Monday, 22 May 2017

Milliguin at the Red Lion Inn, Wensley

Hulloo

       Its a good guess that very few readers will have been to the pub, sunk the "special" in the post title, or indeed have ever been to Wensley itself. For those who have not, a local song proclaims:

"At Winster wakes there's ale and cakes,
At Elton wakes there's quenchers.
At Bircher wakes there's knives and forks,
At Wensley wakes there's wenches"

Songs eh. What do they mean? In this case, perhaps something, but only from long in the past. I hope that has helped you gain an understanding about the local area. Although I doubt it has.

In more recent times, the post the title may raise a few questions - unless you actually went to this pub, which closed in or around 1998. I went in the 1990's having discovered to my surprise that the Crown, a coaching inn with a renown for food (according to Wee Fatha)  that stood in the square set back from the road had closed many years ago (seems in the late 1980s). Anybody who visited that pub, as well as this pub in its latter years, would probably be surprised that it was the Red Lion that persisted. Maybe not as surprised as I was by what I found.

Before continuing I am grateful to the National Inventory of Unspoilt Pub Interiors website, a link to which is here , the Wensley Peak District Villages website, an entry by Tom Bates on his "about Derbyshire" website which confirmed some of the pubby facts, and general comments on the tinterweb, for being able to expand on my single and my brother and Ray.L.F's single visit, to the pub. Its always good to find out more about a pub and its history and surroundings.

Wensley, it seems is a name derived from Woden, a Norse God of War. Its not clear how a small village between Darley Bridge and Winster was afforded such a moniker but it is, as am sure you are aware, not the only Wensley in the UK. Wensley Dale, a tiny fissure in the grand landscape, runs alongside the village. Having entered Wensley through that dale, I can safely say that footpaths aren't, and heinous sumps of mud are, prominent features. And prior to a little research, that and my visit to the Red Lion was almost everything I knew about the village.

Winster, Darley Bridge and nearby Elton are beautiful villages with Winster and Wensley sharing some similar features, namely a network of alleyways, snickets and undriveable tracks to link the houses. The other three also boast excellent pubs so its a shame that Wensley no longer has any. Am not sure in fact that other than a post and telephone box the village provides any services to the traveler. It is however well worth a stroll around, or rather along, to admire the architecture. You can always get a drink nearby.

On my visit myself and my companion had got lost following a public footpath from Bonsall Moor and had arrived with muddy hands and even muddier boots. A sign in the Red Lion doorway instructed us not to take our boots off, but to place them into plastic bags before we entered the premises. Am not sure if we did, I think we risked leaving our clodden footwear in the porch and went in our socks.

The interior was, I would assume, 1950's. There was cushioned seating, and coach station cafeteria style steel tables with formica tops. There was a lot of red, and an old Mackeson advert on the wall. Two old couples were in having sandwiches and pots of tea. A glance at the menu showed all sandwiches came with beetroot. Even the beetroot.

My companion and I went to the loos - she came out to ask for some water as there was none in the Ladies, and was passed a bowl of warm water from behind the bar to get the mud off. I ran the trickling cold tap to tackle mine. I can't remember what she had to drink, but I had a can of Youngers Tartan Special, as all the fonts were covered, apart from maybe one. We sat down at a table and briefly perused the beetroot heavy menu before asking one of the couples how far it was to anywhere more, um...foody. Or which served draught beer.

It seems the couple running the pub were not - they were Brother and Sister. The pub was no smoking from 1968 which is in my experience very unusual, and was at one time linked to the farm next door. I took one photograph whilst in the pub and the landlady reacted as if I had taken a bus to Be-elzebub. My excuse of snapping my companion at the time did not wash it seemed. After enjoying our interesting choice of drinks we left, never to return.

Wee Keefy and Ray.L.F visited a year or two after us, and this is the first I heard about the legend that was Milliguin. WK would have probably opted for a soft drink - they did have a working milkshake making machine after all, but Ray.L.F was to try the "special". Milliguin, since you ask,  is a half a pint of Guinness and a half a pint of milk in a pint glass. Am guessing you probably have to drink it quite fast because the milk would likely curdle. As something of an alcohol enthusiast and sure this presented no barrier to Ray.L.F. I am not aware that he had more than one however. Having drunk late at night in the Farfield when it was part B&B with guests in their pygamas, am also willing to bet that nothing about this pub seemed strange to him.

