Monday, 30 December 2019



     luckily the title does not represent an avoidable non drinking pub destruction plan for the madness of this month, instead it rather aptly describes my drinking and related agendas for the same period. I was inspired to write this after a lunchtime wander to the pharmacy where I observed an alarming epitome of excessive methylated misuse in such a small space. I did not set out to espouse my dissatisfaction, instead to dress you with some of the related baubles of nonsense encountered on one of only a small number of sober days thus far in December, and to also highlight some of the hugely enjoyable crapulence therein.

Arriving at Wicker Chemists after 13.00 I immediately spotted two outdoor Spice enthusiasts, maudlin and emaciated, raging at every evolving happenstance with delirious (on his part at least) mumbled rage, as if every aspect of mans existence was sent to try them. Luckily I was served quite quickly as this internal inferno of garbage prevailed but having escaped, I walked down Stanley lane out onto Nursery street. I used to work on nearby Joiner street and despite the excess of litter and unreadable graffiti I thought about popping my phone out to snap the sun reflecting off the Waverley windows - until I spotted two further outdoor mentalists pressing themselves against some otherwise forbidden garage doors and "enjoying" the partaking of some subcutaneous matter. Wanting to avoid a listenation, or worse still, losing my legal meds or phone, I did not remove the same from my pocket, and walked by thinking "Christmas, ambling aimlessly through our streets with your disparate and exacerbated cousin, what have you brought upon us?"

In my own case the answer is simple - luffly bose. And although I admit to an occasional nodding, and indeed three separate incidences of falling, I would like to point out that at the very least, my unwise enjoyments do not make their way into my blood stream via syringe. And to somehow support this fact, here are a few recent examples.....

On pay weekend I collected my take away cans and a bottle from Beer Central. What with a direct request from the dark lord himself I have to admit that I have already finished these, but a number stuck in my memory.  Wylam Greenbutt Skunk was a September or so brewed green hopped masterpiece at about 8.3% and blew me away - I had a can in Bar Stewards and then one at home with Matty and we both loved its complex but unrestrained mix of flavours.

Matty himself bought me a 9% Cloudwater New Zealand DIPA with, strangely I thought, Southern Cross and Amarillo as its hops. Luckily this likewise blew my mind, and finished off a whole evening of other classics including the Triangle referenced 8.3% Garage speciality with fabulous malt and other flavours, and the Pressure Drop Domino Topple IPA at 7.1%. I have to say that I have loved almost every Pressure Drop can I have had recently and this was no exception.

A trip to Bar Stewards not only provided a range of bottled wines for the first time in...ever? but also some excellent Loca Polly - their Rosa at 8.5% was fantastic, as was the Deya and another False coloured eyes (this, along with all my memories, maybe mildly inaccurate) but as well as this joy there were three fabulous pints at my second home Shakespeares - I had over three pints of Wylam Jakehead on cask from the past, a pint of 6.5% Cloudwater pale on keg from the future and a few nights ago my last visit of the year provided three pints of the excellent Pentrich IPA at 5. something% which was cloudy as a small bag of soup and as well as being on cask from the past, tasted amazing!

Final highlights included a catch up with chums at the St Mars of the Dessert Tap where I had a pint of their excellent Levy Greve which I am certain I have mis-spelled, as well as other classics, before catching a bus into town and up to Walkley to meet WK in the Walkley Beer Co for their fifth birthday. I then finished in the Raven on Palm Street, now a much improved version of the Palm!

As I return to the unending horse gin of despair tomorrow to lug sacks of garbage up out of the depths of the earth to pleasure the otherwise disaffected, I can safely say that my every libational undertaking in this fine month has ended up making me a very happy chap indeed.


And a very happy new year

Wee Beefy

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Christmas wander

Good afternooo

         apologies for the slightly lame title -I was going to make it even more icky with "Family Christmas Meal Pub Crawl" until I saw sense. This is still a bit weak I admit but its a good reflection of the event that am about to describe....

We were meeting early this year - at noon. Initially this was to allow WF to drive back before 16.00 in the light but in the end WK picked him up in his car before dropping Dad at the pub, driving back to Crookes and walking back to the Sportsman at Crosspool. WF got a taxi later. Admittedly its an Ember Inns pub but they sell a few decent beers and the meal was. in comparison with town based offerings, a bit of a winner for twelve pounds. As always myself Matty and Tash were ever so slightly late - I walked down to Darnall to get twenty pound out and to buy a weekly pass but there was a problem with the cash machine. Although I knew I had sufficient funds in my account I got just two pounds out at the Post office and headed into town after a lengthy wait for 11.50. Luckily Tash and Matt picked me up at 11.58 on West Street in a taxi they had got and we were there by just gone ten past.

