Sunday, 31 January 2016

Further excellence


      over the first few days of 2016 I encountered some excellent beers. I posted about that. However, in keeping with that theme, I have encountered some other extra quality beers in cask, keg and bottle. Here is what I found...

I recently came across the Cloudwater Imperial stout. It was 10.1% and an eye watering £6.00 a pint on cask.

I naturally had a pint - and finished it in 20 minutes. This was not my most sensible move. Luckily, at Shakespeares, Matty was on hand to get another round, and after that he bought me another pint of the excellent Cloudwater. A fantastic beer to end any night - which I had a further (slower) two pints of at  a later date.

Last night I was in the Bath Hotel. They had the excellent Cloudwater IPA on at 7.4%. It was chuffing lovely. In the end, I bought pints for Matty and Tash and had 4 or 5 pints myself. Accompanied by an excellent roast pork sandwich this was the perfect night out!

We later went into BrewDog Sheffield. Tash sensibly had a half of a keg beer whilst me and Matty had a bottle of Fantome Saison to share. Thirsty as we were for this excellent saison, we had another bottle - a fantastic way to finish...

Finally, and I apologise for the brevity of this post (as possibly justified hereafter) but tonight after excellent pints of the Blue Bee into the Void and Oceanic Red (along with Acorn Gorlovka for Matty) at the Three Tuns,  we ended up once again in Shakespeares.

Here, as well as the Siren Orange Boom at 2.8%, an exemplary, refreshing, low gravity orange wheat, we also had, and  I tried, a pint of the Double Ace from Buxton, an, at least, triple IPA based on the excellent Axe Edge, at 10.1%. This, in some ways, may explain the brevity of this post!

A fantastic IPA, this featured vanilla as well as hoppy citrus flavours as well as strong chocolate orange character in the initial and after taste  - an astounding and hugely enjoyable beer.

The final beer is in bottle - Hitachino Nest Saison du Japon. Made with lemon and rice wine it is possibly the easiest drinking beer I have ever tried. Me and Matty drunk ours in about two minutes! A perfect but uniquely enjoyable palate cleanser in a line of stronger beers. We bought ours from Archer Road Beer Stop by the way....

And talking of which, tomorrow I will be out with Dave for a rerun of a previous pub crawl - I hope to , write that up soon....


(Hic - edited, as was a trifle refreshed when I posted the above....)

Wee Beefy

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A mooch round Abbeydale and Heeley


    last week I was out and about with Matty. Himself and my were out sampling a few pubs and the ales they sell. Its always good to take someone somewhere new, and Matty had not been to two of the intended pubs. Here's some details of what we found and saw and drank in Abbeydake and Heeley.

We started at Daves, better known as Archer Road Beer Stop. Despite rumours to the contrary, Davefromtshop is still selling real ales - he had Moonshine and Invocation on from Abbeydale when we visited. We were invited in the back for a chat and Dave insisted we try a couple of bottles between the three of us of Hambleton Thoroughbred Legend. This was a new beer, but which was a stronger version of the established golden ale but stronger and hoppier, around 6.5%. We all tried the beer, which was very tasty, and Dave intends to get the whole range in. It was good to introduce Matty to the shop, and was a great start to our night.

Down to Athol and then Little London Road next we were soon on Chesterfield and visited the Tramsheds. This is my second visit and the venue did not disappoint. Although, when we asked if there were any sour beers, I did have to name some, but they offered us a can of Magic Rock Salty Kiss which is excellent, so Matty had that, and I had a hop Oil IPA called Hophunter from Sierra Nevada which was delicious. Matty also got chatting to Alan behind the bar, who he knew from school.

We headed up to the Brothers Arms next, and lined our stomachs with two curried scotch eggs, in my first visit for months. I had a pint of the Blue Bee Ginger and am certain that Matty had something hoppy, perhaps from Revolutions brew. The Brothers was busy as always and we enjoyed sitting in he room on the left, catching up, making plans and watching a steady flow of people heading to and from the bar.

