Friday, 23 May 2014

Recent slaking


        here are a few details of pubs and beers encountered in the last few weeks. Until I get back into blogging regularly there are numerous details I have omitted so here are a handful, fr you  to realise you already know or which are in fact old news....

The Abbeydale, as they are known, have last month launched a new menu a the Dev Cat in town. The launch coincided with a ten years in the GBG certificate and featured free pints up until late on , with   a table of small portions of heir new menu items, including fish and chips, spicy pork ribs and salmon. Dan Baxter from the Abbeydale explained that previously the menu had been extensive but only about 6 dishes sold so they were slimming it down. Beers wise, apart from a revolutions stout we were on absolution all night, before finishing on an excellent but pricey bottle of geuze.

One venue myself and Miss N have frequented a lot recently has been the Bath Hotel off West Street This part one national inventory listed back street boozer is managed by Edd and Steff and has served an increasingly good range of beers, from Hand Drawn Monkey, Bristol Beer Factory, Thornbridge, Fyne Ales, Saltaire and Blackjack. Recently the Blackjack IPA and black IPA were on sensational form, as was the Fyne Ales Hurricaine Jack. Fine beer, a fantastic interior and Edd's homemade sausage rolls make the Bath well worth a visit

One sunny Sunday I walked from my house down Greenland Road to the Wentworth on Milford Street in front of Forgemasters. It was a Sunday and they weren't open again until Wednesday evening so the beer range was just one, Fox Heacham Gold. It was on good form at less than £3.00 a pint and it was very comfortable sat near the fire supping and erm...texting if I recall. A minor disaster followed since my next pint was the last out but they also sell bottles of Brewdog dead pony club (cloudy!) and Bradfield stout so I stayed for a bottle of the first.

From here I walked to the Don Valley Hotel for  a pint of Howard Town Wrens Nest at £2.60 a pint. It was a little cloudy but tasted fine and I enjoyed my stop so much I went in again the other day to sup Blanco Peach and Five Rivers from Sheffield Brewing Company. A half of Dukeries followed in the Carlton before I had a pint of Moonshine for £3.00 in the Grapes, then headed to the Sheffield Tap. Here I met Steff, Liz, the Man of Ash and Paul Holden who is the Sheffield Beer Blog writer. Paul was good company and not who I had imagined he was! His mate was having a birthday night out which saw us end up at the Sheaf View for many excellent pints. A great night out overall.

I have also recently drunk in the Rutland after a walk into town, where we had pints of Brass Castle Cliffhanger, Summer Wine  brewing's brutal Sabretooth IPA and Titanic stout along with a slutty rutty butty for Miss N and a pork and chorizo burger for me. With Magic Rock Highwire and Dark Arts also available this was another great beer selection.

Finally a mention for the University Arms where I went twice last week. The first time I sat with Matty in the sun supping an excellent Great Heck Mosaic and a bottle of Camden Hells, the second was last Saturday when I had both the Camden Hells and Gentlemans Wit as well as Welbeck Cavendish on cask. I returned with Miss N later that night and brought her a G and T to settle her stomach and enjoyed more excellent cask ale sat in the garden. The Uni Arms has a decent selection of real ales and bottles (see the board) and has good food to match along with a beer garden which is a great suntrap - I heartily recommend you pop in when you get chance.

So, that's my news of late, am off now to the Closed Shop beer fest at Commonside where I expect to have a couple of halves. Gallons...


Wee Beefy

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bozzer has left the building


       the best way, I find, to prepare for a leaving do is to go to the pub first. This applies even when said do is in the pub. But don,t worry, it doesn't have to be the same pub, you could go to two. So it was that myself and Miss N prepared for Doctor Bozzer's do with a couple of pints.

Robenbacher (for it was he) had warned us to arrive about half 7 so that he could guarantee to remember our being there. At 19.25 I strode into the Malin Bridge Inn for the first time ever to meet Goth John, Dev, Miss N Matty and Chris for a catch up and a drink. The do was at Shakespeares. The plan was already unfurling. But there was ale to be drunk so I didn't care.