Ale wise there was a Black Sheep IPA, Moonshine, Thornbridge Jaipur and the excellent Fyne Ales Jarl. Always a favourite drop I had two pints of this as well as a a pint of Jaipur. all of which were delicious. WF complained about his Jarl to WK who asked me to come and try it - it tasted exactly the same as mine. It was when I told him this that he admitted it was too cold and that he didn't like cold beer. Am sure when he was drinking off Sam Smiths at the Abbey pub outside Derby the temperature hadn't been considered and I have to admit that pale hoppy beers do taste far better with a light chill. Mine was ace! Meanwhile the meal was OK and we were there nearly three and a half hours before M+M dove off  and took the two Wees to WK's house for Dad to wait for a taxi. Me Tash and Matty walked back through the cemetery to Crookes where we popped in the Punch Bowl.

I have been reasonably impressed with its turn around since True North took it over but alas we found that they were trying to sell some rank and off Blue Bee Stout - Matty asked for a taste and pulled a deep grimace as he smelled it and tasted it - he pre-warned me but that didn't prepare me for the vile smell never mind the taste. When I pointed out to the girl behind the bar that the stout was off she didn't taste it instead claiming that "they always taste weird to me". An amazing response, which I would like to think is especially disrespectful to Josh and the others involved with the brewery. I did not check that they had taken it off when I left but am guessing that the person I pointed out the issue to neither cared about her clients or understood beer sufficiently to bother.

Nipping across the road to Two Sheds we bought Tash a couple of glasses of mulled Wine and I had an excellent pint of North Brewing Sputnik Pale, whilst Keet and Matty had the Janet Street Porter. I had two excellent pints of the Sputnik which was on fine form and the others enjoyed their drinks too. Matty and WK nipped back to his next whilst me and Tash headed into Town to pop in Cavells to use the loo, and to get Tash a large white wine and myself a pint of something about 5.5% After a quick catch up Tash got the tram home and I wandered down to Bar Stewards to have another pint of the 5.7% Blue Bee IPA on cask, and kept  perfectly, along with a few halves on keg. As always I bumped into a few mates and caught the bus back at about 23.00. I may even have treated myself to a can of Pressure Drop when I got in, although, as with a number of happenstances, my memories remain unclear....

Overall though this was a great day out and despite the grimness of the Punch Bowl all the pubs involved kept excellent beers. Am out in Crookes again tonight for a couple to catch up with fab folk from the past as well as Wee Keefy and am really looking forward to a return trip to the Hallamshire House.  


Wee Beefy    

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Remembering pub names....and other things......

Hello folks.

            regular and more astute readers may be aware that since my stroke and more so since my recent brain injury, memories, whatever they are, have not been very high up on my agenda. Longer term readers may also note that throughout the nearly ten year history of my blog, accurate memories of liquids consumed and other aspects of crapulence have thus far regularly escaped me, or at the very least, presented themselves in my memory through a dizzying, contorted haze. So last night, when it took me an hour to find and recall the name of Yorkshiremen the grumbleweeds (not a pub), I was prompted to write.

Although, I can't remember what about....

Am kidding, obvs, but the main inspiration for this guesswork stemmed from a chat I was having with the lovely Vikkie and Matthew the other night. We talked at length about the downfall of pubs near where I used to work, starting with the Crinoline Bridge, now a cafe, and then on to a now demolished pub in Rotherham near the station. I was certain it wasn't called the station, and I remembered the awful seventies sun lounge decor that befell it prior to its closure and then demolition, but I couldn't remember its name. It was, of course, the Phoenix. It was on the bridge facing the steps down to the station. Vikkie occasionally used to pop in very briefly for a lager (in the absence of anything else) prior to meeting Matthew to catch a train. I only went in once, under the ownership of what may have been Turkish folk, finding that they sold absolutely nothing that I wanted It is alleged that if I had wanted to buy drugs or partake of prostitutional services the venue would have suited me more, but I realise, these are only allegations. No doubt unrelated to its soon to follow closure.....