This was a very unique pub and one which I was very glad I visited. Its similar, if only in it's unusual idiosyncrasies, to the Three Tuns, when run by Lucy in Hay on Wye, the Sun in Leintwardine Herefordshire, and the Seven Stars at Halfway House in Shropshire. All remnants of a simpler and now seemingly forgotten style of pub.

If any readers know of any unusual, unspolt or just completely unmodernised pubs in the UK, serving beer or milk related beverages, then please do let me know.

With kindest regards


Wee Beefy




Thursday, 18 May 2017

A few pints

This, dear readers,

           is hopefully the only time I will have to tell you about naughty forbidden drinking whilst on meds. Less meds, admittedly, but still while am taking 8 Flucloxacillin a day.

I discovered early on that even having just a half a goblet of wine whilst on both sets sent my head into a whirring spinning myriad of angles and pain so was relieved in some ways, since I knew that would deter me if I ever wanted to try some beer whilst on my medication. However, now on my second week of enforced sobriety, I have been out on four occasions. I have had a few pints therein. I have felt OK, eating each time, but am acutely aware that this will have impacted on the effectiveness of my meds.

Having now come off daily IV antibiotics at the hospital I have gone out twice from a total of four. I realise this is foolish, so, to get over that, I thought it best to admit my failings and celebrate what  I have quaffed over the last six days.

Saturday I came into town on the X5 (a little walk but fast) to meet Tash and we went to the Old Queens Head. No Abbeydale alas, but they did have Emmanuales Ryejoice Pale on at about 5%. I got a bottle of Hartridges ginger beer and a pint of that and a wine for Tash and we sat outside in the sunshine. It was a lovely real ale, with a well balanced rye flavour and hops.

From here we walked up to the Rutland. They had recently had their Dry and Bitter Tap Takeover on and there were still three of their beers on sale. I had thought they were Norwegian but it seems they are Danish. Here is a link to their website to find details of their ales. They appear to be rated very highly on ratebeer and the two I tried were impeccable. I started on a half of Blue Bee which I recall was a single hopped pale but not which, and a half of the Dry and Bitter Uprising, a glorious 6.5% East and West Coast style IPA with mosaic and simcoe.

We sat in the beer garden to drink these, Tash with a pint of Damson cider, and really enjoyed them both. The Uprising was frankly wonderful, perfectly balanced and dryly hoppy. We finished our short visit inside where, despite confusing a member of staff by asking what was left from Dry & Bitter (and being helped out by Christy) we had a pint of the Dry & Bitter Fat and Fruity, a 6.2% pale with mosaic, simcoe, eukanot and citra and added oats and wheat. Sister brew to Dank and Juicy, this was a fantastic easy drinking and tropically fruity pale which went down a treat.  Well done to the Rutland for sourcing these beers for their recent tap takeover.

On Sunday I was out with Tash and Wee Keefy in Derbyshire visiting our Canadian Aunt and Uncles Jill and Mel. Its great to see them for the first time in a few years and having sat in the sunshine for a bit we headed into Ashover to the Old Poets Corner. We had a fantastic Sunday carvery and I had two pints - Ashover Font which was dry and hoppy, and the Littlemoor Citra. Both pints were kept in perfect condition, as was the Ashover dry cider that Tash had.

On Tuesday we met Matty in the Old Queens Head. Alas the Ryejoice was struggling by this point, and was ready to be taken off so I switched from that pint to a half of Pilsner Urqell and a pint of Wainwrights. Both were kept well and this was an enjoyable two hours spent with the Nedveds.

My final splurge came yesterday. Not related to the grim doom of Wednesday losing on penalties (shudder) but based on my wandering in Shakespeares at 15.30 and staying til nine ish. Am not proud. It was insensible. Although, I did enjoy it.....

I started on a pint of the Crate APA on cask and a half of the Howling Hops DIPA on keg. The Crate was marvellously refreshing. I sat with Charlie Steward and Walt and we mused over all and muchly for a while before Matty joined us. I got him a pint of the Shiny IPA at 7.0% and myself another half and he a first of the excellent Howling hops DIPA. I really like the Howling Hops output I have to say, and this DIPA was sublime, hoppy and fruity.

A further half followed as well as the same of Northern Monk Tropical Death Party Black IPA. I was joined now by Richard who promised to chide me about my nonsensical decision to drink. He did right of course. It didn't spoil my evening though. I finished on a bottle of kernel and a can of Magic Rock Grower owned IPA at 6.0% before heading home.

