recent activity surrounding beer and pubs has been frantic so am going to give you a few small tit-bits to try and cover all that's been going on.
BrewDog vs Asda
Asda recently put up the cost of the reduced strength Punk IPA to over £2.30 a bottle. Responsible you might think - but its still in the 3 for £4.00 offer. Once more Asda's alcohol irresponsibility reigns supreme - the less you buy, and the weaker alcohol in the beer you buy, the more expensive it is. Genius.
Shakespeare Gibraltar Street Shalesmoor
Work continues on the interior and upstairs rooms in particular, bookings are now coming in for bands to play in the large upstairs function room, where a bar is hoped to be installed in the future. A good range of local beers has always been available on my 4 visits so far, last night I had Abbeydale Deception, Spire Dark Side of he Moon, and not so local but the best of the lot, Hornbeam Black Coral Stout. The new signage is half up - one is waiting to presumably go on the side wall; and this identifies the pub as Shakespeares Ale and Cider House.
Welbeck Abbey Brewery
Continue to get their beers into Sheffield, having been seen at the Harlequin, Shakespeares (to reflect their new signage and differentiate between them and the Olde Shakespeare on Well Road Heeley ) and the Old House. Their First Brew was very quaffable at the Harlequin, and their low gravity session beer Henrietta at 3.6% was the stand out beer of an evening at the Old House recently. Me and Davefromtshop caught a pint of the surprisingly heavy ruby biter Red Feather at Shakespeares last week as well. Although they have excellent mentors and distributors in the form of Kelham Island brewery, its noticeable how quickly they have created a recognisable brand, and found that crucial consistency and quality. See their blog on this site or follow http://welbeckabbeybrewery.blogspot.com/
The flip side of the Welbeck story is the demise of short lived Doncaster brewery Toad, who have gone into liquidation. I rarely found their beers and I have to say that when I did I was likewise rarely impressed. Perhaps their apparent intention to supply the unusual/one off guest beer market caught them out - an over ambitious beer roster maybe contributed to a lack of consistency and a prevalence at beer festivals. A shame for South Yorkshire to lose a brewery though.
News of their impending conversion to luxury housing has drawn a few people together to visit - a friend of mine told me he'd met his now wife when she was working behind the bar there and was off for a final visit last week, meanwhile I have finally visited with Davefromtshop - his first visit, and let countless other people know through the debatable wonders of Facebook. Get to the Robin Hood before August Bank Holiday weekend and see what you'll miss.
Wick At Both Ends West Street Sheffield
Two recent visits have seen Sheffield Brewery Tramlines and Thornbridge Sequoia on hand pump, served in handled beer mugs as beer should be - top marks for that. As well as a decent range of music I was also able to experience some excellent bottles of Budels Alt and some offerings from Goose Island brewery. The only drawback is - no beer menu! Sort us a list out The WABe and more people will buy your range of beers.
Old House Devonshire Street
Table service is on offer at the Old House and some very very nice food at sensible prices for the quality provided. Flowers IPA, a beer enigma in that you can rarely be sure where its brewed or by whom, along with Bradfield Farmers Stout, seem to be regular features on the bar now, with the total number of handpumps increased to 5. Drinks offers on Weekdays until eight and large for small wines until nine mean it needn't be extortionate to drink their either.
Tramlines festival beers
I got to a few pubs at Tramlines - more pubs than I saw bands actually, and sampled some decent beer along the way. The Abbeydale Deception at Harrisons 1854 was in fantastic form, perhaps helped by its quick turnover with the venue 8 thick at the bar at times. The Red House was offering two beers including Hancocks HB and Marstons EPA, Shakespeares of course had the biggest range of those tried and I had a very nice pint of something low gravity and pale from Acorn, then there were about 5 beers at CADS in Shalesmoor for the blues and ale festival, including the Tramlines beer and Brimstone from Abbeydale. Our final stop was the Red Deer which was offering, from a range of 7, a very nice pint of Moorhouses Blonde Witch, and serving til gone midnight - showing you can get decent real ale after 11PM.
More news soon, and, I promise, more of my Scotland adventure...