after the abject horror of spending a week in a country with no cask beer I came back to the UK with barely time to catch my breath before heading off on another jolly - as described previously. In between times, so as not to shock my system, I have been steadily reacquainting myself with the Great British pub, in the following ways.
Sunday 25th saw me at Shakespeares supping one of Steel City's beers, a Black IPA that didn't really do it if am to be honest. I also got the last half of a Hopcraft beer and a few pints of a stout, the identity of which scarcely matters now. Which is lucky....*
Wednesday saw me back again this time drinking some rather agreeable Doncaster porter, having sunk a couple of the excellent Pilcrow Porter, AKA the people's pint, at the Closed Shop. A quick nip round to the Kelham Island Tavern finished off the evening nicely with several pints of Bobs Brewing Yakima Chief.
On Saturday I paid my first visit to the Sellers Wheel on Arundel Street. Not long open this is a coffee shop serving food (i.e more than just cakes) as well as a rather good selection of bottled beers including Hop Studio, and their Pilsner plus Ilkley Dinner Ale on draught. Admittedly they are both Keykeg but I was told that they needed to see how well beer sales went before risking a cask beer on the single handpump. The Pilsner is a decent lager anyway so I had a pint - £3.80 for a Keykeg beer (assuming it is?) isn't too wide of the mark, and the prospects for cask as well as those bottles is good. Well worth a look, if nowt else for the Aeropress coffee.
From here we nipped in the Rutland and I had a pint of Hopcraft something or other which despite its amnesiac powers I have managed to remember was very nice - and there is Ilkley and Mikkeller on Keykeg for those who like that kind of thing. Come to think of it I'm sure it was called Statement of Intent. Off next to a new venue to me - Tropeiro in Leopold square. Alas despite the prevalence in Brazil of Lokal, and there being a dark Brazilian beer available at Las Iguanas, Tropeiro manages to have nothing more unusual than Cruzcampo and the very worst lager by numbers with a fanacy sounding name - at £3.85 a bottle. No wonder their drinks menu didn't seem to feature on their website! Seems Popolo is the only place to get half decent beer in Leopold Square.
The Dog and Partridge meanwhile had Lustin for Stout which Chala tried and Invocation from Abbeydale which I did. It was nice to see the place busy and we thought about staying for another but instead headed to the Bath Hotel where, bloated from our meat-cercise at the restaurant we were on halves. I chose to try the Bridestones and wasn't smitten but found the Thornbridge Beadecas well on great form. Chala tried and disliked the Tap 7 from Schneider, although she had already paid - after some questioning it was swapped for a far less odd Thornbridge Tsara.
Finally, news of a Sunday crawl which saw me supping The public wants what the public gets (or similar) also from the excellent Hopcraft brewery, along with their impressive Jamaican stout from the cellar. We followed this with a pint in the Blake Hotel, where I had something very tasty, probably a beer I forgot due to having some excellent Kilchoman whisky to follow - not something I do very often. The final port of call was the Closed Shop for numerous pints of Blue Bee Nectar Pale - a great end to a great day and week of drinking lovely cask ale.
*it is probably a bit late since 118 of you have read this but I feel, in my defence, I must explain that I am on holiday - from research, or more importantly note taking. So please forgive my rancid attention to detail - I am back at the Grindstone (not the pub) next week and promise to write something down. Cheers!