Am now abstaining from booze for a week at least and I remain completely aware of my decisions. Luckily, I also remain as aware of the joy I felt at sharing such ales with my friends and family, both close, extended, and pub based.

Thanking you all for your continued and appreciated support whilst I try not to drink in lovely sunny Sheffield.

Cheers!

Wee Beefy

Friday, 12 May 2017

Old Queens Head Pond Hill

Now then,

      I first went into the Old Queens Head in 1994. Or 3. Or before. Myself and Rob Noble were about to head out on a public transport omnibus to Yorkshire Bridge to scale the hill and walk down into Hope and we nipped in for a quick drink. It was old. The pub that is. The beer was probably Stones or similar (am sure they sold the cask version of Bass Light during Euro 1996) and the pub did not present much else to remember.

Since then I had nipped in a few times and found the pub OK but not prepossessing, serving better beers since Thwaites took it over, and previously having enjoyed bottles of the 9% Gales Old Queens Head Celebration Ale when the refurbishment was completed in 1994 when I went in with Mark. You know Mark. Yorkshire lad. Works in St Albans. Knew Suooz.....

Anyhoo, two or three years ago the lease or management of the pub was taken over for Thwaites bewery by Czechs. They did a rather fab job of cleaning it up, introduced better kept cask ale, and guests from outside Thwaites range (am thinking Bowland Hen Harrier) and as well as generally running the pub well also introduced traditional Czech food on Mondays. I have never eaten Czech food anywhere else so can't vouch for its authenticity but having eaten there three times now I can vouch for its quality. Matty took us all for a meal on his pay day last month - I had goulash with onion and potato dumplings and it was divine. The dumplings look like thick cut bread but as well as being incredibly filling are also the lightest I have ever tasted.

The main angle on this post is what I supped with that food, and on numerous other recent occasions. The Old Queens Head is now able to source and sell local real ales. Its always sold good quality Thwaites and excellent Pilsner Urqell but as well as a Blue Bee Chinook Red (to be pronounced in credibility leaching East Lancashire accent) they have concentrated on beers from Abbeydale brewery.

Abbeydale Hopfenweiss was the first I know of, which is a bold style for a new brewery to them, and was followed by the impeccable Black Mass and the delicious Abbeydale Absolution. The Old Queens Head now serves an excellent and ever changing range of quality cask ales to add to its already impressive portfolio. I understand they are chuffed to bits to be able to do this. In my opinion the freedom to source locally has been hard won and deservedly awarded.

In terms of details of the pub, I would suggest you go in and get a pint of quality Sheffield cask ale and look around the numerous pictures for information. One thing I can remember is there was alleged to be a tunnel all the way to the pub from Sheffield castle wide enough to drive a horse and cart down, which was used to transport Mary Queen of Scots. That, however,  is about all I have. This is principally due to gaps in my memory about the age of the pub. These gaps start at the beginning of the building's life and end about three years ago. In that time the pub has become a regular stopping off point for myself and Tash and Matty and we go there to relax and chat and now to eat. Mention must go, I insist, to the traditional garlic soup. I love garlic, and so does the writer of the recipe. Its immense.

I hope the current team continue their management of this boozer for a long time to come, and that the original sections of this ancient building, though altered, can be kept as preserved as they currently are. Most crucially, I hope they can continue to source local real ales, making this another excellent and convenient pub of choice.

Cheers!

Wee Beefy

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Drinking in the Drink Inn

Hello folks,

        I thought it about time that I made you aware of my experiences of the above activity, which prior to the unending death of medically engineered sobriety, took place quite regularly. I have to say, as well as being a thoroughly decent boozer, my visits are partly a tribute, especially not being keen on the Bankers, to the Three Tuns. It seems that their closing has impacted strongly on my drinking life, not least my trying the Drink Inn. Sure I still see Nate as he now works in the cradle of greatness which is Shakespeares, but I probably popped in the Tuns every other day....

Anyhoo, at the beginning of April I was orf to see Tash and waited 65 minutes for a number 40 to not bother showing up, so headed into town on the X5, alighting on Commercial street. Thirsty, after the near nine minute journey, I decided to pop in the Drink Inn. Having heard on Faceache that it sold mainly Carling and Bradfield I wasn't holding out much hope for decent beer but of course, ye Faceachers pulleth mine leg. Though reserved, there are a fine selection of slurps in the Drink.

