on Wednesday I was invited to the soft launch of the new Micropub in Sheffield on Ecclesall Road. I was invited by Tom who worked at the University Arms for six years - I claim to have only just fund out that he is called Tom. This is a recurrent theme in this and most other posts.
The Portland House micropub is at 288 Ecclesall Road in a former Cooplands shop just up from the Nursery Tavern. I can tell you from personal experience that its a good ten minute walk up Ecclesall Road to the Beer House, Sheffield's second Micropub. The Portland has a more modern interior and settees at one end, with benches and chairs and modern tables - one thing I was asked to point out was that the table we sat at was wonky - I hope that's not the floor!
On the first night they Had Henrietta, Portland Black, Red Feather and Harley on from Welbeck Abbey and Saltaire Citra, and Arbor Half Day IPA on as guests on cask, with Wild Fresh on keg at £4.50 a pint. Tom tells me there's a keg of magic Rock in the cellar and other delights awaiting, which is good for me, since I do like a hoppy beer. However, what I do like about the pub is that it admits that not everyone likes a strenuously hoppy beer, so the Welbeck are the more traditional beers with the guests providing the hops.
The first pint was Henrietta for me and this was interesting - I personally think Welbeck are much less hoppy and punchy with their beers now, and this was a great example - a pleasant soft pale with little hop bite - is not how I remember Henrietta. The second pint was of Arbor Half Day IPA - this was more of a red ale than a pale but was very pleasant, if not actually very IPA-y, which is a word.
The pub will also serve food and at the moment they have pork pies and pork and black pudding pies from Wateralls as well as meats and cheese and breads from Welbeck Abbey producers. The olives and sour dough and olive bread on the first night were excellent - I can, assuming these are from the same, see myself popping in for a bite to eat once the food gets off the ground.
I bumped into Nick Wheat and Andy C whilst there - Nick is someone I have known, but never met, for a few years. He was there with his Dad who runs an architects firm nearby - it was he who asked me to mention the table. It was interesting to meet and talk to Wheaty and his Dad and to Andy and Tom - good to catch up with Sheffield beer news.
Bt comparison, after my visit I went up to the Beer House. It was rammed, with Mr Hough doing the quiz. I had a few pints of a lovely hoppy ale which has unfortunately slipped form my memory, and I got sat with Ben and Paula who I impeded in the completion of the quiz. Two thoroughly lovely people who kindly paid off the tab I accidentally created when I discovered the Beer House doesn't have a card machine - the Portland House does!
Sheffield now has three micropubs and all are different in subtle ways. Am looking forward to revisiting all of them, including Walkley Beer Co, sometime in November. Best of luck to Tom and his team and Welbeck Abbey Brewery with Portland House as well.