this blog will cover my refreshments and travels since Sunday. Admittedly April didn't start til Wednesday, but, yer know, you have to start somewhere....
On Sunday night, having woken up at Christ on a bike o-clock - that being 15.20 (!) I headed to town to catch a 53 up to Heeley. Alas, the bloody thing never showed up so I caught a 48 instead. You know, because the 48 goes the same way as the 47 doesn't it.... later, at the terminus, I asked the driver for advice and he told me he was now he 47 , so I went back on him and got off near the Victoria. An interesting, if frustrating, 95 minutes after leaving home.
The Brothers Arms was busy inside but virtually empty outside in the cold and wind. Having roused a member of staff from the caravan I got a pint of Mallinsons Spruce Goose, and halves of Siren Dinner for Three and Oakham Black Hole Porter. I then found a table inside and went to sup. The Mallinsons was not actually supposed to be a pint, but never mind, it was a tasty if slightly heavy brew. The Siren was interesting as well. Next up I spent longer grabbing the attention of the staff and had a pint of Buxton High Tor, and a half of Siren Liquid Mistress.
This time the Siren was the best, but the High Tor was an equally memorable pint. By now I was sat wit Dave Staves, who, and this is something that often happens these days, I realised I have known for over 20 years. It was good to catch up with him, for the hour or more we were both there. The final beer was a half of Salopian Kashmir, since the other beers had either run out or were a little weird! The guy behind the bar even went out to open the now closed outside bar for me., which was a nice touch.
On Tuesday, the day after his birthday, me and Matty met after work for a few pints. We started at the Shakespeares - I think! I only say this because it was late when we got to Commonside, which is where my notes start. Having left work at 18.45 I think we must have diverted to my favourite boozer first. Alas, I have no recollection of what we had, apart from, definitely, Sorachi Face Plant from Weird Beard.
We later arrived at the Closed Shop , and I had a pint of the Blue Bee rational Black IPA. I do like the beer, but it tasted a little smokey, slightly burnt - possibly the malt used or something? We also shared a half of the Siren Seven Seas which is, I think, a wheat pale ale. It didn't taste as I expected, but was still very nice.
Across the road and we saw the jolly bearded face of the Man of Ash outside the Hallamshire House. He quickly informed us that the Thornbridge Murmansk Porter was on. Given its strength, we divvied up a pint and a half, and sat in the snug on the left to catch up further. It was good to bump into the Man of Ash, who I have seen little of lately , presumably because of the arrival of the little one (this is a child, by the way, not a visiting midget...)
Off quickly to catch the bus and to jump in the Bath. Hotel. Matty had a pint of Brock and myself a pint at least, of Palasine (?) Pale from Bad Seed Brewing Co. It was getting late, but the pub was still quite busy, and it was a great place to finish our drinking for the night.
Finally, Wednesday saw myself and Mr P on one of our monthly Wanderiains. We started at the Rutland - as always, the place was rammed, but we managed to get a seat. Alas this was near the jukebox, which I am sure they turned up when we sat down! I had a half of the Geeves Imperial IPA, and the Raw City Ceremony, or Criterion, or neither, of opposites, whilst Mr P had a pint of Reet Pale. We didn't stay after our drinks because we couldn't hear each other speak, so headed for the Sheffield Tap.
Here Mr P had one of the Tapped Brew Co beers and I went for something that has escaped me - I promise I made notes last night for my next blog post! We sat in the small room round the back as the large dining room was hired out for a do. It was relaxing and quiet in the back and a good chance to catch up .
From here we walked up to the Tap and Tankard. Mr P had a pint of Kelham Island and I had a pint of Bad Seed Cascade Pale Ale. I also tried the Kelham Island American Pale Ale on keg - I was initially sceptical since it was only 4.0%, and I was right to be. As thought, the beer lacked the character and depth of flavour to work kegged and was drowned in carbonation. Still, the Bad Seed was very quaffable and the catching up and discussions continued.
Our final port of call was at BrewDog. Mr P had never been - and I think he likes it. He had a sensible lower Gravity Red Willow beer - although, I thought he ordered a stout, and what he got wasn't dark at all - anyone know if Red Willow brew a white stout? Meanwhile, I had a very expensive drink. The BrewDog Paradox, Compass Box stout. It was 15%, and, being kegged and BrewDog, it was a £1.00 a percent. That's right. It was £15.00 a pint. I very nearly didn't go for a third, but I figured at that strength, I would very likely not want another drink after wards. And besides, it was Mr P's round. Sorted!
The beers were both, as always in BrewDog, impeccable. The stout was obviously very strong but surprisingly smooth, and carrying a punchy peaty smoked aftertaste from the whisky used. Overall, this was a very enjoyable visit, and a great introduction to the bar for Mr P.
Hopefully April will continue to provide excellent ales in excellent pubs - I am heading to the newly reopened Beer Engine on Cemetery Road later to try it out - blog to come about that.