Having started writing-up Sheffield yesterday, I may as well finish it before it becomes a distant memory (by Friday).
A Tuesday afternoon in Sheffield’s Valley of Beer with Roger Protz, BRAPA and Beer Leeds, followed by a Dad/Son curry near the Uni. And a £30 IBIS room near the Arena. What’s not to like ?
Only the sure and certain knowledge that I could write off the rest of the
day week after a session with Mr Coldwell. And the slight irritation that I wouldn’t be able to add to my collection of South Yorkshire GBG ticks, with the inevitable irritating bottle shop not opening ’till Wednesday (it is in Hillsborough, I suppose).
One bottle shop that is open all the time is Bates off licence, where I bought Messrs Protz, Everitt and Coldwell a beer for their train home, to bribe them into taking photos of my best features. It was worth a shot.
T. Bates is the sort of place they’d use in the new series of “League of Gentlemen” (which should never have been resurrected). Four packs of every cooking lager, but sadly no single cans of Tetley, so Richard had to make do with a can of Stones. Roger and Si got a bottle of Kelham Island Pride of Sheffield. I’m sure Si can remove the top with his teeth.
Rather like The Fall, Sheffield fits the description “Always changing, always the same“. Some new high rise to replace the old high rise, some charmingly old school street art, and the same dozen or so top pubs as I first visited at the start of the millennium.
Never noticed this classic piece of brutalism before though.
Industrial history at its best on the way to Alma Street, with Exchange Brewery looking particularly majestic/sad depending on your context.
A first visit to the Fat Cat for at least 5 years, but a place we used to bring the boys to regularly on trips north, when the best way to entertain a five year was a trip round a giant Bessemer engine and a soft play area that pressed you into smelted steel.
Mrs RM is in the Scottish borders at the moment, but was immensely jealous; the Fat Cat is one of her favourite pubs in the world. If you’re lucky I’ll bring you her review of the Oxford Bar when she gets back tonight.
Traditional, cosy and cheery, and with some of the best quality beer (and cheap pub grub) anywhere. The main bar was still busy at 1.30, so I bagged a table in what I think of as the lounge.
I was starving after a fraught journey from Cambridge.
“Are you still serving that lovely vegetarian food ?”
“I’ll have the steak pie please”
And you wonder where BRAPA gets his material from.
I tried to finish lunch before the rest arrived, but Roger caught me greedily caught me scoffing steak pie at the table. Sorry about that, Mr Protz.
Roger had a severe case of Man Flu, but was pressing on like the trooper he is, and we quickly got on to discussing that hot pub topic of West Ham and their abomination of a ground.
I guess you’re expecting me to say “Far too many beers” at this point.
Well, there were far too many beers, but more in the sense of forcing you to think about your beer, which will never do. Roger went straight for the Pale Rider, the wise choice.
Just as I sat down with my Kelham Best, our intrepid duo arrived. Perversely, Simon went for the Christmas beer.
The first thing they saw was the licensee (?) bringing me a replacement pint, saying he thought the Best wasn’t quite at its best. Just to humour him, I’ll note that the replacement was an NBSS 4, the first one a more than good NBSS 3.5. Wonderful service.
Seeing Richard snapping away, he told us to pop outside and see his handywork in the garden. I popped in the loos, which are just as good.
In the Garden (not the Van Morrison one), we did the usual “photo of the photographer” routine and searched for a pub cat for Pub Curmudgeon.
This is the best I could do, Mudgie.
But there were plenty of other attractions.
I suppose I should tell you what we discussed here, but my notes say things like;
“Rumbletums in Burton”
“Family tree obsessive”
Which sounds like the basis for a BBC programme about ghosts. So you may have to wait for the proper bloggers to report bac.
It was time to continue the Ale Trail…