after a week of crap rain and cold, the appearance of some rare sunshine warranted a trip to Crookes for a wander on the bolehills. Somehow, by pure chance, after a 1 hour 10 minute journey (why would you need a car when you could pay to travel at walking speed on retarded public transport?!) we managed to find a half hour window of glorious chilly sunshine to wander round Crookes, and admire the view over the valleys. Luckily, all this walking made us a trifle droughty. But what to do?
Down Newent Lane we took the Jennel onto Cobden View Road and popped in the Cobden View. Along with the regular beers the guest was Sheffield Brewing Co Crucible Best so I went for a pint of that, whilst Miss M, partially in protest at my suggestion of how bad it was, opted for a pint of Hobgoblin. We sat outside in the smoking shelter - it was warm enough to not sit under cover but everything was drenched - and set about having some very much needed alcohol after our Methodist style Saturday....
Soon the rain started to pour so we headed on down the hill to the Closed Shop. Paultous was manning the bar and there were a handful of customers, some of whom were asking about our choice of beer - the Lincoln Green Quarterstaff Stout. This was a robust and satisfying stout with not too much bitterness that was reassuringly black - no silly reddish or brown hues to this, just black, with a muddy white head. We had a couple of these, whilst emptying the pub of customers entirely (sorry Mr Stephens), before moving onto the Hallamshire House.
Here we continued the dark beer theme with pints of Thornbridge Pollards Stout, beautifully balanced and well kept as usual, this was just what we needed to protect us from the cold as awe sat in the inside outside downstairs room with a band of hardy smokers.
Our final port of call was the York in Broomhill. Miss N hadn't been in for a decade or so and was pleased with the new look - although it would have been nice to have spent enough money (i.e. bought food) to have been allowed to sit in the left hand side of the pub...
As it was we repaired to the right hand room and supped a couple of pints. Miss N initially opted for the Slaters Autumn Red but this was a disappointingly flat malty concoction that didn't really inspire so as I had done, we both had pints of Bradfield Pale ale next. This was on good form and was exactly what we needed to finish off a night of dark ales in Crookesmoor.
Tuesday saw me at Shakespeares celebrating with Christingpher on his new job. We started on pints of the excellent Otley 04 Boss red ale, after which he had a half - his only other drink since he was on his bike - whilst I had a pint. We were joined by Miss N next, who also enjoyed the Otley - its a frustration of Otley that their beers always promise so much but only half of the time deliver. This occasion was one where they did, and it was a cracking beer.
However, as the night wore on we got hungry and opted to order curry from the West Bar Tandoori over the road - so a slightly more heavyweight ale was required. This was Raw's 5.9% IPA - alas no-one was clever enough to think to make a note of the actual name of this beer - which is a problem, since they brew at least four 5.9% IPA's! Whatever it was, it was very very easy to drink and tremendously hoppy. Raw done good, as per almost always.
Finally in this round up, Thursday saw me in the Sheffield Tap with Mr Devden and Miss N supping, initially,. a pint of Acorn Opal. There had apparently been a meet the brewer type event on the other night and there were Acorn a plenty to sample. To my delight, the time I spent delayed standing behind some beer twats with no bar etiquette allowed me to discover that the bourbon aged Gorlovka Imperial Stout was on. Its fairly bloody obvious what we had next!
The bourbon aged version was almost the stuff of legend. Time and again I saw it mentioned on Faceache and Twatter but I was never able to get to try it. Interestingly, Gorlovka has never stopped being an excellent ale but for one reason or another I don't seem to have had it much this year. Now I was having the most talked about version of the beer, which at £3.80 a pint, although steep, was the same price as ordinary Gorlovka. I didn't see many people turn down the aged version I have to say...
Since I was in hospital having my eyes pulled out with a barbed wire spoon on Friday this was a fitting end to a week of great beers - and although the aged Gorlovka has now gone, Acorn inform me that there is an aged version of Old Moor Porter on the way as well. If I get to find out where it's on sale I'll put the details on here.