Slightly out of sequence, but I know you’re desperate to see Mrs RM’s birthday drink, and this post gives me a chance to show you how close I am to Crookes, which is as close as Sheffield gets to Islington (bound to upset someone, that comparison).

18 minutes uphill from the Blind Monkey (our local, if it ever re-opens), 16 minutes back.

If you don’t get killed by joggers in lycra on the way.

Crookes is home to estate agents, bakeries, bistros and bold artwork for barbers.

I like this one round the back of Five Star Fish Bar, clearly a comment on the state of the fishing quotas blocking our deep fryer-ready Brexit trade deal.

I’ve made the climb up from central Sheffield to the GBG pubs of Crookes at least a dozen times this century. Most recently the Punchbowl where I wrote;

My last pub in the magnificent Beer Guide chapter of South Yorkshire was in Crookes, where Mrs RM once entertained delusions of living before she realised how steep Crookes itself actually is.  The mile and a half to the Punchbowl took a disgraceful 40 minutes.

Wow. Life comes at you fast, as Ferris almost says in that film.

Although the Guide entries in Crookes seemed a bit “handpump-heavy” back in 2016, I note that the Punchbowl gave me the dual joy of “O Superman” and blokes discussing an expedition to Huddersfield, just 2 of the reasons why we need pubs back.

Look how sad the Ball (13 pumps) looks, prepared for a Covid-secure Christmas it will now not celebrate,

and the gorgeous Noah’s Ark (1 pump, Bradfield) is just waiting to be added to my South Yorkshire Craft Union crawl.

So I’m left with the take-out. I’m using the guide from lovely Sheffield CAMRA to at least get close to pubs while we wait, and wait.

Two Sheds up next;

this might even be a pre-emptive tick though one of the Guide ticking purists will now tell me my beer choice doesn’t meet the rigid requirements of a cask beer in-situ.

Well, they can start a formal complaint to the Tickers Council in 2021 if they wish.

I picked the strongest one* for Mrs RM. She deserves no less.

Go for it !” said the enthusiastic young lady.

Get off my beer” said Mrs RM.

*The Thornbridge, not the Aldi Punk clone.

38 thoughts on ““GO FOR IT !” – MRS RM GETS THE 10%

  1. Hmm. I had the Jaipur X on a pre-lockdown visit to York. Not impressed. Mind you, I’m not a fan of Thornbridge, so maybe my tastebuds were pre-programmed to give it the thumbs down. Who knows how these things work – I only speak as I find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a fan of Jaipur, particularly when it pops up in the chain pubs. We enjoyed the X (hey, doesn’t that mean 10 ?), it was noticeably stronger than some of the identikit 6-7% DIPAs we sometimes try and go, “Oh”.

      Have you tried the Aldi Punk yet ?


    2. Sheffield Hatter,
      I know what you mean about Thornbridge beers, but I think that with their high IBUs they’re helpful in learning about beer tastes, a bit like large print books when we were learning to read sixty years ago, and they may have lead some younger drinkers towards subtle classics like Donnington BB and SBA.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Scott,
        Yes, but “CAMRA offers you high quality, informative content and learning opportunties to support your lifelong learning about beer” so they’ll be well placed for telling everyone about Donnington beers. ,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried some of the Aldi beers in Lockdown 1 but wasn’t impressed. And I didn’t like the BrewDog beers when they first came out (bad reaction to their faux anti-corporate advertising and off-putting names like Elvis Juice) and see no reason either to change my mind or to try imitations.

    The Jaipur X (yes, it’s not a coincidence that it’s 10% abv) when I had it in a pub was too cold and fizzy. I might like it better if I had it out of a can at home. Who needs pubs, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure judging beer on advertising or beer names or image is something I’ve ever bothered with ! Donnington have great imagery but their beer is (to me) undrinkable).

      Oooh, Thornbridge X on draft. Keg would have been fizzier than can, I guess.

