Monday, May 11, 2015

Once more into the Valley of Beer

The most distictive beer garden in Sheffield?
Saturday was a good day.
It started in the Sheffield Tap where I caught up with a Leeds-based Kelham Island fan. We didn't stay long in the tap as my friend wanted to maximise his short time in the city, but I noted a good selection of Loch Ness and Tapped beers.
First stop was Shakespeares where my friend got his Abbeydale Deception fix, which can be hard to come by in some parts of the West Riding, apparently. 
I too went home town with a half of Blue Bee's Return of the Geek, a beautiful mosaic hopped beer at 5.4%.
We were sorely tempted to stay for another but we had to move on to the Kelham Island Tavern where my friend continued his theme of drinking classic Sheffield beers by ordering Bradfield Framers Blonde. As I often do in the Kelham, I ask Lewis or Trevor's advice about what's going well on the bar, light or dark. Lewis suggested a pale and hoppy Glenworth, which I was glad I had. But I neglected to get the name or ABV.   
Onwards to The Fat Cat where my friend had Kelham Island's Pale Rider. I was going to continue this pattern as I saw the latter's Gentleman Death, one of Jim Connolly's cartoon-themed clip beers. But I then noticed a low ABV session beer from Five Towns, Mi Usual. 
Now, we all know brewer Malcolm is famed for his dangerously drinkable high end beers, but I always try and sample his lower strength beers when I see them. This was good, had bags of flavour and I was surprised to find it only weighed in at 3.7%.
The Ship at Shalesmoor
Next I suggested swinging by The Ship at Shalesmoor to see if it had reopened. Alas we were met with boards saying secured empty premises, items of value removed. obviously this was the low point of our trip as we both had fond memories of drinking here and trying to figure out what was coming next on the eclectic jukebox. I hope this classic Sheffield boozer gets back on its feet soon.
We cut through the back streets and across the river to The Gardeners Rest at Neepsend.
Here we found two Huddersfield beers on the bar, an IPA from The Nook and a stout from from Small World. I chose the latter, while my friend had a Blanco Blonde from Sheffield Brewery Co, which is based about a quarter of a mile away.
No trip to The Gardeners is complete without venturing out into its weird and wonderful beer garden. As you can see from the picture at the start of this post, it has got even more bizarre with the addition of eight-foot high flowers. Whether these were lights or purely for decorative effect, I don't know but it was certainly distinctive.
Our next venue was The Riverside, which was heaving inside and out. I don't recall what we both had here. But I had no trouble with my recollection at The Harlequin nearby where I had the beer of my day, Blue Bee's Real. It was a 4.7% sorachi ace pale beer. Don't ask me to detail its tasting notes, all I know was it was another belter from a brewery that can do no wrong in my eyes.
Out final destination was The Rutland Arms where I had a Steel City experience. The brewery is known for its challenging and complex beers. Incubus was actually a collaboration with Imperial and Great Heck. It was dark, chocolatey, malty and hoppy. As it said on the pump clip "Forged in Mexborough by an Evil Alliance".
Mexborough's most famous son is the booming actor Brian Blessed. This five percenter really was a "Gordon's Alive!" type of beer.

2 comments:

Timbo said...

I did the 'tour' last week..and to be honest was a little disappointed in the beer range available, except for one pub..I did notice the Ship was closed, as I had hoped to call in (after our previous chat) and was equally dischuffed to find that the Wellington does not open till 2.30 on weekdays..never mind, will try again soon

Ale Ambler said...

Sorry you had a negative experience.
All I can say Saturday was exceptional and memorable.
Hope to catch your soon.