The Malin Bridge Inn used to have an old Smiths window if I recall correctly and although now lost, still retains a traditional layout with separate rooms and furnishings. It sells two real ales, Deuchars at 2.95 and Doom Bar - I went for Deuchars. The front rooms are the smarter and the back room had music on and the gang were sat outside enjoying the warm air. I settled down with my surprisingly good Deuchars to listen in and join the conversation and to catch up with Miss N. The atmosphere was good, the landlady friendly and overall this was a good first visit, and it won't be my last.

Up into town we headed down to Shakespeares near 9pm to find Robin reasonably sober. We sat down with pints of the excellent Marble Earl Grey IPA and watched the crowds build up until Robin was given a presentation of some beer bottles and persuaded to do a speech, the finer details of which have been obliterated by several pints of Earl Grey IPA at 6.5% or similar. It was, very, very nice though.

The half of Hopcraft mosaic or citra stout wasn't up to their usual standards and Miss N felt a little unwell so I bought her a gin and tonic and more Earl Grey before we finished on a Boon perfect marriage geuze with stuff in it for about a fiver a bottle. This was a great blend of sour flavours which finished the night brilliantly, and as we sneaked into the taxi before Robin and Dave W and others headed off for late drinks, it was time to say a heartfelt goodbye.

Robin is to work in the brewing industry for a local producer, maybe tinkering in the tun,and I think its obvious that despite having helped Shakespeares win pub of the year in 2013, he would never have imagined working in the brewing industry if he hadn't helped me and others brew Pilcrow Porter (the people's porter, you may recall) at Blue Bee in August. I mean, yeah. Probably that.

A big three cheers to Robin then, and I wish him all the best.

Wee Beefy

Sunday, 11 May 2014



        I also recently went to the Lades.You know, the city in West Yorkshire. Once again I was inaugurating Miss N into its pubby delights so only ventured to one new pub but as with my other visits, Leodis did not let us down. Here's what happened last week!

We were late leaving and got there about 16.00 and headed straight to Friends Of Ham...about the same time as much of the rest of Leeds. We nabbed a seat at the bar and ordered Cromarty Red Rooster and Amerikaans pale from De Molen and settled down in front of freshly sliced meats to drool over the menu. Lardo was obviously chosen, as was a salami from Tuscany and a rosemary and pepper cured meat, along with a seasoned white cheese from Scotland, (droughtie?) a Bute Cheddar and a goats cheese. The price is still the same and the quality was once again superb, as were the pickles and sliced fresh bread. We finished with halves of Hawkshead Red on cask and halves of Brooklyn Fire and Ice -   a cracking start.

Next up was a new venue, the Tapped Leeds. Very confusing on entering as there are no taps of handpumps - beer is dispensed from a wooden wall with signs above the taps but it wasn't clear where the cask beer was to me and Miss N. We asked at the bar and were given the choice of two or three pale ales, and these were nice but it was only after visiting the other end of the bar that we noticed what the cask choice was.

Beers were halves of Kirkstall Dissolution and Bristol Beer Factory Independence, both of which we were given tastes of and were in good form. Having now worked out where the cask and keg lists were we also ordered further halves of Bad Seed IPA on cask and Pressure Drop Freimans smoked dunkel on keg, and once again these were on top form. I think, in fact we both thought, the beer was excellent, but the layout is Brewdog Sheffield like and info hard to come by at first which is annoying. Otherwise a great venue for beer.

We popped to Whitelocks next which was understandably packed, and having secured a seat in the alley outside we had halves of Great Heck Treason stout from a rage of about 8. We took time to survey the chaos inside before drinking the heavy dark ale, then going back for more beer. This time Miss N tried the Elland Pale and myself a very agreeable Taylors Golden Mild. One day I swear I will arrive at Whitelocks at opening time and photograph its sumptuous interior!

