Monday, 9 December 2013

Drunken spells with a slight chance of twats later

Yo ho humbug!

        yes kids its that time of year again. Twat O Clock! Fancy a pint in a normally decent pub now full of twats? You can! For every night between now and Christmas guarantees nailed on twattishness at every turn. Even quiet pubs have decked out the halls with twats of all shades of festive cheer! Vomit, urine, WKD....

OK, I admit, the above is a bit cynical really because having managed to attend three Christmas "do's" on  two consecutive nights I can confirm that its still possible to have a decent night, at this time of year, even if few of the people you are sharing the occasion with are bothered about the fine drop. Thus .....

Friday I read with a heavy heart that our team Christmas do, which was otherwise admirable for featuring a scheduled five and a half hours of drinking prior to the meal, was to begin in Yates. Early considerations included - why would you drink in Yates whilst sober? In fact, why would you drink in Yates at all? Well, because not everyone is so mardy about ale as  I am and some people for reasons that I can't fathom like to dance and drink coloured shit with spirits in. And it pains me to admit that I probably should get over it. I still think starting at Yates is like having a kebab and then going out however...

In the end I only wandered in as the group were leaving so alas cannot report on the ale situation. Meanwhile, over the road is Lloyds Number One. I know its a Wetherspoons type of thing but it does sell real ale and so I was straight on to a couple of pints of Bradfield Belgian Blue. A seasonal favourite of mine, which makes me think I may be going soft, it was probably £3.00 a pint or something (I wasn't researching, although I concede this is no worse than my usual level of reportage) and went down very well.

Up next was Revolution De Cuba, whose high prices seemed to have kept the place tolerably busy, and whose drinks list kept the cocktail guzzlers happy. Beer wise they had Anchor Steam Ale in bottles so it wasn't all that bad. From here I switched do's and headed to meet Miss N in All Bar One. Granted they had Doom Bar on but I went for the Meantime Pilsner at £4.30 or similar instead. It had more hops in....

Members of Miss N's entourage wandered off to the Bessemer across the road, and against our better judgement we followed suit. Alas we missed the Moonshine but I had a half of Directors out of curiosity and Miss N a half of Hobgoblin from the remaining three beers. I'm not going to pretend its my kind of place but it sold real ale and people seemed to be happy. Not that I advocate such things, but if being happy is what they like then I suppose that's fine....

Off to DAda next, albeit having shaken off the do, and it was solid. I mean, I know the building is, but in a bar queuing sense. Here was my first wall of customers of the festive season. Luckily a pint of Thornbridge Christmas ale on Cask for Miss N and a pint of Chiron for me were purchased, and we found a space to have a chat before heading off once more in true Xmas do style.

The Three Tuns once again had some good Raw beers on and the lovely Dave behind the bar. Young Patrick was also in attendance and we stopped in there for a couple of pints of the Raw porter, which I think was Anubis but am unsure. It was bloody nice whatever it was. We ended the night at Shakespeares where we both had pints of late hopped Steel City All Hallowes which had hops in it and everything, and was also quite nice. And I definitely didn't fall asleep...

The next night we started at a rammed Sheffield Tap and were spoilt for choice. Pints in here were Hardknott Katalyst, a lower gravity extra hoppy pale, Buxton Rednik Stout (many) and the excellent Magic Rock Dark Arts (at least two). Understandably, despite queues in the heaving bar, I was reluctant to leave this beer utopia behind.

Yet we did as we headed for the Dove and Rainbow to see a friend's band play. The range is always a little underwhelming here but does usually feature at least one local beer with  hops in it - so I had a few pints of the Abbeydale Absolution in the three hours we were there. Not a regular haunt as I have noted before but I actually had to admit that it was far and away the least intolerable pub in terms of sheer overcrowding that I experienced over the two nights.

Our final stop was DAda once again where I laughed at signs on the walls and tables on the left stating "reserved from 19.00" for an area comprising six empty tables and with four people sat at one table. Mind you, it was nearly midnight. Here I had two pints from the promising new Burning Sky brewery based in the south. Aurora was an intensely bitter pale ale and probably only let down by the dryness of the bittering hops, whilst Plateau was also a beer, which I drank about 01.20. That serves as my excuse for having no memories more specific than "I liked it".

All of the above suggests that once you have attuned yourself to the sheer volume of punters and the real possibility but not guarantee of extreme twattishness, it is possible to have a pretty decent night out at Christmas. And in Sheffield at least, you can expect to find some decent real ales in the majority of the venues you visit.


Wee Beefy.


  1. Encountered my first Chrimbo beer of 2013, Wells' A Good Stuffing, yesterday.
    The clip was full of flashing festive lights.
    I thought I'd share that with you.
    Merry Christmas!
    The AA

    1. Easy tiger. Hoping to see you before Christmas...!

    2. Likewise. Hoping to do Three Tuns, Sheff this Friday arvo & the last Saturday before Christmas Sheff crawl.

  2. Spare a thought for those of us that are dragged into pubs against our will at this time of year. Those that prefer a quiet glass of shiraz at home but feel obligated to enter a pub so colleagues do not consider us miserable twats. We dislike being there as much as you regular pub goers dislike our presence.

    Is there a solution, I ponder?

    1. Good question. All things considered I think the dissatisfaction drinkers feel stems from a fear of not getting our money's worth - not even in terms of the prices the pubs charge, but because of the extent to which we as drinkers think we won't enjoy the booze we buy... perhaps focusing on the company we keep on such events is our only salvation.

  3. Replies
    1. Could be enjoyable! Would be interesting to see how drinkers from perhaps, less renowned beer destinations fared though.

  4. just in case you actually care, Yates's (which is no longer Yates Wine Lodge) has three handpumps all serving Greene King IPA.

    Last time I was dragged in there I chose to drink a ginger beer alcopop rather than GK IPA...

    1. That's possibly the route I'd take. Well, at least in not drinking Greedy Ker-ching...

  5. Ale in the Dove? I think they route the pumps straight from the shitters.