last night I had the pleasure of being personally invited to attend an exclusive celebration at the Rutland Arms, Brown Street, Sheffield. Unfortunately my exclusive invite was hijacked by the a hundered or more of the great and the good of the drinking world, but I overcame my disappointment to attend and write this...
Arriving to find the pub unsurprisingly rammed, the first thing that caught my eye was the pumpclips. Every last one had been redone for the evening, with a variety of eye catching, bizarre and frankly ridiculous designs. The only minor downside to this was that you couldn't tell which beer was which - and even had I seen the list on the wall, it was far more fun asking the staff what each one was, with varying levels of success.
Luckily I quickly sniffed out a Dark Drake from Dancing Duck brewery, a favourite of mine lately, and one which went down pretty well. I saw Andy briefly, and got to meet nano-andy (babies are lost on me, seriously, although this is the first one I have looked at which hasn't cried, so that's a feather in my cap) before I eventually spotted the authoress K E Page, from the world of the Internet.
We managed to find a seat at the end of a table at which sat the loudest people on earth, and set about supping beer and catching up. In between times I got to the bar for more beer and spotted Dave U and Shaz, allowing me to get my blanket apology out of the way in case I'd said anything too boring or more likely heinously offensive on the train journey home. Seems am in the clear.
Pass the parcel followed, after a fashion, and I also departed from common sense and only went and bough a half of a Keykeg offering, on this occasion Bitches Brewing Graduate IPA, which was very hoppy and had a dry bitterness but with some redeeming balance in the aftertaste. It was far better once it had warmed up as well.
After a lengthy speech by Andy and everyone being given a piece of another flawless Rutland cake courtesy of Mike, came the bizarrest feature of the night - Joe standing on a chair whilst young folk batted a carrier bag with sticks until lots of sweets fell out. That really did happen, I kid you not.
Further sweets were handed out in bags during the rumbunctious revelry, and the celebrations got slightly more haphazard as the night wore on. Meanwhile Rich from Blue Bee arrived to squeeze into the corner I'd found to hide in, as I made my way through several more pints of delicious Drake, before finishing on a half pint of the Marble Ginger.
This was a great night out wih everyone being in high spirits without being idiotic, and it nicely symbolised whats weird and likable about the Rutland - odd occurrences, a sense of humour, excellent beer and food, along with great customers and staff. Roll on the glorious 4th!