once again, not exactly a revelation, but an appropriate back story to a week or more of libations that I hope to record some details of here.
Recently myself and Matty and Tash have found ourselves in the Harlequin more often than usual. Its not that I have anything against the Harlequin, more that in the beginning of the month when I have actual money I tend to travel or go to my usual haunts. By this week, I largely pay for my beer on card. Its cash only at the Quin. Despite this on recent visits I found sufficient funds to invest in pints of Five Towns and North Riding Golden Years IPA, which we all had several pints of, along with Exit 3 IPA, and on my last visit, a very palatable pint of Blue Bee Motueka Pale Ale. Motueka is not a hop I encounter that often but there was a definite and interesting tang to this beer, which I assume is a Motueka characteristic. Decent value as well at £3.00 a pint for a 5% beer.
I haven't been to Shakespeares that much of late. I was in last night after the Ship, not partaking in but observing with interest the punters at, their inaugural gin festival. There have been a couple in Gatsby's and the Harlequin over the last year but I have never been tempted to go. Had Tash been better this last week I think we could have snook in for a taster or two. Last night I started with a pint of Brodies Steam, a half of North Riding Citra and a half of Blue Bee Ginger beer. Good to see that during the gin fest the beers were still top notch.
I sat in the back room and met Tracey and Tom, Phoebe and Tom and Sarah and Tom. This isn't, despite appearances, a bizarre four way, instead three couples. These lovely folks were at Shakespeares to see a man playing upstairs whose three names probably included Steven and Adams. Its always nice to meet new people and this was no different, hopefully all six enjoyed the gig. I went back afterwards for another half of the excellent Blue Bee Ginger beer, and to pay my tab - another excellent Shakesperian visit.
Talking of Gatsby, sort of, on Sunday after our jaunt to Ull and a coffee in Tamper Sellers Wheel, we went up to the Double G. Its never been my favourite venue but they usually sell two real ales and we fancied a change. They appear now to be permanently selling cask Saltaire Cascadian Black and Roosters YPA. Am not really a fan of either but ordered a half of YPA each for me and Tash. I assumed the cloudiness was a chill haze but even when they warmed up they were still hazy. I think it might have been the end of the barrel - at least I hope so, because £3.60 a pint is a lot for a duff beer.
After this we went and ate two portions of Kumara fries each in the Red Deer. They were having a bit of a Stancil fest, but there was a Brewsters and a Welbeck beer on as well. So me and Tash both had a pint or two of Welbeck Cubits Voyage, a 3.5% session ale using New Zealand Hops. I also tried a half of the Brewsters hopped Porter which was delicious. Am not a Stancil fan however so didn't have any of theirs, apart from a taste of the unfined Blonde.
We finished the night having several pints of Blue Bee in the Three Tuns Silver Street Head. The food menu has again reduced and Jamie was wearing his chef's hat, am not sure if this means another chef has left or not! Once again the ale was excellent, as were the pork scratchings, am just struggling to remember which Blue Bee pale we had. More of the same in terms of quality, when we popped in Wednesday to see Matty off to London with his friends Stuart and Phil.
By the way, Welbeck Abbey Brewery are opening their first Sheffield venue, a micropub on Ecclesall Road called Portland House. Their Facebook page described the venue, opening a week on Thursday 29 October, as a pub, brewery and cafe. Am not sure of the brewery details but I heard about their potential opening some time ago from one of the guys behind the project. Its tag line is a "Micropub without the gimmicks" so it will be interesting to see the results.
Bath Hotel news now - was in the redoubtable boozer Monday or Tuesday drinking one of the beers of the year. The Cloudwater 6.7% Autumn IPA on keg is a revelation - citrus, resinous, spicy hops on a warming malt background is my half arsed attempt at a description - either way it was a fantastic pint which me and Tash had one of each. We found out earlier in the day the pub had some trouble from drug and alcohol abusing molluscs who threatened the two female staff and generally caused havoc. Whilst I was walking down with Tash there was a massive argument going on across the road, and at one stage the front door was locked as a maniac was outside with a knife and a block of wood. Credit to the staff at the pub for working under this kind of pressure. Such a lot to deal with as well as meeting profit and sales targets.
A couple of visits to the Bankers Draft have shown some interesting ales including a mild, Purity UBU amber ale and Fatheads Yakima Sun, part of their ale festival. The Bankers is not my favourite place by a long stretch but is somewhere worth popping on for a coffee or soft drink or an ale, as I have done a few times of late.
Finally, the Sheffield Tap continues to offer some decent real ales. I popped in on Friday with Tash as she wasn't well and needed to sit down somewhere for a coffee - an extra large Cappuccino was £3.50 but am assured was delicious. I thought I would have a Fyne Ales Highlander, but at £4.00 a pint for a 4.5% cask beer said no - a similar strength Bad Seed Brewing Comet (I think!) was much better value at £3.40 a pint so i had a couple of pints of that. Always worth popping in to sample the real ales - just check the prices first.
That's all the news I have for now, am hoping to have a Sheffield beer festival write up next week!