less than a week ago I met Tash in town after work. It was a Monday night, and Christmas was fast approaching. The previous night we had been in the Rutland til late drinking and moshing after seeing a fillum at the picture house. Tonight we were meeting to enjoy a coffee. I didn't meet Tash until gone 19.00 and we'd both had a hard day. No prizes for guessing which decision we made then, about where to go...
I mean, am sure the Bath Hotel could have done us a coffee, but we didn't really want one. And when we got in Sheffield's only National Inventory pub and saw a Cloudwater Extra Special IPA on cask on the bar, it frankly seemed silly to have a hot drink. The Cloudwater IPA was 7.2% and on at what is a very reasonable for the Bath £4.20 a pint. I set up a tab, got us a seat and ordered two pints. We then spent a short time drinking and catching up with the staff. Followed by another short time....
Mark was working and possibly Paul. We sat at a table near the drinking corridor where Scott and Stef and Sean were chatting, next to what I imagine is one of the Bath's first Christmas trees - a bloke came in a taxi and said he had a spare one to give away so they accepted it and dressed it, naturally, in pump clips and baubles and tinsel. We wrote a card to the staff (at least, all those whose name we could remember) and handed it over before Scott came over and Stef, Scott mainly to wish us a very happy Christmas and New Year (you too mate). More pints of the excellent Cloudwater IPA were bought and supped. This was an outstanding IPA, and devilishly easy to drink despite its strength. Perhaps one of the beers of the year.
Tash had another chat with Stef and we were joined by Sean (other Sean) and Matty fresh from Meadowhell. He had bought bags of reduced price sandwiches and was doling them out amongst the four of us. He bought us more pints of Cloudwater IPA and we continued socialising. At some point, I lost one of my sarnies and some fish cakes - I understand they weren't found in the Bath so are probably rotting somewhere between the road and our front garden!
As time went on more IPA was bought and we were joined first by Pete Green who seemed a trifle refreshed, but was his usual friendly charming self, and also by Kat. More sarnies were doled out and the pub started to slowly empty whilst we ordered more pints of Cloudwater and Matty bought a number of people halves.
A final round of IPA's came our way before we bought shots of Lagavulin to finish on - I think actually Tash may have migrated to another drink by this stage but I finished on the Cloudwater IPA, over four hours after I started, and six pints down. What an amazing night. What an amazing pint!
Many thanks to Matty for his generosity and him, Tash, Stef, Sean, Pete and Kat for their company. Although I was, unsurprisingly, slightly zombified the next day at work, this was the best nights out all Christmas.
And in case am not back in again until 2016, I would like to wish all the staff at the Bath Hotel a very merry New Year. Here's to a prosperous 2016.