guess how much it cost per pint?* Whilst summoning your stab in the dark, remember that Pivni owns the Sheffield Tap, not the Hallamshire House. Meanwhile, we sat downstairs in the underground not inside nor actually underground bar cellar room lounge, and supped our fantastic pints of Raven, whilst musicians did things upstairs, before stirring ourselves for the walk to our last destination.
The University Arms was probably busy as well, however a mysterious soporific malaise had befallen us by this time, so it would be difficult to be sure. I do recall we both, having despondently watched the Welbeck Abbey Cavendish run out, had pints of the latest Abbeydale Brewery Dr Morton's beer, which was most agreeable.
All in all, what with nothing but cooking Moroccan stew and looking at photos to fill Sunday, this was the perfect weekend. And with upcoming do's at Shakespeares and the Rutland, there is no reason to think things won't continue to be excellent on the beer and pubs front over the next two weeks.
*That's correct! It was £3.40* a pint like you said. You now have the gift of knowledge. Well done.... unless you guessed wrong. Admittedly, the necessary apparatus is missing from this literary function which therefore does not provide any assurance re the veracity of your guessing. Apologies if that takes the veneer off your self congratulatory satisfaction.
**I wasn't paying that much attention. I mean, it could have been £3.60....