over the last few days, with my well earned break drawing to a a close, I have been out and about at some of my regular haunts, and some less well known, sampling what Sheffield has to offer.
Thursday saw me meet Brazilian football legend Janinio for a few pints. We started at Shakespeares, where she was on the Timmermans, and I started with ever reliable Deception. It always manages to be a great place for a catch up, with plenty of good beer.
The prime example of which was an excellent collaboration brew from two of my favourite breweries, Revolutions and excellent newcomers Brass Castle. Their dry Cool for Cats stout was one of my beers of the week, and just to make sure, I had a couple of pints of it. Although dry as I said, it had a roasted malt bitterness followed by a satisfying smooth creaminess, which matched my expectations of these two good breweries output.
Later we escaped to a different type of quiet in Dada, witnessing a stellar staffing line up of Emily, Steph and James. On the bar, once again, was the excellent Saltaire Cascadian Black which once more I had several pints of, although I also had a half of the Schlenkerla Rauchbier so that Janinio could try it, and which she seemed to quite like.
To my initial annoyance there was a "band" playing a mainly acoustic set later on, but I didn't mind too much as it gave me chance to take some pictures whilst enjoying the beer.
I was back in again on Friday after the food fest bar had closed. This time the band was on over a few hours so there was less chance to chat at the bar, i.e. none. However, the band were very good (pictured above) and I managed to secure a decent spot to take pics and enjoy more Cascadian Black and a bit too much Schlenkerla. I still much prefer a quiet Tuesday or Wednesday but my late night visit made a nice change.
I was in briefly Friday afternoon to meet Fluffy for a quick pint before he headed off to Manchester, to, amongst other things, find some despairingly poor pubs near Piccadilly. At the Tap it was Ilkley in the main, both the Sunny Republic and the Kirkstall Three Swords went off whilst I was there. I had two pints of the delicious Ilkley Dark, plus a rather odd cloudy half of their Dinner Ale, which states on the pumpclip is brewed to an original 1884 recipe.
It was nice to sit outside in the sun drinking dark beer, and also a good opportunity to try more of the Ilkley offerings on cask, which you very rarely seem to see.
The Sheffield Brewers Co-operative Craft Marquee, Sheffield food fest, Saturday.
On the premise of meeting some folks from the world of the Internet, and of course to warn up (literally) for the beer festival later, I was in a packed Peace Gardens around 14.00. There were queues at the bar for most of the time I was there, and the combination of crowds, stalls and delicious Sheffield real ales proved quite a draw, especially with the warm sunshine.
This time I was back on the Blue Bee Glitterati, and chatting to Andy from the brewery. I also had halves of Welbeck West Australian (and a pint as well) and their Red Feather. Alas, the only dark beer, Kelham Island Back to Black, ran out as I was buying Andy a pint. Doh!
One of the good things about this visit was that it afforded me the chance to study the festival programme, albeit mainly to assess what I was about to or had already missed, and also to unexpectedly bump into quite a few people - Fluffy was there, because his Mum got married in the Town Hall (so I am on a wedding pic!) as was Lou, and despite missing Redpola, I spotted Badpandabeers and MissieCindz from the world of Twitter. Real people eh? Donchajussluvvum?
It was also nice to see some more brewers behind the bar, although there were a lot there Saturday who'd done a shift Friday as well. Well done to them for finding the time to put in the hours behind the bar.
|Some, but not all, of Sheffield's brewing nobility|
Alas this dreamy sun-kissed drinking could not last, and I had to leave for the beer festival, but I can safely say that I have seen enough from this years Sheffield Food Festival to warrant a much more involved visit next year. Lets hope the breweries bar makes a return appearance as well.
That's all the news I have for now, stay thirsty and all the best