its been a fortnight of firsts and two weeks of reassuring regulars here at Beefotronic PLC. Having trekked through the East end to find new and untried boozers last weekend, in between times and thereafter I have been sticking to what I know. Below is a sample of some of the ales and pubs encountered in Sheffield lately, and news of a new brewery tap for you to try out.
Immediately after my Don walk I met Miss N in the Red Deer. It was entirely rammed, as it is on a Saturday night but we patiently acquired a seat and plenty of company, to sup pints of excellent Roosters Wild Mule. I haven't always got on with Roosters beers for one reason or another but this one really hit the spot.
Afterwards, and a couple of other times recently, we were in DAda. On every occasion it was on I sampled the excellent Burning Sky saison which was on at a price cheaper than the Bath and the Sheffield Tap. When that ran out I sought solace in redoubtable old stager Halcyon from Thornbridge. There's a Red Willow chocolate stout in the cellar but over the last week there has been nothing but Thornbridge cask wise, yet in a moment of recklessness I tried a pint of Kipling for the first time in ages. Having dismissed it as being past its best and no longer a decent beer I was pleasantly surprised to find it in good nick and I even admit to having had a few pints of it. Like I said to Jamie, you can't complain a beer is shit without trying it. Other quality ales sampled recently include the Schlenkerla Rauchbier at £4.00 a pint, which is possibly too heavy for a whole pint but an excellent finisher nonetheless.
The Rutland was my destination yesterday and I tried the Magic Rock Rapture on cask, and the 8 Ball and High Wire NZ on keykeg. Both are quality beers but I was annoyed with myself for not remembering that I didn't rate Magic 8 Ball on keg - with any luck it will resurface on cask one day...
Meanwhile Shakespeares continues to be good at being good. Recent treats have included the excellent Cross Bay Zenith, which is a really well balanced beer, and the cask De Ranke Pere Noel at a very reasonable price - £3.40 for a 7% beer. I also finally got to try (and enjoy) Potion Number 9 from Penzance brewing Co, beloved of Boak and Bailey, along with the excellent Tornado from the Little Ale Cart brewery, and the Geeves Imerial Stout at 8% - an excellent finisher. On my last visit on Friday, the Imperial brewery Burning Amber was a very palatable session beer, and the Great Heck Black Jesus specifically wasn't - yet was every bit as good as it was at the Sheffield beer festival.
The Sheffield Tap nearly provided the beer of 2014 with the impeccable Hardknott Vitese Noir, as covered in my last post and also recently sold a palatable Bristol Beer factory UPA, and a rather chewy Buxton Dark Knights. The Buxton was potentially too bitter for a stout but the UPA was very well balanced. Despite this am still not sure I "get" Bristol Beer factory's cask output.
An impromptu trip to the University Arms heralded a rather fine pint of Crouch Vale Anchor Street Porter at £3.00 a pint. It was notable that as well as the Acorn Old Moor Porter that had been on earlier that day, all the real ales were below £3.00 a pint. Definitely something to bear in mind if you are thinking of having some real ale in the area.
Finally, the new brewery tap I mentioned. In Rotherham, the Prince of Wales Feathers on Westgate has been bought (seemingly months ago - get me for being up with developments!) by Chantry brewery and reopened and renamed as the New York Tavern. Selling the full range of Chantry brewery beers the pub is, I read with horror. the last on Westgate - I know its a long time since I traveled to Rotherham but that's ridiculous! Here is a link to their website should you need details that I am short of having never visited - although, I may never venture in, based on them advertising "world bottle beers". I don't want to seem pedantic, but it should be "bottled"....
Either way this reopening is further great news in a town with, if we are to be brutally honest, little to offer the real ale drinker beyond the Bridge Inn and the Blue Coat. So, there you have it, choice and value for money and reasons for optimism. What more could you want from January?