Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

I thought I'd resort to a literary headline to beef up my rather shambolic but nonetheless enjoyable session in Sheffield on Saturday.
Actually 'best-laid plans' suggests a high degree of planning, whereas my session was anything but.
I thought whichever platform my train pulled in would determine my route for a football-free, quiet session.
Platform One would mean catching a bus up West Street with the aim of a pit stop at The Bath Hotel, moving on to Crookes for pizza and a pint at The Punchbowl before walking down towards The Closed Shop and then up to The Blake before heading back to town.
Platform Three would mean a walk under Hyde Park Flats in the direction of Lady's Bridge for a riverside crawl to Neepsend and back along the tram route.
The train stopped on platform one but missed buses and trams soon saw me hoofing it towards The Harlequin in search of food and some Exit 33 beers, of which I am very partial.
No sooner had I grabbed a half of their Mosaic then a large group of blokes on a crawl turned up. At this point I should point out I don't subscribe to the view that real ale pubs should be like libraries where silence is golden. They are open to everyone: young, middle-aged, old and even lager drinkers.
But just this once I fancied a quiet pint or two on a Saturday without any football.
So it was time to move on, even though I would have liked to have stayed longer. The plan was to head for The Gardener's Rest for a beer by the river but a missed bus saw me changing tack again.
It hadn't been to The Fat Cat for a while, so I went there - only to be greeted by a wedding party, who had obviously made a smart choice of venue. Seating was at a premium so a quick half of Neepsend's Undine was all I managed there. That planted a seed in my mind and I was off in the direction of The Wellington (Cask & Cutler) at  Shalesmoor as I'd heard that Neepsend intend to make it their brewery tap.

My 'luck' held and, you've guessed it - the doors were closed. So I found myself in the bizarre situation of heading towards West Street during Freshers' Week in search of that fabled quiet pint.

I headed down to The Bath Hotel where there was a beer by Fyne Ales on the bar. I went for that and sat back and soaked up the Grade II splendour of the pub.
Time was pressing so I cut through the Devonshire Quarter to the Devonshire Cat.
Here, I found my beer of the day: Lincoln Green's Gin and Beer It, 5%. It said 'gin infused, hoppy with hints of juniper, leading to a bitter finish'. I quite like Lincoln Green's beers but I normally seek out their dark beer, Tuck. But after this fine effort I shall spread my wings. It was followed by a new Abbeydale  beer for me, Illumination, 4.8%. Apparently, this green bullet beer has been around since 2004, but I cannot recall having it. It was my second favourite beer of the day.
After a saunter to the market there was just enough time to grab a half at The Rutland Arms before the train home. I went for something strong from Hopcraft and pondered over my 'best-laid plans' session. On the whole, nothing went to plan but it was still memorable, all the beers were in good nick and one was exceptional.
If you'd promised me that scenario at the start of the day then I would have gladly accepted the offer.
So, next time out I'll have to come up with even more ridiculous stipulations, like no right turns or avoiding the cracks in the pavement, for a surefire quality session!


Jibber said...

Sadly I'm 'unfollowing' this site. I always thought it was to do with Huddersfield and maybe the wider West Yorkshire scene. But so much is Sheffield. Why, for goodness sake? I respect Tim's posts, but Ale Ambler seems so Sheffield-centric that perhaps he should be posting on another (South Yorkshire) site. Anyhow, enough is enough. I don't give a toss about Sheffield and I'm bored with posts relating to it. Bookmark for 'A Swift One' now deleted. Bye chaps.

Timbo said...


I understand your comment but it is hardly fair to those of us that try to write this blog. We give up our time to write, and we live in different places - hence the emphasis from different writers on different areas. Originally it was Kirklees based but since people have moved etc to keep it going the TRIO of writers have done the best we could. We are not perfect, nor are we writing a daily beer resume, so we do what we can when we can. We have been fighting illness, and bereavement for the last few months so with so few writers anything is a bonus...If you feel we have let you down, join the writing team...

Lincoln Green Brewing Company said...

Thanks for your kind words about 'Gin And Beer It', and Tuck too - they're very much appreciated! All the best, Anthony from Lincoln Green