I noticed he had a new-fangled keg ale on as well as some decent cask - I had a half of the Sheffield brewing Co Seven Hills on account of not having had any for a while, and a whole pint of the Beavertown Gamma Ray. To be fair, the Gamma Ray was over a £1.00 a percent at £5.60 for a 5.4% beer - so near Dev Cat or Sheffield Tap crazy prices, but it was my first visit and after being questioned carefully about what I wanted I decided to bite the bullet and gulp the juice. It was, in case of doubts, delicious. There's even a link here to details about it. I also quaffed a can of Wild beer which was on offer at something inexpensive, alas in the time since, I have forgotten its moniker....

My next visit saw me in for a quick one with Matty on his way to WF's. We each had a pint of the Hawkshead Great White cloudy wheat beer at 4.5% and £3.50 a pint. It occurred to me that this was also slightly pricey but in fact, you can hardly get any pint for under £3.50 in much of Sheffield now. The Drink is quite central after all, and being a micropub, relies on a small stock to get by. The Great White, by the way, was in absolutely excellent condition and went down far far too easily.

My third and fourth visits, with Tash both times, saw them running short of stock re wines, which is a shame, since Tash drinks more wine than anything else these days. That said, the gentleman did us a deal and charged us less for the more expensive one when the other ran out. I also had a fantastic can of BrewDog Neon Overlord chilli IPA, which I understand was quite difficult to get hold of. Despite the fears of Meathouse, this was very tasty and the chilli did not overawe. During the snooker finals a man came in claiming to be an American tourist who sang a couple of sings, although, it seems, on his last visit he had been Irish....

Our last visit together saw more wine shortages but Drone Valley Treeshekker dry cider was on so I think Tash had that and some lovely gin and tonic. This s also where I finally ran out of credit on my lovely card which I never had niver. A final stop off with Matty and Tash saw us enjoying Gamma Ray and some from a cask, which would have had a name, you know, in order to differentiate it from other products. We also had some rather fab Hobgoblin crisps from Burts.

The Drink Inn is deceptively large as there is seating at the back next to the bar, and has its own branded glasses. The beer has always been well kept and he keeps an interesting range of cans and bottles form microbreweries. The man himself is from Nottingham and has a name, I dunno, Rob, Richard, Pete, Ethel, one of those, or of many others. Since I normally call him Ay up it scarcely matters. Tash had a chat to him every time she was there and he seems like a decent genuine bloke. He told me they get big crowds for events and on matchdays so its well worth selling Carling as that is the most popular drink. A sensible business decision.

As soon as am off meds I will be popping into the Drink, in more ways than one, as soon as I can. In the meantime I wish man from Nottingham with a name all the very best, and hope you will also pop in for a drink. At the Drink Inn.

You very bestestest of health


Wee Beefy

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Four Degrees

Now then.....

       no Lazerngennulmurn, this is not a post about a discalculate soul pop covers band, instead it is my musings on a rather magnificent collaboration IPA in a can which I purchased and supped before entering "the dark time" of no frol. Please find hereafter some observances about said luponic compound.

The first thing to mention is Boak and Bailey, erstwhile beer blogging legends, successful authors,  and persons who create a host of reactions queries and debates from readers by writing in a concise but simultaneously voluminous style. I ramble, Boak and Bailey subtly, but intentionally, ask numerous questions in 30 lines. Its quite a skill.

Years ago, in the past, they wrote a brewery map or family tree starting with Kelham Island and Thornbridge breweries. There is a link to the PDf about Kelham here. Using the much over-relied-upon meter of "facts" they sewed together a tapestry of links between the starter brewery and where their former brewers had since gone. Kelham Island, it seemed, had certainly set a lot of brewers careers in motion.

It was interesting therefore to find that the 4 Degrees of Separation IPA was based on a reunion of the current and three previous brewers at Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield. Especially given that one of the founders of Abbeydale Brewery, Patrick Morton, used to work at Kelham Island Brewery and was featured in that very same article. Abbeydale may not be a brewing family tree, but it certainly has notable links between some excellent and talented brewers. The brewers involved in this were Abbeydale, Magic Rock, Northern Monk, and Siren Craft. All worked or brewed at Abbeydale in the early stages of their career and as the list above illustrates, have since gone on to start successful enterprises of their own.

