recently the 3 main political parties seem to have been simultaneously battling for and railing foolishly against beer and its place in society. While Chuka Umunna and Greg Mulholland were tweeting about the positive statements made in the parliamentary beer duty debate, Tyson posted here regarding Diane Abbot's ill informed out pourings about pubs and drinking, and lovable out of touch toff Iain Duncan Smith made "an hilarious" joke cum simile when he claimed "Labour wasted money like drunks on a Friday night".
Oh, stop it. The thing is Duncypops, we proles don't, for the most part, have bars selling discounted real ales at work, and so usually end up drinking after we finish toiling, usually on Friday and Saturday nights. And not out of choice but necessity, since we have to be up early for work during the week. So there.
Of course, the only effective way to fight ignorance like this is to prove the Quiet Man wrong. So, I subjected myself to a midweek tipple after work, just to spite him. See how you like this tale of recklessness, Iain Bunkum Smith! (do you see what I did there? I simultaneously implied that what he was saying was bunkum, i.e. rubbish, whilst changing his initials to IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He'd do well to learn from my wordsmithery, am sure you'd agree...)
But I digress.
Myself and Mr P started our night of subtle protest at the University Arms. From a decent range Mr P sensibly had a pint of the lower gravity Acorn Thirst Degree, whilst I had a pint of the Abbeydale Dr Morton's Anti Freeze. Another cracking Dr Morton offering, although one worries that these may soon supersede the core range in terns of market appeal and product desirability.
I also squeezed in a half of Vigilante Brewing Chocolate Strike, which one assumes isn't a euphemism, but is undoubtedly a very nicely balanced chocolate stout, with plenty of bitterness to counteract the unfortunate and unavoidable sweetness. Very nice.
Off next to the Bath Hotel where Steph was holding the reigns, and where Mr P had a pint of Thornbridge Warp and I tried a pint of the excellent Red Willow Heartless (which I'd sampled Saturday) along with the last of the Fathomless oyster stout. The Heartless is an excellent chocolate Stout, better even than the earlier lauded merits of the Vigilante offering. Made with 85% cacoa Colombian chocolate its a hugely tasty and satisfying drink which manages to pack in masses of flavour without becoming cloying.
Harrisons 1854 was our next stop, if nothing else so that Mr P could get to meet Bob, who he figured he may well know or at least know of from his ties with the world of engineering. One pint of Farmers Blonde (alas the Deception wasn't on) for me and a pint of Moonshine for Mr P later and we were clear on many things, including the fact that the beers were on good form, and Mr P did indeed recognise Bob from somewhere. The shrinking world of Sheffield encroaches ever further...
Our final (and my penultimate) stop was at the Red Deer where I can't recall Mr P's choice, but I had a pint of the Caledonian Double Dark. Trying it outside the comfort of its spiritual home at the Church House I am pleased to report that it was once again excellent.
My final stop after Mr P had reached his limit was DAda, where Ems and Annie were on hand to dispense beer and conversation Io a painfully quiet (well, I say painfully, but joyously so for me) venue. I had a pint of the excellent Amber Ales Derbyshire Gold and a half of Chiron to finish off before wending my way home for some food and a bit of telly.
In the end, I concede this exercise has probably had little impact on the life that Iain Duncan Smith lives in his privileged bubble, but I was once again contributing to the Drinkuary campaign. And, in my own small misunderstood way, quietly raising two fingers to the naysayers of wonderful British beer.