Sunday, 5 July 2015

Crookes valley of beer July 2015


          regular readers will note that I have written about this, the area and its pubs, a number of times previously. Whilst this is true, I wanted to tell you what me and Tash found when visiting the area last night.

We had been going to the Brothers Arms, by taxi with Norm. He, however, decided it was all too much of a frightful inconvenience to get in a taxi and get bought birthday pints, so insisted he wasn't going. So we decided to get a bus into town, and stayed on til Crookes.

We stopped first at the Cobden View. Usually there are regular ales plus 1 changing guest - Tash opted for a Bradfield Blonde and I a pint of 3.8% Wrights Bitter from SB Brewery - could this be Sleaford Brewery perhaps? Either way, it was a nice enough quaffable not particularly bitter...bitter. Although, coming past the other bar, we noticed Bradfield Sixer was also on. It was clear we wouldn't be staying for just one.

In the large beer garden they had been having a Family fun day. There were cakes for sale, competitions, there had been a BBQ and the beer garden was packed with drinkers and families. As you know, am not a fan of kids in pubs but I was impressed by this, nobody was pretentious or annoying or needy, everyone just sat around, happily chatting and supping.

As the band started playing I went in for two pints of Bradfield Sixer - it was £3.00 a pint. Excellent value at 6.0%. It was also bloody easy to sup, so 10 minutes later we were back for another couple of halves. So ended another enjoyable evening in the Cobden.

Off down to Commonside and the Hallamshire House, where the Man of Ash's claimed Cloudwater beers must have been in the cellar! However, he did have Blackjack Pokies on cask, and the excellent if pricey Kernel India export stout at 6.0% on keg. I had a half of that, Wee Keefy who had joined us was on Les's Bst and Tash was on Jaipur.

We sat in the room on the right and chatted about all sorts of things and as always happen in Commonside, bumped into somebody we knew, in addition to seeing Jo and Neil on the way down. Looking forward to getting back to try some Cloudwater ales.

Across the road we finished in the Closed Shop. Am not sure what we all started on but it was nice enough, just not especially hoppy. WK bought our next round and I had a pint of Blue Bee Reet Pale which is a favourite, and Tash went onto something unusual and strong tasting. The only problem I had was the whisky - I asked how much the Adelphi 25 year old was, it was £12.50, or £14.00 or who knows what else a shot. Initially however I was told ir was £7.00 so I ordered that.

Having been poured the shot Jasper admitted it was actually 5 years old, but 67%. Interesting though this was, it wasn't what I ordered so they gave me that for free and offered me another. I went for a shot of Tomintoul which I haven't had for years. I don't think it should have tasted as strong as it did however. It was terrible! Admittedly I should have taken it back, but never mind.

After last orders we wandered back to Wee Keefy's to see Carlos and YouTube videos and for WK tp give me a can of Polish Bock. It was very strong and not especially subtle - but would have been lovely in Winter.

So, with the upcoming reopening (or at least being bought by another owner) of the Springvale, it will be interesting to see if changes are made at any of the pubs above. Certainly the Cobden appears to have improved its range, as has the Hallamshire House, but am not as impressed as I used to be with the Closed Shop. No doubt, as with many of the pubs visited Friday and Saturday, a return visit is required.


Wee Beefy

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