I've noted before that the period from Boxing day to 30th December is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to getting a pint. This also applies to New years day and, when there are two days before the weekend in the new year I'd extend the have a guess period to tomorrow as well. This year, having not been so rash tas o venture out into the countryside (we once traveled to Kettleshulme and back via Staffordshire to find no pubs open and end up in the Peacock at Owler Bar in desperation), I spent some time in Sheffield. Here's what I found....
On the 27th as you know I was Crookes bound with Carlos, but on the 29th I was back...at Crookes Ale House. By this time the Magic Rock Ringmaster NZ had run out, and the other beers in the rammed pub were getting low too - not surprising then that they only opened for a couple of hours on the 30th with only a few pints and bottles on sale. On this occasion I started with a pint of Sheffield Brewing Ci porter but it was a bit thick - but not in a robust way, more a tired way. So next I had a couple of pints of their First Gold which was a bit better - I also purchased a bottle of Youngs Imperial Russian stout. Well done to Rob and Kitt for their pop up pub experiment, and best of luck to them setting it up permanently in Handsworth as promised...
We headed to the Cobden next where my brainier companions were doing and winning the quiz. Here several pints of excellent Farmers Belgian Blue were consumed before Miss H very kindly paid me home in a taxi.
On the 30th I was in town meeting Miss N at the station - it seemed rude not to celebrate her return with a pint so we nipped in the Sheffield Tap. Thankfully, Anarchy's sublime chaos breakfast stout was on (I checked the price first but it was the same as last time) so we had a couple of pints of that, along with their Blonde Star and a Firestone brewery red IPA which was very palatable. As testified by my pics on Facebook earlier, the back room was completely empty when we left before 22.00.The dead zone - it lives! (?)
Straying out of the days when punters disappear, on New Years Eve I found myself having to reluctantly go for pints at Shakespeares which is a really good pub. There were quite a few in but it wasn't raucous and there was of course some good beer on. Waiting for Miss N i had a couple of pints of excellent Mallinsons mosaic which was in fantastic form and far too quaffable - indeed it ran out after I got Miss N her pint. I moved onto Steel City Capt Morgans revenge (I think - but it may have been Unholy trinity. Whatever it was there was coffee and probably rum in it. Or something...). I didn't like it as much as I'd hoped as it tasted a bit too much of burnt coffee or filter coffee that had been stewed, which was a shame.
Finally on New Years day we found ourselves in town with an hour to kill - and Sheffield centre a ghost town. Not that I'd wish working on New Years day on anybody but it was noticeable that away from town the pubs were open. Luckily, wandering thirstily around near the station (where even the Howard was closed) we discovered the Rutland opened at 17.00. It being not long after, this was a result!
We started on pints of Brew Company Oat Stout which was a good start, and then onto halves of Solstice lager and Magic Rock Big Top. In the end, the Magic Rock was too good to resist ( I somehow missed it when it was first out) so we stopped for another couple before paying a lot pf money to get home. At least there was good beer to be had....
So, this year's dead zone looked the same as usual, yet somehow, by chance or otherwise, we seemed to land on our feet whenever we fancied a pint. In contrast, over the next couple of days, I hope to be posting about an area where the dead zone applies to pubs full stop - with the promise of at least one open pub in the mix.
Cheers and happy new year