Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Turning Point


       don't panic bar owners, the event of the title is not a declaration of temperance or other sobering horror. Instead its the name of an brewery. and everything. I am not about to give up luffly bose. I do after all want to retain one scintilla of pleasure from the suppurating sump of sewage that laps over my every sodden, heavied, footstep every stinking day of my life. Luffly bose kids. Luffly luffly bose....um...where was I?

Ah yes, Turning Point Brew Co. I think I first met these guys and tried their beer at the Indie Man Beer Feast in Sheffield back in March. I definitely remember trying their Disco King American Pale Ale at that event, long before becoming discombobulated and mistaking them for a brewery based in Liverpool instead of Kirbymoorside near York....

Their Tap takeover of Shakespeares was a fabulous affair, as (imaginably) previously noted, not least because I found out that I had them mixed up with an entirely different brewery. What was that brewery's name I hear you ask? I don't chufffing know. Neither did they, bless em. It was important to get it all cleared up regarding who they were at any rate...

On Friday when I was, once again, lucky enough to be in my second home, I tried a beer from Turning Point on "cask",. an old fashioned method of beer dispense. It looked like mud. It tasted like gold. Well, not in fact like gold, but it was bloody marvelous. A thick, unctuous potation, heavy with hops and dank of flavour. It was a perfect starter as well, being over 7%.

Add to that their Rainbow Road 3.0 % Citra nano IPA and their delicious Vision Quest Mosaic IPA  at 7.0% on keg, as well as their Afterglow De Molen colab, and you already have a fab line up of soup. I likes soup. Hoppy only of course. And Turning Point create chewy murky mud beers to delight and tingle all our tastebuds. I should point out that their beers are  unfined and unfiltered, for those who unwisely drink with their eyes, as per their website.

In truth I have never had a bad beer from Turning Point (and I must mention their mango and mint sour with Lost Industry, or whatever ingredients they put in it, which was exemplary). Its unusual to try so many styles of beer from a newish brewery and be resolutely impressed every time. The nano IPA was an absolutely fabulous low gravity session ale bursting to the gunwales with marvelous Citra goodness.

Here's hoping that Turning Point continue on their upward curve of product excellence for years to come, meaning I can enjoy their excellent beers on many more occasions in the future.


Wee Beefy

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Three Tuns closes again, Star Pubs await new sacrificial lamb

Hello readers,

     am a bit late with this as always but I am sad to announce that once again the Three Tuns on Silver Street Head in Sheffield has closed down, awaiting a new manager to be driven nearly to madness and financial ruin by pushing the boulder of pub management up the hill of unavoidable failure.

I heard about this from my friend Reason who said he had witnessed Ed's resignation speech, in which he *may have claimed that Star and Heineken still made profit from the failing pub through tax rebates and write offs and other details I have since forgotten, whilst managers struggled under the yoke of pubco imperialism.

Am so sorry for Ed, and his staff, who took on the unworkable task of running this pub out of love and devotion to regulars only to see the exercise for the unwieldy deception that it is. I genuinely thought that through his and his staff's hard wok the Tuns may return to its glory days under Reet Ale Pubs but alas that is very unlikely to happen ever again. Pubco's don't want to run pubs, except for the absolute star performers. The others are just flat or house conversions waiting to happen.

 I had an interesting chat, possibly with Reason, but maybe with another human with a name, about how one could succeed running a pub or bar or venue for a pubco. The replying orator confirmed that they had chatted to a long term pub manager who advised that the best way to succeed was to not. As demonstrated by the Dog and Partridge under the stewardship of the Flynns, for whom I understand running a successful pubco pub was rewarded only with an increase in rent or other liabilities. The trick, my friend was told,  is to run the pub at about even or at a minor loss, keeping you under the pubco radar so that no increases in payments are generated. In effect, assuming that is true, its actually impossible to make a good living running a pubco house. Does that not strike anyone as madness?