Alas the can has insufficient space (although it features amazing artwork from Yasmina Kontiki) to tell you whom it is from each so am going to guess that Stuart Ross of Magic Rock was one, since he brewed in Sheffield - I know he did at Crown and am willing to guess he did at Abbeydale too. A prize of the joy of knowledge goes to anyone who can name the other two....

Its great that Abbeydale have branched out into the kind of full on, hop laden, citrus hop smack, fruity, cloudy, and dryly bitter IPA's that I drink so many of these days. Its better still that this type of production sits so comfortably in its portfolio along with Moonshine, Deception and Absolution. Abbeydale produce cask, keg and small runs of cans (I understand they hired a canning machine for this) and whilst they may brew more cask than anything else there is no detectable "battle" for style supremacy. What they have done is forged ahead into new areas of beer style and production, whilst remaining united behind all their products.

As a footnote to this, since you are probably justifiably expecting it, the beer was fantastic. It was very very easy to drink, cloudy, or as I call it "London opaque" (thanks Nate!) and had a wonderful lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.  From memory (AKA the can) I can recall tasting Amarillo, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy in the heady hoppy mix. That last line is simultaneously accurate and dishonest. Not because I couldn't taste any of the hops listed on the can, but because I had to look on the can to remember....

I did like as well that its initial flavour was slightly less juicy hopped than I was expecting but soon became overwhelmingly fruity and dry as I supped. It was a darkly orange 7% IPA of deliciousness, and the glass of it probably lasted me about 15 joyful minutes. A great testament to the drinkability and wonderful balanced flavours in the beer.

I understand some may still be for sale in Sheffield but I also understand it was a limited production  line so I would recommend that you grab some whilst you can. Well done to Abbeydale for not only setting the three protaganists on a career in brewing, but also bringing them back together to treat us to a fantastic IPA, made, of course, in sunny Sheffield.

Your very bestest of healths!


Wee Beefy

A Monday trundle

Hello,

      last Monday, when I could both walk, and consume alcohol, I decided to fill in the time I had orf in a useful and productive manner.  That Monday I decided to utilise some of my hard earned overtime payments to go for a little wander around some pubs which are good. Here are some shards of the memories of that short but slake-d hike.

I started in Crookes and was delighted, after checking, to find the Punch Bowl was open. To be fair, Faceache had told me they were reopening on the Wednesday and I assumed this was not a one off so decided that any stumble should start there. The Punch Bowl layout has not changed, they still do Reet Pizzas and they still employ some of the same staff. They are however, run on a tenancy at will or similar sounding arrangement with Greedy King and have less access to decent ale. It having just been Bank Holiday weekend, as the exhausted manager told me, they had sold most of the better ales and were awaiting a full delivery to top up. I did, however, have a very decent pint of Harvest Pale.

The pub is being run by that man with short black hair who used to work at the Tuns and the Punch Bowl previously. He had a name, but had taken a break when I left so didn't have chance to ask him what it was. It likely comprises of sounds. The man who has short black hair and whose name likely comprises of sounds is hoping to take the lease on long term but in the meantime is running the pub, quite successfully, based on the first five days evidence. I would therefore encourage you to get up there and support him and his colleagues and the pub. Alas the Closed Shop has yet to reopen for various reasons which I won't make up, so that changed my planned route slightly.

Down Crookes and Western Road is Slinn Street and the Princess Royal. I noticed on the way to Crookes that the Uni Arms does not open on a Bank Holiday Monday. That is interesting since I know they are forbade from Sunday opening without the permissionn of their would be demolishers but this is surely a Monday? It seems the mystery of Bank Holiday Mondays is always how pubs and transport will treat them re hours of service. Luckily the Prinny was open irrespective, and I had a pint of Stancil Stainless from a range of three or four. The Stancil was very well kept and tasted fantastic and I supped it sat in the bay window area to the left, in this wonderful and largely unspoilt back street pub.

Off down Fir Street next and then down to Daniel Hill and the Blake. I had a very tasty pint of Shiny Equinox from a slightly underwhelming range, but this was on excellent form so I didn't mind. I sat by myself in the room on the left and tried to recharge my phone whilst relaxing with my pint and some lobster crisps. Get me! On a trip to the loo I noticed a bin ends list so my next drink was a can of the Vocation Divide & Conquer, a 6% or more black IPA. This was  a bargain at £3.50 and went down really well. Another excellent if less often visited boozer.  