We also discussed the demise of the nearby Kingfisher Old Mill pub which I used to enjoy popping into at dinnertime or sometimes after work when I worked nearby. Although I did not know it had also closed down, and I seemed to have removed a whole slab of memory, including its notorious period as a bikers pub, knowledge which, like with so many things, appeared to have escaped me.

Then there was my discussion with WK today about National Inventory pubs, an area which I usually do very well in, but which lead to confusion about the definition of parlour pubs and the number of times I have successfully visited the Sun Inn at Leintwardine - it was only once, on the same weekend the landlady died, and we got chatting to a man obsessed with such excellent pubs in the living room. I recall we liked the beer - very much. Not enough to recall its name however......(although it may have been Hobsons Bitter)

The main example of pub name tomfoolery came at the Bath Hotel about twelve years ago - it was probably in 2007 as I was working at Milton House at the time, although in the flooding in June my company that night had already moved to work next to the river so it could have been 2006....

We had already discussed, and failed to name all, of the Wentworth monuments. I can still recall Hoober Stand and the Needles Eye but as well as the small building which we managed, I can't remember now, and neither if us then, the name of the other high tower. This inspired us into a chat about local pubs and we wandered into a self filled sump of knowledge free flailing by wanting to know the name of the pub in Midshopestones outside Sheffield. With neither of our memories obviously working, between us we decided the pub "obviously" had an agricultural themed name.

And so followed, amongst many many others:  The Cow and Tractor, The Horse and Groom, the Fox and Chickens, the Hay Bail, The Swan and Ducklings, The Farmstead, The Wheat Arms, The Plough and Farrow...and so our guesswork went on. Indeed, this borderline mesmerising lack of knowledge went on for a horrific fifty minutes until, replacement pints in, a colleague from work wandered in. Quick as a flash I asked "hey man, what is the name of that pub in Midhopestones outside Stocksbridge?"

After a quick thought he said "its the Midhopestones Arms".

And it was. I mean, I know it changed to the Old Mustard Pot and I admit I have no idea of its current status, but in effect myself and Mr P had spent an hour of our valuable drinking time trying to imagine the nomenclature of a pub in Midhopestones whose identity was given away by that fact alone.

 And then there is the amount of time it still takes me to remember crayfish......

I have, I feel I ought to point out, been receiving and engaging in substantial support from SCBIRT (The Sheffield Community Brain Injury Team, or similar) in Upperthorpe, and although I thought I struggled in the tests carried out they confirmed that my performance was of a high quality, and suggested I could regain almost all of my background memories in the next four years. I would very much like to still be writing in that time, as well of course, of subsisting on the abject malfeasance of alcohol.

In the meantime I would ask you to perhaps afford me a modicum of misrememberance. And mispelling. And indeed other grammatical missuses......

Your very best of health

Wee Beefy

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Shakespeares beer festival 2019

Hello chums,

       about three weeks ago I thought to myself "why don't I quickly write up details of that fantastic beer festival that I have just left at my second home?" Mind you - they were just thoughts. And after all what are thoughts? What are they, and what do they mean? Like birds, we'll never know. We will now, however, know what it was that I got round to trying at said event. It went very much like this.....

Arriving on Thursday I jokingly said how surprised I was that everything was available, including, as I picked it up,  the lengthy list of cellar and upstairs bar beers. Suffice to say that Chris was keen to point out that he dd not have time to joke as he was incredibly busy. He was right. The whole pub was absolutely rammed with tickers and other festival goers. I caught up in the back room with Rich and chatted to him, enjoying a pint of the excellent number one, an Abbeydale Brewery Shakespeares special at 6.5%. This was incredibly bitter and zesty, and I soon moved on to the wonderful cloudy Beatnikz Republic I love Simcoe, a 5% Simcoe triple hopped pale ale which was on top form on cask. I finished on the slightly expensive but still wonderfully drinkable Turning Point Demon's Eye a 7.1% ale marked as a DIPA but although too week for such a description it still packed a heck of a lot of punch.

