Monday, 17 February 2014

February firsts


             its true to say that February has been resplendent - sunny days as often as howling storms, excellent ales poured straight form the cask, forced by gas pressure from a container or through a stout metal stick, or even poured from a glass container into another unsealed glass container. All have graced my days. Not to mention some first goes, which I have compiled below.

With some spare time to kill recently I made my way to the Nursery Tavern on Ecclesall Road. I had previously celebrated the Nursery's renown and its revolting horror with others without ever actually having visited it. As it was, I was in the right place about the right time and it seemed safe to pop in.

Outside its fairly as you'd expect. I'm not sure of the pub's history but I know it looks on the outside at least to be a 1920's or 1930's pub. Inside it smells of food, as you might expect given its position on Eccy Road, and there is a long bar on your left, a little similar to the old bar at the Hallamshire on West Street in the early nineties. There were three real ales to choose from, I think, so I opted for a half of Moonshine. It came in at £1.50 a half. It tasted fine, and I sat down on a comfy leather seat watching the door with a nineteen thirties style fireplace on my left. It wasn't bad, to be honest. But it was 16.00. On a Monday. I must pop back in on a Friday.....

Also on Eccy Road is Thornbridge's pub/bar/kitchen/restaurant/??? Graze Inn, seen on their  website here. It was also that same Monday, it was also very quiet - and it also didn't warrant a real ale since only Brother Rabbit and Lord Marples were on. Sigh. Following the signs on the left to the "bar" I noticed it was quite un-pubby and quite...empty. I decided to try a half of the Chiron since it had tasted of lavender in the DAda the other night. Here the Chiron was also wrong but in a slightly less wrong way. The pub was in some ways engagingly quiet, and had I not been heading back into town I could have stayed to lap up the silence a little longer. I did not.

Once in town I went to Beer Central. One of the fears I expressed on Facefriend when I heard about this amazing new beer shop was prices. After all, if you have the money you can probably get any beer in the world - but it would cost you a bloody fortune. With Dave valiantly struggling on at the Archer Road Beer Stop it seemed only right to see if his second nearest competitor had his head screwed on. He did.

Row after row of shelves starting with sensibly priced (and very inexpensively priced) local beers then spreading out to huge numbers of UK beers, the tiny shop is set out in a perfect way. You'll either find a £2.50, £3.00 or £3.50 shelf (there are a few mixed) and there are tons of unusual London brews, and lots else from the UK and abroad, to delight in. I decided today was a saison day and so opted to select  a "Brew by Numbers" Motueka and lime saison. It was chuffing marvelous, I can confirm. It was really very nice indeed. It was, maybe, £2.95 a bottle and so perhaps a smidgen too much but it was very drinkable. Only about 6 more saison to try now from there....!

The final stop was the night before and that was the Cavendish. Admittedly I had been in the Cav before but that was under sufferance on a team Christmas party a couple of times in the last ten years so this was my first time on my own. They had something major, like maybe Greedy King OSH, and Moonshine on Cask, with two more spaces waiting to be filled. On Keykeg, their "craft" range included 4 Keykegs at very reasonable prices. I had a half of the Red Willow heartless stout and a half of the Magic Rock Cannonball at 7.2% for about £3.50. The Red Willow was good, but not exceptional, and the Cannonball was grim at first but when replaced turned out to be very nice indeed. It may seem a little weird to sudden;y throw the pub into the mash up over Keykeg and craft, but at least it shows, if nowt else in terms of price (the Cannonball was, I think, £4.30 a pint), that thee are more than two sides to the price war. Good on the Cavendish for giving Keykeg a try. Go there and try it!

So the above shows that your expensive, awkward and possibly overpriced Keykeg nonsense doesn't just have to be found near the station, and also that you can have a quiet and enjoyable pint on Ecclesall Road - although it has to be a Monday Either way, the main message is that tasty cask or Keykeg ale is becoming even easier to find in Sheffield, and you can often enjoy the two with some very nice food. Making it, once again, a rather marvelous place to go supping.


Wee Beefy

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chuff me! Its February!

Now then,

       I read a blog a month or two ago by Mudgie highlighting the paucity of posts from prominent bloggers. With the notable exception of post-ophiles Boak and Bailey, he was musing here about his own easing off on posting. I remember thinking that as well as not being notable, this was also my experience - I seem to have slumped to an average 9 posts a month which is, if nothing else, a rather odd amount. Granted, since November there have been significant pressures on my time, but 2013 was much more sedate than 2012. So what would this year bring?

Well, this is only my second post in February.

But don't worry, that isn't it. There is also actual information. I said actual, instead of factual on purpose. Because a fortnight or more of drinking, even when making notes some of the time, is a feat to remember. Here's some notable fragments.

At Shakespeares the North Riding series continued with Mosaic which I managed to miss (Gah!), Jester, 3rd anniversary 60 minute IPA and summat else. All of which were in fine fettle, and went down alarmingly well. Other excellent grog spotted included Citra Noir from Mallinsons which was on sparkling form, a red ale from Black Iris which was a nice change from hoppy stuff, a Brewshed stout, and something with a funny name (see- "journalism", posts passim...)