Of course its much less like madness if one remembers the Star Inns how to theme a pub guide which I found online when researching the Church House in 2012. Unattributable stereotypical nonsense dreamed up in a tower in la-la land by robots who have never visited earth, or met real people. Am fairly sure the link is no longer active but searching Star Inns & Bars Three Tuns Sheffield brings up a link to their page about the pub and their "Is it for me" PDf guide to running a pub with them. Well worth a look, if you can forgive there being no mention of the costs of buying all drinks through them (Ed once told me he could buy Blue Bee beers through the pubco, but only at twice the price he could from the brewery, which he was not allowed to do).

I sincerely hope somebody does take on the Three Tuns and reopens it once again as a quality boozer, so that I have somewhere to go before the Shakespeares and Bar Stewards, Dougie has somewhere permanent to do his quiz, I have somewhere I can meet A-ray, Paul-Ray, Mr Bancroft and the Professor, and so that drinkers once more have a traditional centre of town boozer to relax in and socialise.

In reality however, given its four or five closures since I started drinking there, am expecting to be writing something similar in 6 to 12 months time.

Como siempre.

Beeficus the black

*am not certain of the details of the speech. My memories tell me this was said, so you can imagine how much verisimilitude that holds.....

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Beef and Charlie's South Sheffield saunter


    after last week's wander around Walkley, Crookes and Commonside on the Saturday, I met up with Charlie, formerly the beer blogger Ale Ambler, at the Sheffield Tap for a quick pint and an amble around Woodseats and Heeley on the Sunday. The weather was warm and sunny and the bus was due not long after we met up so we started on two halves of low alcohol, and I mean around 4% by that, beers for Charlie, and a slightly stronger one for me, being a pint of Vocation Chop and Change.

I had spotted two free tables in the sunshine a few minutes earlier, but a group of 3 had decided to take one of them whilst waiting for someone to fetch their drinks from the bar. Am not rude enough to do that, but if I had been we would have had a prime seat in the sun. Instead we sat near the doorway and supped our beers before heading to the bus station to catch the 18.

Despite being a Sunday and them deciding to change drivers the bus was 6 or 7 minutes late, and in no rush to set off. There was a delay in Herdings which had made the driver late, but the replacement saw no reason to try and make up time. We set off and headed on the puzzling route towards Woodseats and up Scarsdale Road before alighting at the stop before the Mount pleasant on Derbyshire Lane. The Mount Pleasant is a small traditional pub set just back from the road with two small traditional rooms and about five real ales. We each bought a pint of Moonshine and went to sit in the beer garden, soaking up the sun and carrying on our catch up. Charlie told me that he and his co-writers had discontinued their blog aswiftone when the founder died last year. He is still on Twitter and still loves photographing wildlife and said that not documenting his every drink had actually allowed him to enjoy his pub trips more. I assured him that I still very much enjoyed drinking, and that recording details, as regular readers will know, remained of secondary importance....

The moonshine went down well and we were soon setting off back towards Scarsdale Road. This was Charlie's second new pub, the Cross Scythes. I had a pint of Jaipur on cask whilst he had halves of Jesamine on cask and their Koln style (or Munchen?) lager on keg. We sat in the garden at the back soaking up the hops and the sunshine.  All the beers were on good form.

We headed for Chesterfield road next down the steep path, and were soon in the Tramshed, the third new pub for AA. One of the three thirds he wanted wasn't ready but he tried one from Brew York and a third of the BBnos Pale at 6.5% that I had a pint of. We sat in my usual spot and discovered that there is a small area out the back where people were getting some fresh air. We had a taster of the Brew York Tonkoko cream stout before we left as well.

Our penultimate stop came at the White Lion just down the road. I had recommended we sit in the snug on the left and I had a pint of the Hopscotch IPA and Charlie had the same. It was very enjoyable but you had to get used to the slight sour notes to it. It isn't described as a sour IPA but it wasn't offputtingly so either, on oddly enjoyable beer. I know Jon chatted to Charlie for a while, and both of us about his new venture in the building next door with Edd from Hopjacker - good things will be happening in Heeley soon!

Our final stop was the Rutland, where the AA has been a few times since Dave and Chris took over. He bought me a half of what might have been called Dane IPA from Puhaste but may equally likely have been called something different. He didn't get a drink as he had a lengthy train journey home to outside Barnsley.