Down the hill next and through luck and guesswork I found my way through the housing estate to the Hillsborough Hotel. I haven't been to the Double H for some time and was relieved to find that Tom was behind the bar when I got in. A pint of Wild Weather Ales APA at 5% and £3.10 a pint was had and I went to sit in the conservatory and soak up the warmth whilst arranging to meet Matty for a quick drink.  The Wild Weather was also on top form, continuing a theme of beers at the pubs thus far.

Off down the main road to the Wellington next. I sat in the room on the right supping and listening in on the numerous conversations in this excellent pub. I may well have had a pint of the Neepsend Amarillo but to be honest I stopped recording my drinks by this stage so its not clear what I had. To be fair, am willing to bet a slab of money that it was pale and hoppy - and delicious. Alas a lack of real funds meant I could only stay for one.

My mind tells me I also nipped into the Kelham Island Tavern. I am genuinely not sure if this is true. I know I needed the loo so would definitely have popped in somewhere first, and where I could have used a card terminal so the KIT fits the bill. In here, if I was, I would have had a drink from a pint glass and supped it down my throat.

My final stop was at Shakespeares. On my keg line, which I own, obviously, they had put on Firestone Walker American thingymadoodle or similar. I tried it but wasn't impressed. In the absence of any strong hoppy cask to tempt me I opted to buy myself and Meathouse a can of Magic Rock Psyhcokinesis IPA each in a 500ml can. We sat in the clock room and very much enjoyed our wares.  An excellent way to finish a crawl of some excellent boozers between Crookes and town.

Huzzahs for the bars, in shiny, sunny, Sheffield.


Cheers!

Wee Beefy
 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Drinking tea in Shakespeares

Hello,

            its important at the early stage of this post to confirm the above was not me. I do drink tea, yes, but that is one of many things that I do at home that I do not undertake in Shakespeares, or indeed any other pub. Trimming my facial hair, cleaning my teeth and stroking Benny* are a few others.

Anyhoo it was after overtime and two couples came in and the two Ladies of the group expressed concern at drinking more beer in another pub and it was, perhaps by them suggested they had a cup of tea. Chris said this could be done. All of a sudden they seemed quite embarrassed. Sensing their unease I decided it would help if I calmed them down. So I said "Its OK you are the second and third customers I have seen order a cup f tea in here. In six years.....

The group were from sunny Scunny and comprised Dave, Lee, Kate and Katrina, or another female name with a "c" or a "k" at the beginning. Or, it could be none of these. They had nipped into sunny Sheffield for a days drinking and were heading for the BrewDog bar next. Having established that they could now receive emails alright I had quite a good chat with them.

I was on Kernel Mosaic IPA at 7.1%. In a surprising development, it was chuffing ace. Cloudy, or as I now say "London Opaque" and absolutely bursting with hoppy juicy bitterness from the Mosaic. This was, quite frankly, an excellent pint. I had three just to make sure, along with a Red Willow Wreckless (or similar) at 6.6%. Although I had this first and enjoyed it, this could not match the excellence of the Kernel.

I had been drinking the same the night before on payday. Am fairly certain that I didn't have anything else to drink that night, apart from a pint of the Blue Bee Eukanot and two of the Hopjacker Beer House pale at the Bar Stewards. They have finished their stint of temporary licences and are well on their way to securing a full or at least long term license to sell bose. I wish Al and Charlie all the very best in their future operations at the micropub.

I went there three times this weekend, once to start, once to take Wee Keefy who had never visited before (and according to his camera to have a mini Beefdoze) and once for a pint and a bottle of Augustiner Edelstoff lager to take to Mr P's. A fantastic beer if you have not tried it.

My last mention this month goes to the Drink Inn micropub on Commercial street. One of the side effects of the Three Tuns closing is there are very few places to go near the tram line which serve decent real ales and aren't the Bankers. he Drink Inn fits the bill perfectly. I have probably been in about four or five times in the last month and enjoyed it every one. Especially the can of BrewDog chilli IPA that I tried.

Well worth popping in for a taster. As the Bar Stewards will be when they reopen in a month or three's time. Huzaah!

Cheers

Wee Beefy


*Benny is a cat.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Revisiting Derby

Hello Ladies and Lentilmen,

     yesterday I took Matty to Derby for the first time. Its not the first time he has been, but the first time I have been with him to share my knowledge of its frankly excellent boozers. To make a change, I decided we should go to some new pubs for the very first time. Here are some details and guesswork about what we found.

