Another new pub in Sheffield, this one visited while our Son was unpacking boxes (10 minutes) and setting up Wi-Fi (50 minutes) in his residences.
Let’s not pretend newbie the Portland House is gorgeous, looking like 90% of the micropubs you’ve ever been in.
But it has what most micros don’t. A toastie, crisps and beer lunch deal, and a range of ales dominated by Welbeck, who run it.
Welbeck are close to my heart; they’ve provided beers to the End of the Road music festival where I annually lose my hearing, and where their Portland Black routinely sells out on the Friday. An early offshoot of that festival was even held on the gorgeous Welbeck Estate, when their beers were enjoyed at their best.
But in plastic glasses.
So, bar an odd appearance as a guest in Spoons or Sutton, this was my first chance to see if Welbeck beers were as good as I remember, served as the brewery intended.
Pretty much. A satisfyingly cool and rich quasi Porter that had a slight sourness I wasn’t sure about, if you know what I mean. An enjoyable pint for £2.70, accompanied by Richard Hawley-esque Americana, and then a bit of the Mac. But no toasties.
With twice as many breweries as pubs (or drinkers), small breweries have a real dilemma in getting their beers to market. Investing in a small piece of bricks and mortar so you can control the quality has worked for Milton in my part of the world; I hope it pays off for Welbeck.
I guess it’ll have a different crowd now the students are settled, but it had a pleasant local vibe on this Sunday lunchtime I warmed to as the light flooded in through the giant window.
Quite a few other middle-aged blokes popped in for the cask while I was there , including a bloke I swear was Peter Stringfellow. Surely not.