Once upon a time,
long long ago, in a far away place called Sheffield, there was a man of Beef. The man went into public houses, and micro-public houses, and bars, and inside delighted (usually) in sampling drinks. Beer drinks. This made the Beefy man beefier, happier, more tired and less well off. It also gave him something to write about. Hence....
This month's Wanderians was a little longer than normal. Mr P seems less worried about restriction - or rather, potentially has less restrictions,on the amount of beer he consumes. This was demonstrated fully on Wednesday night. Our plan was to go to The Portland House so I suggested we started at the Bath Hotel. After waiting just 25 minutes for an every 10 minute 52a, we were less than soon starting our evening's voyage.
Being two days after payday meant I had real money on me. Just as well since the card machine at the Bath Hotel was not working. Mr P had a pint of (possibly) Real Deal from Blackjack and I had the 6% Arbor beer which was an IPA. We sat at the large table, mainly because a leak meant we couldn't sit anywhere else, and talked, and planned our route.
Brood is a bar at Art collective Roco nearby. Well, I say that, Roco doesn't appear open. There were lights on upstairs but the doors were locked (despite its opening November banner) and I on't care how artistic it may seem,. breaking and entering is not my scene. So we headed off down the ring road towards Eccy Road. En route I mentioned to Mr P that I'd never been in the Hanover. He had, in the early 70's, and all of a sudden we were on Hanover Street and the pub was there. Inside we went in the dark games room on the right. There were three handpumps but no evidence of any real ale being on. I asked what bottles they had and from a very limited range we opted for a can of Guinness each. We took our drinks round the back of the bar to sit in the "best room" on the left.
The Hanover used to be a Wards pub, or am sure it sold Wards. Inside it has two rooms and was perhaps originally three, and there is exposed brickwork on the left wall and a nice open fire, and an old telly on the beam in front of us showing Murder She Wrote. The loos are across some decking outside and this is to my knowledge the only Sheffield pub that I know of with this arrangement. There were a handful of locals, a bloke who looked, if this is possible, like a theatre producer, and people were chatting and socialising at the bar. I like the Hanover. Its not pretensions, and it appears to serve its local community. It would be great if it sold real ale of course, but it doesn't, and is sill trading. Good for them.
Down through the flats and out on to Eccy Road we were soon at the Portland House. We both had pints of Townhouse Green Bullet and I had a Wateralls pork pie. We chatted and soaked up the atmosphere and noticed tat actually there were a few spare handpumps. Mr P also noticed a mis-spelling on the chalk board (Wensledale...?). Hardly the end of life as we know it, but a couple of little niggles. The pub now sells food as promised and seems to have regulars, so the outlook is good.
Off next to the Beer Engine via a chat with quiz bound Mr Hough, and once again an impeccable range o ales was on offer. Mr P had something dark on cask and I had a pint of the Almasty Mango IPA - less Mango-y than I expected but still a cracking beer. The pub was a little quieter than I expected but still turns over an excellent range of bottled and cask and keg beers - hoping to get back there to eat very soon.
Our penultimate stop was at the Hermitage. Last time I went in this was called something else and didn't sell real ale - I went to see a guy about a job working for his 3d photographic company. The Hermitage now sells four or five real ales including Clubhouse ones from Milestone - Mr P had a pint of their strong mild and I a pint of the Saltaire Cascade. It was awkward to find somewhere to sit as a party of rugby players were on their way but the staff were friendly and the beer was well kept - and the pork scratchings were lovely.
Our final stop was at the Lord Nelson on Arundel Street (or Lane..). Mr P had a pint of Belhaven Porter and I a pint of the Pennine Real Blonde from a choice of four. We went and sat in the room on the left and watched some football on the telly, before Mr P shared some of his Twitter poetry with me. As I have said before, I like the Lord Nelson, and this was another enjoyable visit - although, I did leave my wallet there. This is something I found out whilst buying my tea at the checkout. Credit to them though, they found it and kept hold of it until I returned after work the next day - to have two excellent pints of the Real Blonde and a packet of Black pudding pork scratching.
Once again hen, a small area of Sheffield provides 6 very different styles of pub with a range of real ales available in all but one. Thus proving, if proof were needed, that Sheffield is a great place for a pub crawl.