From here onwards my knowledge of exactly when I had everything becomes distorted. So as I may have done previously I am going to make a list based on my excellent print out which I have been keeping safely ever since. Hence:

Cask from the past:

Anthology Azacca Dry hopped pale at 5% (downstairs)
Chapter Shadows 6% saison (downstairs and then upstairs)
Neepsend and Walkley Beer Co Ancillary On Sales  5.2% (downstairs)
Red Willow Guilless 4.2% one off cask (upstairs)
Steel City and Shakespeares - To BBQ or not to BBQ 7.4% (upstairs)
Steel City & Lost Industry & Boutilliers  Burn the Kirsch 6.66% Raucbier (Upstairs)
Beer Ink & Boutilliers 10/6 polish grodzizkie (Upstairs)        
Abbeydale Shakespeares Special #2  Thai Green Pale at 5.5% (downstairs)


St Mars of the Desert El Cameo 6.9% NEIPA
St Mars of the desert Winter on Mars 9.3% mixed fermentation Foeder
Omnipollo & Dugges Anagram Barrel Aged 15% - I only had a third!!

Although I visited about five times during and just after its worth pointing out that I had numerous pints of the Beatnikz, the Chapter and the excellent turning point. I was fairly refreshed by the time I left as were a lot of other visitors!

Overall I think the range was incredible - a few beers stayed on longer than the whole weekend but that is not to criticise their wares. This was a festival of weird rarities, super strong ones and excellent hoppy outings which I enjoyed considerably!

The only minor down side is that having it in December does regrettably entice the more grumpy drunkard, one of whom I spotted on the Saturday refusing to move his chair a few inches for my friends to get out easier than the clambering over the end of the settee which they ended up doing. But on the other side of the coin I bumped into many people I know very well and spotted many fine suppers of excellent beers along the way.

Well done to Shakespeares and its staff for organising a truly excellent event!


Wee Beefy  

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Monday night crackers

Good afternoon all,

              firstly I should confirm that this post title is not an admittance of some dreadful dreary dietary masterplan - indeed, since the subject has arisen, I can happily admit to not being in possession of any crackers at all.....instead this is merely details of three different venues visited on Monday night either side of a trip out towards Hillsborough to buy scran, as I understand people do......  

Meeting Tash on High Street we decided to nip quickly into Cavells, formerly the Blue Ball, if memory serves, for a quick drink and a catch up before heading to the supermarket. They sell a couple of real ales, and on my last visit this included a 5.7% Sheffield Brewed IPA which I had two pints of. Tonight, most likely as Monday is not a busy night, there was just Ossett Yorkshire Gold, so I had a pint and a half of this, whilst Tash had a large Sauvignon Blanc. Alas they close quite early on Monday so we only had time for that whilst listening to some interesting choices of Eighties pop - possibly chosen to remind thirsty customers like me and Tash that they would be locking up in twenty minutes. The Ossett was well kept and tasted fine, and am certain Tash enjoyed her wine.

Soon we were on the tram and got off at Primrose View before heading down the side of the Double H. Shopping took about half an hour and as always at Aldi it didn't cost us much to walk out with four large bags of essentials. As we have done the last four times, we nipped in the Hillsborough Hotel for a few, with more Sauvignon Blanc for Tash and I had two pints of Helmsley Brewing bitter Pale possibly called Howardian Gold which was very nice, along with a dark ale from Abbeydale which was also well kept, tasty and well priced. Although, it may well have also been their excellent Heathen on glorious keg - the same description still applies. Before leaving we got chatting to Tom for a while and found out quite a lot about their role in the community at this time of year and the food they offer. I think its fair to point out that they won't be opening on Mondays in the new year because not only is January a very quiet month but also the pub is too far from other similar types of boozer to attract sufficient trade to be open 7 days a week.

Some of you may know that I used to work at the Hillsborough Hotel when Del first had it back in the nineties. I used to love going in it then and despite one or two previous declines I have to point out that it has improved and continued in that same manner over the years since Tom took over it's running. With the improvement of the Gardeners and the continued excellence of the Blake, its a shame that more folk don't walk past and into the three on weeknights and weekends more often. I wouldn't want to see the temporary loss of any of those venues in the months ahead.    

After finishing and nipping back onto the Tram we got off at the Cathedral and walked round to the Museum for a last one. As I may have mentioned before they now sell Red Willow Wreckless pale ale on a regular basis which has improved their beer range considerably. Although we were close to last orders we still had time for a large drink each and a chat before I went out at 11.20 to catch the bus home.

I think what this shows is that despite its sometimes rubbishness many of Sheffield's pubs continue to try and strive on Mondays and all offer a selection of well kept pints to wash the palate out. If you are a drinker in our fine sunny city, or even if you live nearby or far away, I would recommend popping out on a Monday to breathe a bit of life back into Sheffield boozers and to help maintain Sheffield#s excellent range of ales at all times thereafter.


Wee Beefy