Just down the road is the Sheaf View. This was likewise busy, and we were surprised to find the room at the back virtually empty after we got our pints - a beer I can't remember the name of for me, and a beer I can;t remember the name of for Matty. We got chatting to Dave Staves and enjoyed our more memorable than this post would suggest, real ales. Another cracking visit.

Down onto Chesterfield Road was our penultimate pub the White Lion. We both had pints of Dancing Duck in here, and Matty also tried a strong dark beer which I think was a plum Porter. Details eh - who has them? The beer was reasonably priced as usual and we sat in the beautiful front snug, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting to the guy whose table we had joined.

We left here late on and went to meet Tash and Mr Scatt in the Bath Hotel. Alas we arrived after last orders but luckily halves of a beer had been bought for us. The pub was still quite busy despite it being late and we stayed here for a while before getting a taxi home.

As always, his could be part of a much longer crawl with many different pubs involved. And once again, the crawl demonstrates that there is a large number of different styles of venues selling an interesting range of beers in all formats very close to each other. Long may that continue!


Wee Beefy  

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Three days of Birthday drinks


           on Friday it was Tash's birthday. We both booked the day off work and had many plans to celebrate. We met up with a handful of friends in a number of pubs to sample glorious ales. I can remember what Tash's age is, but it would be rude to let that be known. I can also, however, remember most of what we drank with whom, and where.....

After work on Thursday, having left quite late, we headed across the river to the Harlequin. Matty was already there with Chris and we found the pub packed. Half an hour before we had arrived a retirement do turned up - a scrum was fought through to get to the bar and we were lucky to find somewhere to sit. Matty was on the 7% or more Speyside stout from Exit 33 and recommended the Club 33 from the same brewery. In the end, I bought him another pint of that and me and Tash a pint of the Five Towns beer. The four of us then sat down to watch the crowd enlarge and the noise level raise higher. Great for the pubs coffers am sure, but we didn't fancy staying.

We walked round to Tesco to get supplies and headed for Shakespeares where we met Tony. I bought a pint of Tempest Amber ale for me and halves of the excellent Cloudwater IPA at 8% for Tash and Matty and we sat in the clock room for a catch up.  Another round of Cloudwater followed for all of us. halves of course, and we started discussing plans for Tash's birthday, and my Mum' at the end of the month.

We finished the night in the Three Tuns drinking the excellent, hoppy, Blue Bee Rakau pale ale. It has an initially citrus slightly fruity bitterness and then finishes with an incredible dry bitter aftertaste. Matty had gone home by now and after another piont each and a chat with Unpro and his German brewer friends Mark and Sebastien we headed home.

Friday saw us up and out later than planned but it was nice to get a lie in! We quickly went to a couple of shops and got to the Sheffield Tap about 17.30. Oakham Inferno was the beer for me Matty and Tash at an eye watering £10.80 for 3 pints (its 4.0%!) and we got some stools round a table and sat down to await Rachael and Wee Keefy.

After they arrived, further pints of the Inferno followed before WK decided to buy three strong bottled beers to try. Having dissuaded him away from buying a strong USA sharing bottle at £23.00 we opted for a Trappist Rochefort Double at 7.1% for him, a can of Magic Rock Cannonball at 7.4% for Tash and a fantastic bottle of Loch Ness Prince of Tranquility Barrel aged imperial stout at 10.1% for me. WK liked his Trappist I think, everyone liked the astounding clean hoppiness of the Cannonball and all of us were blown away by the alcohol and smooth balance of flavours in the Loch Ness. An excellent beer from Drumnadrochit.

From here we headed up to the Dove and Rainbow, me via a snack after my hefty beer, and I had a pint of the Blue Bee Tempest (or maybe Hambleton Nightmare, or maybe neither!) and Tash as she was a mature regular, was given a bottle of Chaumet perry to drink for her birthday. Needles to zay, Matty dispensed with this. From here most people went home and me and Tash went down to the Shakespeares to finish.