We had intended to get to the Derby about 11.00 as Matty had to be in back in Sheffield for 19.00. In the end we were delayed by his long phone call to the leccy and we met at about 11.15. Soon on a train we arrived just before midday and headed straight for the Station Inn on Midland Road. It was closed. It was gone midday. This was a poor start.

Round the corner and down back streets took us to the Brunswick, one pub Matty definitely remembers drinking in on his previous visit. Here he had a pint of Brunswick Rocket at 4.8% and I halves of Kreft Brewing  Belgian Pale and Driftwood Spa Brewery JCS, a hoppy, Cornish, pale. By Cornish standards, there was quite a lot of hop in there but the Kreft was better. Matty got a discount as a CAMRA member, although despite him buying all 3 drinks am fairly sure mine was not. I don't mind, but that does seem a little picky if so. We sat in the room (one of) on the left and supped and planned our next destination.

In a surprising move we ended up in the Alexandra. I really like this pub, and as usual there was an excellent range of ales to choose from. I had a pint of Dark Star Revelation on account of it being fab and Matt a Lenton Lane Bluebird at something sensible like 4.2%. We also had a pork pie each, before realising that there was a range of scotch eggs including black pudding flavoured. We got chatting to a man who used to work at Rolls Royce, who had a name. He definitely had a name.

We headed off into town next and made our way through the streets to Friargate. I haven't been in this part of Derby for a while but found it easy enough, and as we walked along Matty let out a huge, happy, deep breath at seeing a craft beer and board games pub. Despite my concerns, we went into Alchemy, which used to be the Friargate I think, and while Matty got a bottle of Dancing Duck DCUK I had a pint of Franciscan Well Chieftain Irish pale. Its the first time I have tried a beer from this brewery and it was very pleasant. I also paid for a half and got a pint, so no qualms on price!

Just up the road is Suds and Soda, a "joint" recommended by Nate from the Shakespeares which delivered on all counts. There were 6 keg beers on from far and wide, most of which we tried. They also sell a rather excellent rang of cans and bottles from small brewers, mainly UK and European. It is, I have to say, rather bloody fab.

I had halves of the Belching Beaver orange and vanilla IPA at 6.9%, and the Les Brassuers Du Grand Paris Citra and Galctique IPA at 6.5%, from Paris. Matty had the Lost Industry Peach melba Yoghurt Sour at 5.7 and the Twisted Barrel Hmmm at 6.5%. All four beers were in excellent condition and offered a range of styles - its not every day you see a genuine French IPA. Matty also got a bottle of the local Neonraptor Brewery Endangered bourbon porter. I understand the shop does the publicity, maybe including artwork, and also distribution of this small breweries output. Its certainly not a beer I have tried before. An excellent place to go for a drink in Derby.

Up the road next to the Last Post, micropub. Having missed it last time I was pleased to find it this, and it did not disappoint. The pub sells four or five real ales and a couple of kegs in the tiny bar area which must seat about 15. Out the back is a fabulous suntrap garden where I went for a sunbathe with my pint of what may have been Stockport Brewing Cascade. It was definitely one of the four beers that were on....

Matty loved this pub as the regulars were so friendly and knowledgeable, and recommended two nearby pubs which we tried. Definitely a venue I will be revisiting.

The Woodlark was the first of the pubs recommended which we visited and in here we had a drink of beer - each. I can't remember which pub was which in terms of beer range between this and the White Lion (or Golden, or Red Lion....)* but in one of them we had pints of Tiny Rebel pale ale. We sat in the beer garden soaking up the sun whilst Matty delighted in telling me that the mighty Wednesday were losing to Derby. Only after we returned to the main road back into town did he tell me we had won. He a funny guy.

Our penultimate stop was the Flowerpot where my phone camera tells me I had a sandwich. We each had a pint of Oakham Green Devil here to dispel our disappointment of how it tasted on Friday night in Sheffield. Matty was suitably persuaded that this was an excellent beer, served in an equally excellent pub.

Our final stop was the Alexandra, again, where we had more beer and a black pudding Scotch egg, which met and perhaps exceeded our expectations. An absolutely excellent range of snap as always in the Alex, and a brilliant way to finish our crawl of Derby.

Its always been a favourite place of mine to nip to for a quick booze up, and after twenty two years of doing so its good to see that having visited five new pubs in Derby there is still plenty to discover, and much to enjoy in this fabulous city of pubs and ales.

Cheers!


