Monday, 5 November 2012

Pubs, ex-pubs and patches.

Now then,

            I have a few droplets of beer news to share, what with it having been the weekend, as well as details of a beer splashed celebration.

I was out and about on Saturday with Wee Keefy celebrating Wee Fatha's 70th birthday. Chosen eatery was the Ladybower Inn, which I have reviewed before, here , and which does a rather fantastic bit of steak. I say "bit", am not sure this is accepted butchers parlance, but for the record, its fillet and its fantastic. Indeed, the last time Wee Keefy went he organised a trip with a few friends solely on the basis of the meaty delights.

That said, to focus on which is neither fair nor wholly comprehensive, in terms of the inn's charms. They also happen to sell five real ales, at usual Derbyshire prices of £3.00  a pint (although I was on the same all night so am unsure if that applies to all beers). Not only that, but on all three of my visits the beer has been in very good nick, and whats more, is usually in the main, locally sourced.

On Saturday the range was Ruddles County, Bradfield Farmers Blonde, Bradfield Poppy Ale, Acorn Barnsley Bitter and Howard Town Snake Ale. The latter was a pleasant well balanced pint, admittedly short of a hop or two, but interestingly perhaps more palatable than the incredibly pale (h) poppy offering from over the hill. All in all you can't escape the pub's food led intent (and we were glad of that on a special occasion) but I think its got to be worth a stop if you are in the area and after a well kept locally brewed beer.

Later that night I was deposited in town to try and search out Fluffy who was celebrating a mate's stag do. An early phone call and text did not help identify their whereabouts but I assumed at some point they'd be in the Rutland.

Starting at DAda, I was shocked to discover that someone was playing a selection of my CD's (if you're unsure what these are, they're like gramophone records or cylinders, or at least they carry the same outdated stigma if you are under 30). At least two of my ska collections had been borrowed whilst I was out, plus a few tracks I wished I had.

This pleasing smorgasbord of sound was washed down with pints of the excellent Fyne Ales Jarl, a beer I'd heard plenty of and seen none. Add to this some cracking olives and a half of yummy fruity Halcyon and this was a great start to my late night socialising.

Alas, no trace could be found of Fluff as the minutes ticked on and I set off for the Bath Hotel for just before 23.00 to find it less than busy. I avoided the hopelessly hopless Kipling and went instead for an Allgates beer that I forget the name of. It tasted fine in the tasting glass but its exposure to the pint pot made it tired and taste of biscuits, or cheap cornflakes. I decided, on the basis of being in a similar state of tiredness, to eschew the obvious draw of the Rutland and head home like a good boy.

In other news, what there is, I noticed that the long drawn out extinction of the East House on Spital Hill has reached a rueful conclusion, at least in terms of it remaining open as a pub. As with so many nearby hostelries, what one might describe as a change in the cultural demographic has seen Pitsmoor and Burngreave stripped of pubs. The latest fate to befall one is that the East House is now yet another "vital" Kebab shop, without who's contribution the very bedrock of Sheffield's trade and financial security would crumble. I can't see anything but further utilisation as an unlicensed premises from here on to be honest.

Finally, much gnashing of teeth proceeded news on Friday of the sale of a hangover cure patch in the UK. The Bytox patch makes some scientifically implausible and even at a casual glance highly dubious claims about wiping out hangovers before they happen by infusing the wearer with various vitamins and nutrients throughout the drinking period.

Apparently the product claims, in this report peppered by over reaction from do-gooders and joyless Methodists here, to do something that somehow enables users to therefore drink without effect. Hence, the reaction in today's  Mailtro letters page was full of the rather predictable moralistic outpourings from people convinced that this would lead to more drinking, and therefore directly the destruction of family life and the sanctity of the festive period.

The point they miss is that people who regularly drink absurd quantities of frol to the detriment of their families, ergo the people apparently harming the nation's children, will do so irrespective of the availability of this mugs game wonder cure. The only heinous aspect of its sale is that the company responsible  could potentially make money out of hocus pocus,  rather than as feared, from any forceful pushing of society into a mire of reckless ebriosity.

No doubt this new attack on family, and the church and the Easter bunny (erm, or some other story?) will only embolden those seeking to swipe aimlessly at every aspect of alcohol production, sale and purchase. How foolish they would feel if they realised that the attacks on the average man's drinking are already being led quite successfully by the Chancellor of the exchequer and the Pubco's!

How we cried in our pints....

Wee Beefy

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