Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Birra To' welco meto


     alas, not a "cool" new uber expensive Greek or Spanish nano brewery with their own kooky yet modernist bar in a tourist host spot. Oh no. Instead, the above is my proposed name for a beer brewed at Shakespeares ale and cider house. Not that they have a brewery. Or presumably any intention of installing one. However regular visitors to the pub may well recognise the inspiration behind my continental sounding concoction...

Anyhoo, over the past week, despite commitments to family and fannying around in the Manchestershire, I have found time to pop into Shakespeares for a pint or two. First up was a late night at work last week. Having successfully clawed back some flexi I found myself stood outside in the cold with Miss N, tired and in need of urgent obviation. Luckily, there was a pub only a few minutes away that we could visit. How perfectly pleasant!

We were soon in Shakespeares and started with pints of Thwaites Phelan fine, a tasty hoppy stout from Thwaites ickle brewery what makes better beers. A very pleasant start to the evening, but we soon moved onto stronger stuff - Miss N choosing a pint of Abbeydale Speculation (OK so that isn't stronger...) and I waded into a beer with an expertly hand-drawn pumpclip. That being the Arbor and Brew Dog Pirate Badger Attack imperial brown coconut black IPA saison with unfined English hops grown underground. OK, maybe not all of that description is correct, but most of it is.

Our final jars were of Brooklyn Smash IPA, which was distinctly disappointing, and the rather excellent Muirhouse Mango IPA which was excellent. Only nonsense like having work the next day prevented us sinking  a raft of these.

On Saturday we were in for a last couple of the night. Obviously that is only sort of what happened. On the bar were a couple of ales from the rather lovely Art Brew who seem to have a knack, starting with their delicious orange IPA, of consistently producing interesting beers. We both had pints of their Snerge Bergusson (my notes say cuddy summat but I saw this name on the board so it must be right...) which was a brown ale. It takes a damn good brewery to produce a brown ale that I want to drink (Brooklyn Brown being an example of a good brewery with a bad brown) and this 6% beauty was exactly what I was after.

Later we discovered there was a cloudy Art Brew ready-ish in the cellar, which Robin claimed was called Art Now, was 6.5% and was an IPA.  So naturally we had pints of this before more of the excellent brown again. All in all, in consideration of a hard day featuring some fairly unpleasant news, this cosy riposte in the behind the bar snug with Miss N and Origami Tom and Dave for company, was exactly the tonic we needed. So relaxing was it in fact, that we left our bag hanging on the coat rack....

Sunday inevitably saw us return to locate said item. and having got back to town for 20.00 we wandered round in the icy cold to find a warm and welcoming pub with a Dave W and a space at the back of the bar where we could sit on bar stools like cool kids. There was also a coat rack boasting a plastic bag with gloves and a bottle of pink grapefruit juice and 2 get well cards in. Two pints of celebratory Art brew purchased, we set about admiring the till messages and trying not to distract young Robin form his important work.

We also tried a half of the Allgates Blue Tea Pale which may have been "an joke" but tasted, mainly, like Allgates, and we finished off with yet more excellent and tasty Art Brew, on account of it being fantastic. Evidence, if any were required, that Shakespeares is a needful haven and hideaway from crap when you most need it. Sniff....

Finally a quick mention of the Andrew Inns pub empire's latest addition the Three Tuns. Firstly, I have cunningly worked out their roadmap for domination. If your local has a bar on one level with the majority of the pumps on, then another bit of bar on another higher level with a couple of pumps on, expect it to be Andrewfied soon - coz Mr Stephens luuuurves that split level thang. Think about it - Closed Shop? Yup. Three Tuns? Yup. Rutland? Um... well, anyway, this only applies to new acquisitions obviously...

Beer wise there was a decent range as always including two fab beers from Welbeck Abbey Brewery. Miss N sampled a pint of the Portland Black and me a lovely hoppy pint of Cavendish, before we both had a pint of the Portland. The pub has a fascinating design and is very pleasing on the eye and  now serves (although it has for a while) excellent real ales at reasonable for town prices. Well worth popping in for a look, unless you fancy a Sunday pint Since they don't open Sundays. Probably....

More news coming soon!

Wee beefy


  1. Tried the Three Tuns last Sat on our crawl around time, but unfortunaly shut on Sat afternoons.
    Was taken by the splendour of the Sheffield Tap ,great interior and beer, a winning combination.

  2. Not clear on the opening times myself but well worth a look when you are next over. And the Tap is very photograph-able.......

  3. According to real 3 Tuns twitter account. It's 6-12 on Saturday.

    1. Cheers AA, I did vaguely stare at the opening times on the door. And then, a mysterious combination of liquids made all of my memories of those opening hours disappear..... como siempre.