Wee Beefy

*the Lion of many unspecified colours was the Golden Eagle, so Matt tells me. But whadda arr norw......

Friday, 14 April 2017

A fantastic Sheffield pub crawl

Hello all,

       apologies for the delay in posting, have had a few issue to deal with of late, not least my overdraft being taken off me and me slowly finding out which bills I haven't paid, since my card was retained when I tried to get a mini statement. Luckily I had saved some funds with Mumrah so have been able to buy food and get out now and again. Here is some of what I suspect may have happened.

I met up with Glen for the first time in years. We met at the Sheffield Tap which was rammed, and had halves of the Hawkshead Cumberland Pale or similar at 3.6%. It was well over £3.00 a pint. Very tasty and refreshing though, and not the most expensive beer of the night.

That was at the Rutland Arms where we had a fabulous pint each of the Lervig tasty juice tropical fruit IPA. Being Norwegian keg is why it cost £6.00 odd a pint, but living in the saaaaarf I imagined Glen would be unsurprised. He wasn't, but admitted that this was frankly fabulous. One of the most refreshing, hoppy, juice filled and thirst quenching beers I think I've had. We did think about stopping for food but funds were limited and I had two emergency vouchers for a nearby burger chain. And besides, we needed to meet Tash and head for Shakespeares, a pub that was closed the last time Glen had been drinking in Sheffield.

Regurgetated burger slithers munched we met Tash in the Bankers and let her finish her wine before heading off to Shakespeares. As always the range did not disappoint. It also did not stick in my memory. I may have had Ridgeside cask but am certain there was a fabulously hoppy Kernel on keg so me and Gen would have had that. Tash had a pint of dry cider, or maybe a glass of wine. Seems two days of human and unhuman cannonball from Magic Rock has rewired my memory....

We finished the night in the Wellington where we would have at least two pints for me of Neepsend Breakfast IPA Mark 3. We also tried a pint of their Centennial ( according to rich) and finished on more Breakfast IPA. A fantastic quick pub crawl of some of Sheffield' finest real ale pubs for Mr. W was had.

More posts soon about other bowzey trips in the steel city of sunny Sheffield.

Cheers and Huzzah!


Wee Beefy

Friday, 31 March 2017

Reetaleless

Hello,

     I was going to write this last post of March 2017 about two real ale pub crawls, a beer fest, incompetent fuckwitted staff at Wetherspoons putting their fingers in drinks, but now am going to address in some way, the demise of Reet ale pubs.

I say that, but in fact I know nothing about their demise.

There will be accusations, allegations and no doubt, recriminations, but I don't know what has happened. So instead I will try and provide an assessment of the three pubs affected before Reet Ale took over.

I should say first of all that there are some persons suggesting that declaring bankruptcy on the 30th or 31st of March is a beneficial way of doing so as it escapes or avoids some taxes or fines. Am not sure this is true, but if it is then so be it. This post serves ostensibly to celebrate.

The Closed Shop was a shambles prior to being taken over by Reet Ale pubs. The Hallamshire regularly supplied staff to lock up whilst the incumbent at the time was pissed, drugged asleep or all three upstairs. His tenure was rightly cut short, not long after I went in to find one real ale on, a nineteen year old manager who had started that day and no prospects of improvement.

The Punch Bowl was popular on Crookes but not necessarily with beer drinkers. Cask ale was limited to one or two and was poor in terms of choice. There wasn't any chance of an in house cooked pizza, and though it improved slowly the beer range after Andy took it over was far better than before.

The Three Tuns struggled for many years.  It usually had a few real ales but seemed to exist entirely for HSBC staff and local solicitors and so was a less often visited venue. There were numerous changes of owner with various similar outcomes of ale, food and design but to be fair, bar a rare visit at Christmas, I rarely went in.

As you may know, in recent years the Three Tuns, especially, has been one of my favourite pubs.

This makes the announcement today or yesterday that it (and am led to believe the other pubs) will be closed indefinitely hard to take. And that doesn't even start to address the issues and concerns of current staff at all 3 venues which must number fifteen or twenty. I just hope however that all involved can find alternative employment, and in some cases accommodation, elsewhere in Sheffield ASAP.

In short its a sad, sad day for Sheffield. However, Blue Bee seems safe, and the Rutland is in Chris and Dave's hands. So, in fact, all is not lost. What remains however is tainted.

Thank you Reet Ale pubs.

You did well in your role. Until yesterday.

Yours

Wee Beefy