Shakespeares had alas run out of the Cloudwater but I bought Tash a pint of the excellent Kernel Centennial pale ale on keg and me a pint of another Tempest red ale I think, on cask. We met up with Tony once again and he very kindly gave Tash a bottle of the 8% Cloudwater Winter IPA for her birthday  - which is now in my fridge awaiting tasting by Tash. A further pint each of the Kernel followed plus we got chatting to the lovely Katie, and also spotted Dave, who admired my Tweed jacket - big hugs to Tash for this gift! A late taxi home, followed by pizza at 03.00 rounded off the night nicely.

Yesterday was a much more relaxing day - we opened the Pinot Noir and supped a couple of small glasses each around 19.00 before leaving the house in the snow about 22.00. We got to the Bath Hotel at 22.40 and found excellent Hopjacker Kansas City Shuffle and Anarchy Brew Co Quiet Riot on cask, both at 5.5%. We started on a pint each of those two followed by a pint for me and a half for Tash of the Hopjacker. When Matty arrived we had a pint each again, and a final pint and a half before catching a taxi about 01.00. Great as always to see Stef and despite some of the loudest people on earth drinking in their it was still a great two hours supping.

Looking forward to enjoying more excellent ales in the coming weeks, and to celebrating two more friends birthdays in January.



Wee Beefy

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Three Tuns is pub of the month!


        as per usual with my blog am behind the times - after all, its Friday and the award was made on Tuesday night. That's not actually that bad by recent standards. So here's what happened on Tuesday at the Three Tuns public house Silver Street Head in Sheffield.

The Three Tuns public house Silver Street Head in Sheffield is a lovely long, thin, almost ships bow shaped pub not unlike the Talbot Tap or similar in Ripley. You've all been there. It has a bar opposite the top and bottom entrance, the lower being where all the lovely real ales are kept, the upper where the less meritable lagers ciders and one keg ale live.

The pub is fitted out to a high standard with lots of old woodwork and a wonderful area which I call the bow, probably erroneously, at the right end of the pub. The seating is mostly fixed in the right end and with stools and more fixed seating at the left where the entrance to the loos are. The sating is form the lovely wooden and brass bar. Its really rather attractive I have to say. A lovely place, assuming the quiz isn't on, to go for a quiet pint.

They also do food - much less now Phil has left, but the pork pies an chip butties with bacon and blue cheese are excellent, and I believe they still do a stew or curry - a note though, food is only served til 19.00. On Tuesday I asked Ethan if there would be any food - it was 19.15 so he said he would have thought not. Gawd blezzim. He was "pulling my leg". It was a POTM award night. Food was on its way!

On the bar I and Tash had pints of the interesting Ashover Fabrick Pale Ale, and Matty the Blue Bee Tempest Stout. After this opener, all of us moved onto the 6% Blue Bee Into the Void, a delicious Black IPA. Several, if not numerous, pints were supped, as the pub started to fill up, and we were soon joined by Mr P and Sean. Soon after the food arrived,and thronged by CAMRA folks and regulars alike, everyone massed to celebrate the recent achievements of one of my most frequently visited pubs.

I got some photos of the staff behind the bar, showing off their award proudly. At this point a bloke in the crowd at the front said to Kate, or Dave as you will know her if you read this blog and don't visit the Tuns "Get yer tits out love". I wasn't aware of this, I just saw Kate look at someone and say "why the hell would you say that to me?". Apparently the sexist prick thought it was hilarious and looked around us for support, as if it were 1951 in a town called Retard. It was not. He was still a prick. When confronted about it, he said that the pub was shit - despite having been there four or five hours and spending £40.00. Like I said. A prick.

Still, this din;t put a downer on the evening and after Tash and Mr P went, I finished off some of the excellent Blue Bee Geek (I did not see which one because it wasn't officially on yet, if you get me) and left about 23.30, five hours after arriving, whilst Siobhan and Methane took down the bunting and balloons.