On the last Friday in January and the following Friday leaving do's and birthdays occurred. Miss N had her official birthday do on 31st which was payday, meaning more people could attend.Somehow, the Dove and Rainbow had managed to secure a cask of Bradfield Belgian Blue. Between us we demolished most of it. On the next Friday I was on Blue Bee Lustin for Stout, but somehow contrived to make it last for an hour, since I was already a trifle refreshed when I arrived.

Earlier that night a sojourn to the Riverside was required as Bam Jiggot was off to get a real job, i.e not one in the farce plant that is the civil service. To my delight, the excellent Great Heck Citra was on, so I forced myself to have several very enjoyable pints of that.

The Red Deer was also visited, once after an annoying stand outside an openinghourssign-less Bath Hotel, whose opening hours I couldn't recall, but which was shut at 18.30 on a Sunday. Humph. The Deer meanwhile was open and had an excellent pint of Broadside on offer, which I supped, whilst Mr Devden and friends drank the Moorhouses Black Cat Mild, at £2.95 a pint.

The Rutland had been a handy stop off a couple of times and featured the excellent Permanent Revolution pale ale and Monkey Business Belgian style ale from Hopcraft, along with Magic Rock Cannonball, Summer Wine Mokka milk stout and their excellent Diablo pale ale - alas, as is often the case, all the Summer Wine output was key keg, but some cask was reported in DAda....

DAda also very nearly yielded an exciting pint of the Thornbridge Crimerion breakfast stout, alas this ran out before we could try it, but forced into a corner I ended up buying a pint of previously excellent but long less so Jaipur - and bloody loved it! Also notable was the Founders breakfast stout in bottle. It was probably chocolate and vanilla coffee stout or something. Either way it was chuffing ace. The Summer Wine cask came on Saturday night and I haven't made it in yet this week.

I also got to the Fat Cat where I enjoyed several excellent Wateralls pork pies and a rather splendid pint of Twisted Oak Downhill Porter, as well as visiting the Harlequin, which is a rare venue for me. Me and Miss N optimistically started on pints of the Great Heck Yakima IPA, before sharing a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Meanwhile,  the York had some very tasty food on and numerous pints of Acorn Spalter and Winter Pale plus a Belgian brew from Roosters.

The Three Tuns tempted us with Blue Bee Solidus, Lustin for Stout and excellent Welbeck Abbey Harley, as well as the company of Dave and Doctor Bob, before we headed for the Sheffield Tap, which forms the bookend of this library of libation.

On that night we drank the excellent Redemption Pale and quite  a lot of excellent Roosters High Tea, which is different, if not slightly better, that their mad hatters earl grey IPA. Other pints supped in there include Magic Rock Dark Arts, as you would, Tiny Rebel Cwlch, the excellent Red Willow Faithless xxxx which we had numerous pints of, and finally we went mad and bought a bottle, of all things.

Having recently purchased a bottle of Brew By Numbers Saison, I spotted their citra saison in the Tap and decided to go for it. Washed down with an Oakham Citra for nor exactly a comparison, and though pricey, the saison was amaison. Do yo see what I did there? Good. So, whilst the above seems reckless, it represents just over two weeks of supping for two people, so its not that bad. Although, two further posts are to follow about February's exploits....

FINALLY - don't forget its the Closed Shop 1st birthday celebration tomorrow - which is being held at the Closed Shop. Seriously. I heartily recommend a visit f you have time and waterproofs.


Wee Beefy (hic)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Ten important people in the 1980's

         in the roller-coaster of social and family events of late I have forgotten to post my annual round up of frankly bizarre search terms that have led folks to these hallowed pages. Its perhaps worth reminding you that I borrowed this idea from the sadly missed Simon Johnson - I was a fan of his Googlefail round ups, not least by the consistent appearance in his search terms list of "Sue Holdernesses's cleavage" having brought up his blog.

In the last two years the internet, mainly via Indian hosted sex sites, has made quite an effort to lead people to mine, and I have been recording some of the search terms used throughout 2013. Below is a list of the strangest:

Barmaid garden of Eden
Beautiful Scottish beefy men
Bar sandalwood fanny
Civic crown winner beefy
10 important people in the 1980s
What is expectation dichotomy
He weee eeh
Big beefy truckers
Are there ever monks in buxworth
Woman found dead in Crosspool
Delicensed pubs for sale in crewe
Division smegma
Beefy mongers
Which artist painted the cow picture....
All hail the beeflords review
Cobden peach festival
How to have a wee at a festival
Antidisestablishmmentariansim colin j
Premier Inn Shotts dirty women
Unwashed penis photos of beefy men

My absolute favourite, with apologies to her family, has to be "woman found dead in Crosspool". Quite how disappointed one might be with finding a beer blog after searching out such information is difficult to measure. But at least it doesn't reference hairy penises. So, hey. things are looking up....

Here's to less hairiness in 2014!

Beefalot x