Thursday, June 06, 2013

Valley of Beer part two - down to the river

Last weekend I did a Bruce Springsteen and took myself down to the river. But I didn't ride into the valley where the beer gardens are green. I walked up river to the Gardeners Rest at Neepsend and took up residence in its verdant terrace, right by the water.

Now, the River Don caused The Gardeners terrible trouble during the Sheffield floods of 2007. It was shut for months but was painstakingly refurbished.

Well, the river was like a mill pond last Friday as I enjoyed a jar of Cromarty's Atlantic Drift and Alchemy's Cockleroy Black IPA.

There were plenty other like-minded individuals who were enjoying 'taking the waters' by the Don.Within minutes memories of work were washed away by  watching the river slowly move from left to right. There wasn't much traffic apart from a mallard and her ducklings. But still no sign of that elusive Kelham Island kingfisher, so I guess I'll keep have to keep coming back!

Anyway, back to the beer. The Cromarty was a great starter. I've become a great fan of ale from North of the border since The Navigation's Scottish beer festival in January.

As usual I'll leave it to the brewery's website to describe their work. Cromarty recently said: "We also released a 3.5% all American hopped session beer last week called Atlantic Drift. Made using some amber and cara malts to give a sturdy backbone for a heap of Amarillo, Cascade, Calypso and Mt Hood hops to stand up and shout from! "It should be hitting the taps for your thirst-quenching enjoyment." Well it's arrived and it did hit the spot on a hot sunny day.

As for Alchemy, well, I didn't initially know I'd ordered a black IPA. I just asked for something dark to contrast against the Atlantic Drift. Perhaps it was a good thing because I don't normally like black IPAs. I've only had a handful that I've actually rated. So I came to this beer without a prejudiced mind and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was just a short session but memorable. I always think I'll come back to this golden quarter of pubs and dedicate a session to just one of them. But it's always a case of while I'm in Kelham Island I better go and see what's on the bar at the Fat Cat, The KIT and Shakey's'.

I need to go back to the Gardeners and stay there for a while, perhaps learn the rules of bar billiards and pluck up the courage to buy the silent blonde in the corner a drink!
Staff Copy

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