with recent rounds up of linked venues and breweries it's time to reprise my 2012 visit to the Forum Bars Broadfield Ale House on Abbeydale Road - conveniently situated next to the Hop Hideout, which you may remember from being a new specialist beer shop, and everything. My initial two visits heralded good and bad impressions but apart from a spate of visits later that year I've been a bit of s stranger. Lately, a flurry of visits have afforded me the chance of a re-review, thus...
back in the warm late September Miss N and myself had a day boozing in the Tap, grabbing a coffee in coffee shop-cum-restaurant-cakery-cum-off license Sellers Wheel, before heading to the Broadfield for a beer in the garden. On that occasion the first two beers we spotted were ours for the session. Miss N waded in recklessly to several pint of the Hardknott Infrared and I switched between that and Ilkley Norseman. Both beers were well kept although they could perhaps have been a bit cheaper, and were perfect for the third quarter of our session. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy ale in the sunshine and there is a reasonable amount of space to do so.
The other Saturday was Nat's 40th - and we had "prepared" for it with a session in the Rutland as I reported last time. Reaching Abbeydale Road and hoping to catch the party of revelers as they headed down from Woodseats we nipped in the Broadfield for a beer and started texting the throng. Finding a space at the right hand side bar in the incredibly busy pub I caught the barman's eye and asked what other beers were on offer. Initially I was contemplating a Bradfield Pale but as soon as he said On The Edge Berliner my mind was set on that!
The former Sheffield beer festival award winner was every bit as good as I had hoped - eminently quaffable and utterly refreshing this ale was not to enjoy a lengthy life - probably lasting twenty minutes, and then only because we were searching for a seat instead of drinking. So good was it that, even having established that the party were not that far away, we had to stay for another to make sure. This visit showed up the minor downside to the Broady - that being that its undoubted popularity makes it claustrophobicly busy at times.
This weekend I was at a loose end twice whilst in the vicinity. After my drink at te Rising Sun Friday I was dropped off on Sheldon Road and popped into Vintedge for a sneak preview of Hop Hideout. Since they weren't officially open it seemed cheeky to hang around so I made my excuses and escaped to the Broadfield for a beer or two. Finding a spare seat on a Friday night is a bit of a problem - but I managed it, and set about assessing my options. I opted for a pint of the Black Iris stout at 5.0% - alas I couldn't tell what the name was but it had a picture of a mans face on. So it was that one. And it tasted good. Next up I had a pint of Magic Rock Curious, and a half of Blackjack Dunkel on Keykeg. The Magic Rock offering was on good form and the Dunkel a nice chewy half to slow down my earlier rapacious intake.
Saturday I was back at Hop Hideout for the pzazz of the opening day, and hoping to be committed to celluloid as well - alas that leap into stardom never came about but I still found my way round to the Broadfield for an earlier and quieter visit. This time the Bradfield Pale was my starter of choice, which stood up well to the free taster of Northern Monk Imperial Stout that I'd had at the shop. It was also good value at £3.00 a pint. I then moved onto another half of the Blackjack Dunkel, along with half of their Texas Holdem on cask, a well rounded feisty bitter which came to £3.40 for the two. Both were once again in good nick, especially the Bradfield.
This shows that after an initially perhaps cautious start the Broadfield, not least because its an outlet for On The Edge beers, has adopted a policy of featuring interesting and varied guests which showcases some of the better upcoming and established microbreweries in the UK. Obviously as a drinker I'd prefer less space to be allocated to eating but that's the only gripe really, which means its always worth popping in if you are up at that end of town.