After he left for the station I went up to The Blake to meet Steve and bumped into Reason and Dan, and supped a couple of pints of the Neepsend Demeter Spelt IPA which I thought was a cracking pint. The perfect end to our travels and a perfect end to the first weekend of the pay month! Once more I was able to show Charlie a raft of new pubs, all of which served excellent beer on cask and keg here in super sunny Sheffield!

Your very best health

Wee Beefy

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Vikkie and Wee's Walkley wander


    on Saturday, the day after payday assuring me of having funds, myself and my fab chum Vikkie went for a wander, billed as Crookes and Walkley, but mainly Walkley, and including Commonside. Co-incidentally, I did mostly the same crawl with Ale Ambler Charlie about 5 years ago, and I met with him Sunday, but details of that are to come in my next post.

I was meant to meet Vikkie at 12.00 in town so left the house at 11.15. The 52a, which runs every ten minutes, when it can be bothered, arrived 30 minutes after I arrived at the bus stop. Things could only get better. After the bus swapped drivers I found Vikkie on High Street and we both boarded the bus I had been on and got off on the top of Crookes. Our first job was to look at how the new micropub was progressing. A neb through the window suggests its potential name may be the builders yard....

Our first stop was the Princess Royal. From a range of four or five ales I started on a pint of Blue Bee Jester and Vikkie on a half of Welbeck Harley, and we sat round the side in the sunshine admiring the views and the wildlife, along with our beers. From here we walked down to gawp at the former Olde Heavygate, R.I.P old friend, and then headed down to Commonside to pop in the Closed Shop. Those of you who know me well will have heard me say numerous times that I would NEVER set foot in this pub whilst Stancil had it, but, you can't judge without visiting. So Vikkie had a half of Saltaire something or other on keg and me a half of full of Dank on cask, and we sat in the sunshine in the beer garden. The beer was OK. It wasn't very busy. Maybe the locals have taken a harder stance than myself.....

Across the road to the Hallamshire House and we sat in their beer garden with a pint of Hacksaw pale for me and a pint of Tangarine lager or ale for Vikkie. Both beers were well kept and we planned our route for the rest of the crawl. Ironically, heading up School Road we bumped into none other than the man of Ash, former manager at the HH. It was great to hear that his tenure at the Beer Engine was going well, and he provided some advice about our later destinations.

Up to the Cobden View next and being mid afternoon the pub was very quiet. After a somewhat lengthy wait we ordered a pint of Deuchars for me and a pint of Farmers for Vikkie and went and sat in their wonderful beer garden, enjoying the hot sunshine. After a quick scrump of some pears we headed down the path at the back onto Western Road then up past Binghams and back down to Commonside, then along to the Rose House.

When myself and Charlie had been they had two real ales on, and it still advertises that in paint on the wall but am not sure thy have served cask for two or three years now. We sat in the garden with halves of Guinness St James' Gold, which was on sale at a decent £2.60 a pint. After listening in on an urban soap opera, we headed on to the Palm on Palm Street.

Two real ales on here, and we both went for halves of Farmers Blonde and went and sat in their  beer garden. The location was lovely, especially in the hot sun, but the beer alas was on its very last legs. We chatted to the landlady for some time about Punch but forgot to mention that it was time for her Farmers to retire. A quick visit next to the Florist, which no longer sells real ale so we had halves of Magnet in their beer garden, before we visited the Blind Monkey. Probably a pint each of Heathen in here, and once again enjoyed in the hot sunshine in their wonderful........beer garden!

A quick hoik up Carr Road followed and we settled down to our best beer of the day in the Walkley Beer Co. I had a pint of IPA at 6.8% that had been brewed at a brewery and had a name, and finished on a can of Cloudwater Citra DIPA. Vikkie also had drinks, which were imbibed from a glass.

We were to have popped in the Blake, once again utilising their beer garden, but were fair famished so headed straight for the Hillsborough Hotel for food. Unfortunately they weren't serving food, so we had crisps and enjoyed our pints of beer coloured liquids in the beer garden. Obviously.

Sup finished I know I got on a bus and there is every chance that I got home, so it was a case of mission accomplished. The Walkley Beer Co was the best pub of the day but the Hallamshire House and Cobden also stood out amongst many. Many reasons to make a visit to some or all of the pubs yourselves whilst the weather is still good!


Wee Beefy