Well done once again to Andrew Inns and their hard working staff, Nathan, Ethan, Mark (possibly?) Kate, Jamie and a lady with a French name which I have forgotten since last night (sorry lady with a  French name that I have forgotten since last night). Its great to see for their customer service, hard work, choice of beer and tolerance, rarely I am happy to report, of simpletons from the past rewarded. Long may this excellent recipe for success continue.


Wee Beefy

Monday, 11 January 2016

Five of the best

Hello all,

        firstly, happy 2016 - seems very similar to 2015 to me, yer know, eleven days in. And no bloody dryanuary for me once again - really, f you must do it, at least buy soft drinks in the pub as well, thereby keeping pub atmosphere alive and profits near normal in January, the worst month of the year. Actually, this post serves as a reminder in many ways of just why going to the pub is so vital. I mean, if I hadn't how would I have tried five such amazing beers?

By the way, five of the best is restricted to a time frame, 31 December 2015 until today. They are the best beers I have tried in those twelve days. Maybe over a longer period. Not that I can remember....

On New Years Eve against my better judgement I left work quite late and met Tash and Matty in Shakespeares. We were intending to catch the last bus, but in a surprising outcome, we did not. I had heard that the Cloudwater Special IPA was on cask. When I arrived they were already drinking a pint each - something told me it was quite popular so I bought two pints and sat down and joined them Shortly after it ran out. It was, as I thought, a very popular beer.

Interestingly, Matty found it a little one dimensional, and Tony thought it had deteriorated in the cask over the months it had been kept. Cloudwater, he advised, brew beers to be drunk fresh. This is an interesting pint, since I can't think of many cask IPA's that have improved with ageing. On the other hand, I thought the beer was bloody lovely. An excellent end to the year.

On Sunday I was surprised to read that Walkley Beer Co was open. Having lazily plodded to Spasda for supplies I left it late to get there for 17.00 - I arrived at 16.53, just as Kit came out to call last orders. The cask had run out but the excellent Kernel Centennial Simcoe IPA at 6.7% was on keg at a fiver a pint. Kernel IPA's rarely disappoint - and this blew me away. A fantastic blend of citrus fruit and bitterness that I could have made last a lot longer, had time not been called soon after.

However, just before that I decided to buy a bottle to take out. I asked Kit what saisons he had and he pointed one out which I thought about and then saw some Cloudwater. I said "Ooh, Cloudwater! I bet you haven't got any Double IPA". Kit went quiet, walked to a small fridge near the bar and got me a bottle out. "its my last one" he said. I was so grateful. If nothing else because Tony had raved about this beer, and I had read their blog about it. It was £4.20 a bottle and m,e and Tash drank it later that night. It was wonderful - complex, bitter, refreshing, easy drinking, aromatic, punchy, strong - an exceptional beer.

Back at Shakespeares early the next week I tried two new keg beers. Described I think by Chris B as perhaps the hoppiest beer Siren have ever brewed, the rather oddly named Dippy and the Equinox is a wonderful, if strong and slightly pricey, keg pale or possibly red ale. Brewed with Boneyard Brewery in far away, it has heaps and heaps of complimentary hops and a wonderful zesty lingering finish. In the last week I have had several pints and enjoyed every drop of every one. A tremendous brew!

My final favorite came from The Beer Engine. Arriving the same night as the staff party meant I saw Tom for the first time in ages, and me and him had a conversation about cans - as per my last blog post. The beer that stood out here however was a 7.0% cask Ryesing Tides IPA from Siren. I remember having this beer last year at some point and hadn't actually had a rye beer for a while - which is strange, since I really like a rye IPA. The beer is strong but very easy to drink and reasonably priced at £4.20 a pint - bearing in mind that you don't need many. Siren are well known for well balanced beers (although sometimes they get it very wrong) and this was perfect example of a blend of rye and hops and I think red malt, making a delicious real ale.

Once again, a range of different venues purveying excellent beers in cask, keg and bottle demonstrate how lucky we are here in Sheffield to be able to find such a range of excellent ale. Lets hope this quality continues throughout the rest of 2016. Just don't stop going to the pub to find it.


Wee Beefy