Up Briggate next to the North Bar. This was a big favourite with us both and we quickly got a seat and two excellent beers to start us off, with Miss N on  a half of Dark arts and myself on an excellent Weird Beard Cutthroat Porter, both of which were on great form. We then decided to try out some bottles and ended up with two bottles of saison - Kaapse Brouwers Harry and Maximus Saison. This came to £9.00 but was well worth it and by this time, a little refreshed, we splurged an unspeakable sum of cash on a bottle of Gueze. We were refreshed and very happy in North...

We finished our trip at the Duck and Drake, where we stood at the packed bar to hear a band finish playing, supping beers that I have forgotten to record, but which were, I assume very nice - as was the food, which may have been a pie, I genuinely don't know however! It was a good contrast to the decor and beer choice at North Bar and a very enjoyable place to stop before our long slog home and taxi to Chez Nuit, since the late bus doesn't run on a Sunday. Overall this was a great if short introduction to Leeds and one which tells us we need to go again, and explore some more.


Wee Beefy

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A blog post. About beer and pubs. Honest....

Now then,

        derby day drinking took place recently. Not supping at a horse race, or near a match between two local teams, but in Derby, in Derbyshire. It was me and Miss  N's first proper trip to the home of Brunswick, Black Iris and Dancing Duck breweries, and so we didn't really try anywhere I hadn't been before. Crucially that didn't stop us enjoying what the place had to offer.

Arriving on a Sunday my main concern was we might miss visiting the Station on Midland Road. We arrived at nearly half 2, the lights were on but the door remained closed, even when we stood hopefully on the step.Luckily our first open pub compensated well. The Alex is a shortcut away and was offering a good range of beers as always. I had a delicious pint of Hilden Stout and Miss N a titanic white star and we sat down in the far corner to sup, eat pork pies and soak up the atmosphere. We also took the opportunity to have a half each of Oakham Green Devil on keg, which was £4.40 and on great form - not too fizzy and not too cold.

We walked across the park next to the Smithfield and sat down next to the river in the cold sunshine to enjoy halves of Whim Arbor Light for me and an Oakham bishops for Miss N. The pub was busy which is good to see but I've not seen it packed in years - perhaps its out of the way location doesn't help, but I can confirm the beer range was good, especially the Whim.

Next we visited the multiroomed Exeter Arms and sat in the small house round the back and had pints of their Dark Drake for me and Milk Street March Madness for Miss N. The Exeter was also busy and we got talking to some fellow slakers in there,  before we headed for the Derby Tap.

Here we had a pint of Derby Brewing Mercia IPA for me and halves of dashingly dark and on tap for Miss N. Seating was in short supply as there was a do on upstairs but everyone congragated downstairs til it started, and the beer wasn't as good as the Exeter, although there was a good range on, and the food looked fab.

The Peacock cam next, and we got talking to some of the guests in here as well, and enjoyed two pints each, my first was the Hartsthorne IPA, and my second and Miss N's both were of Bass, which was on good form and I think was served from the barrel. We also had a bite to eat but this was three weeks ago and alas, my notes stop at this point! The food was, however, very enjoyable and was likely a pie. Probably.......

A wander took us to the Seven Stars where we squeezed in a chat and a couple of halves before we went to the usually excellent Flowerpot. Here we had Black Iris and shared the bar with a group of loud drinkers out celebrating, which was a shame really, although they were certainly enjoying themselves. After we walked through torrential rain to the Station to find it definitely closed, so headed for a last one or two, one in the Brunswick and a last pint each of Green Devil in the Alex, before catching our last train home.

Once again Derby offered the type of pubs that Sheffield lacks, as well as a stellar range of real ales and didn't disappoint. Its good to know that despite Sheffield being such a great place to drink there are places nearby with their own equally ace selection of pubs, to visit.


Wee Beefy