last week I went out for a few beers with lovable rogue Matthew, AKA Meathumph, Matty, Oi, and other names. The original plan was to meet at midday in the Brothers Arms, travel to some local and further away hostelries, and end up being joined by Tash. Only one of those concepts was correct alas.
Matt rang me and said he was hungover and suggested we meet at 14.00, in the Brothers Arms. Setting off at 13.05, it took me an astonishing 1 hour 15 minutes to get there by bus. I could have walked it in 10 minutes longer. Still, the sun was shining (initially), the weather was warm and I was thirsty. Me and Matty sat on the back in the sunshine drinking pints of Cromarty Red Rocker Rye Red ale and all was well. We even went back fro a couple of halves - more Red for me and a Pictish Wakau pale for Matt. Was good seeing John from the White Lion as well - must visit soon!
Down the hill the other way is the Sheaf View. A Red Willow Ageless Double IPA was on at 7.2%. We ordered 2 pints but it ran out so got 1 and a half, nearly, and paid for one. We sat initially in the child free beer garden, before, as it had Saturday, it started raining. Heavily. We sat in the back room and listened to the downpour and I went and got a half of Victory Dirt Wolf Double IPA at 8.7%. A truly stunning and brilliantly hoppy, slab of a beer.
We walked next along the river and headed for the London Road area. We paused at the Railway across from Sheffield United's ground. This was advertising "Coffee and Casks" on the windows - being a pub I have never previously visited, maybe a first one may have to take place soon.
Out onto London Road and we visited the Albion. Four Sheffield Brewing Co beers and a Clarkes were the choice - we both went for halves of 5 Rivers and settled down to chat and sup and receive phone calls.
Soon we arrived at the Beer Engine. Tom was in as always and we asked him what food they were serving. As timings isn't our speciality, its no surprise that they had stopped serving, but Tom very kindly did us two hot pork sandwiches with homemade apple sauce and roast potatoes on brioche. It was just what we needed!
Beers wise we had a couple each. I know Matty had a Magic Rock Salty Kiss, an excellent and unusual beer, and I had a strong cascade, possibly from Wiper and True, but am not sure what we had on cask - I#m thinking it was a Neepsend Brew Co beer? Either way, the two keg offerings stuck in my memory a little more.
Next we visited the Brewery Tap next to Henrys. The latter is closed for refurbishment but the Tap remains open. Still the brewery is redundant, still the trial brews are, I imagine this time, poor. We both had a pint of cask each and it was pale and from Derby Brew Co, in fact we had one each of their offerings, but am unable to recollect which! Don't worry - there are memories later I promise.
We walked up to High Street beneath glowering angry black clouds, to catch the 95 to Walkley, and to walk down in the fading light to the Blake. A good selection of ales were available including Neepsend Brewery Co but we both had a pint of something different. To contradict my earlier comment, I can't recall what it was . It was £2.70 a pint whatever it was.
This was one of our favourite pubs but it could have been our worst visit. We got chatting to a Slovakian bloke called Filip. He offered to buy us two whiskies so we accepted, thinking at that points that he was not, in fact a racist violent lunatic. Alas he was. Its not often these days that you hear the word nigger in a conversation, but he used the word three times to describe his f***ing black b**tard doctor". We were quite shocked, and seeing this he said "don't you tell me I'm racist because you won;t live more than a few seconds if you do". Brilliant. A drunk, aggressive, racist simpleton. As we carried on listening and hastily finishing our drinks he went outside to make a call so we legged it down the hill. A revolting person that marred an otherwise exellent experience.
Our next stop was the Double H. Matty has never been to the Hillsborough Hotel so I thought this would be a good chance fr him. On the bar was the Potbelly Beijing Black which is a beer I really like but having a tried it tasted sour. "I don't like it, it tastes sour" the man behind the bar said. Well done = maybe its, um...off? Anyway we had a try of other mediocre beers and opted for two pints of Wentworth Clock ale or similar. From here we walked down the main road to our penultimate stop.
The Wellington was quiet but am not sure Sunday is a good day to judge any pub in terms of numbers of customers. Excellent real ale was on offer as always and we both had pint of the excellent Green Arrow from Little Ale Cart. Was lovely sitting in the room on the left getting our thoughts together and enjoying the refreshing hoppy ale.
Walking past the Ship Inn Matty found out he could catch a bus home any minute so I left him there and walked on to Shakespeares. I know I had a half, and maybe a pint of the excellent but hefty Mad Hatter mild at 7.4% but am not sure what else, although, by this time I was on pint number 9 of a rather thirsty day. And after leaving Shakespeares to get the last First bus home, the Beefdozer cometh, so I had to get a taxi back from Woodhouse Station.....
So, overlal this was a fantastic pub crawl with Matty providing good comapny and where we enjoyed some excellent beers along the way - best beer ramge probably came at the Sheaf View and the Beer Engine. I would recommend a visit to all of the pubs we tried, but some more than others.