      We need pubs; I think I owe you a Doom Bar ;-0

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So content with their beer, I’ve not noticed Donnington’s imagery.
      There’s something wrong with anything that needs eye catching imagery just like there’s something wrong with anything that needs advertising.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve long had a half-baked idea of doing a tour of Donnington country with my bike and tent. Or hotel and bus pass, if it gets put off for too many more years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve also long thought of that. Perhaps I could drive you round them and have a Dandelion and Burdock in each of the Donnington houses. Folk would love to see what you’re like after 18 halves.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sheffield Hatter,
        I can highly recommend it.
        In April 2014 ( anti-clockwise from Moreton in Marsh railway station ) I walked most of the Donnington Way staying at the now closed stow on the Wold Youth Hostel and the Plough at Ford where on opening my curtains in the morning I saw many race horses exercising very close by.
        I doubt if we could get Martin to join us !

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Paul – thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been to the Plough at least twice: once when I was about 10 with my parents, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins for a weekend of camping in the field opposite – what is now the gallops for Jonjo O’Neill’s racehorses. And again in 1979 when I went to the Cheltenham Festival and drove to the Plough for a beer or two after the second day of three. It feels like I’ve been there since, but it’s probably a false memory caused by looking at the area on Google maps street view!


      5. Martin,
        Yes, I’ve drunk in the Queen’s Head in Stow a few times especially as it’s situated just across the road from the Youth Hostel I first used in 1982.

        Sheffield Hatter,
        We stayed in the Golden Ball at Lower Swell in 1993. It no longer does accommodation because with doing meals – shock, horror – the few letting rooms are now staff accommodation. I think that’s also so with a couple of other Donnington pubs.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Paul, my last YHA experience in the UK was in Stow, £20 for a tiny single room in 2014. It was ideal for enjoying the Queen’s Head and the Bell. Lovely and quiet in the evening.


      7. And we stayed in the Fox at Great Barrington in September 2015.
        The Fox, on 18th June 1974, was the first pub in which I drank Donnington beer. That day I also went to Farringdon for Arkells in the Bakers Arms and Morland in the Duke of Wellington and Reading for Brakspears in the Rising Sun.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Martin,

        It was Monday 21st to Tuesday 22nd April 2014 when I last stayed at Stow Youth Hostel. It was a bit run down then not long before closure.

        Yes, three good pints and many more that 1974 week on a Midlands Rail Rover ticket.
        Batemans, Elgoods, Everards, Home, Hoskins, Melbournes and Ruddles out to the east.
        Hardy Hansons and Shipstones in Derby.
        Hook Norton and Morrells in Banbury.
        You couldn’t get all that nowadays.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. The first pint of Lees that I ever had was a bad one – very bad, it tasted of what I imagine seaweed juice might – I have had to take people’s word for it ever since, for decades, that it is a fine and noted pint, even though I have adjusted to find it generally OK.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Lees is an oddity. A lot of their North Manchester pubs, including the occasional GBG ones, are lager strongholds. But it CAN be an excellent Bitter; the Cricket Club in St Annes is the best I’ve had.


      11. Martin,
        I’m sure you can’t mention Lees without remembering that the Moonraker was drinking well on Waverley station not two years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Martin,
        Yes, so good that I would probably have returned to Scotland in 2020 had it been a ‘normal’ year.


      1. I reckon virtually all of Scotland will be tier 4 in the New Year. Can’t figure out what the likes of Orkney and Shetland have to do to get to level 0.


  3. “and bold artwork for barbers”

    That artwork seems to imply she’d be more like Sweeney Todd when it comes to barbering!

    “clearly a comment on the state of the fishing quotas blocking our deep fryer-ready Brexit trade deal.”

    They’ve definitely got the ‘French fleeing’ aspect down pat with the little one on the left.

    “Look how sad the Ball (13 pumps) looks”

    13 is definitely an unlucky number.

    “and the gorgeous Noah’s Ark (1 pump, Bradfield)”

    From the photo, I thought it was closed for good. But apparently it is beside the Topdigs rental place… of ‘dig’s, obviously. 🙂

    “I’m using the guide from lovely Sheffield CAMRA to at least get close to pubs while we wait, and wait.”

    Definitely The Rising Sun, at the far left on the map. It would be just like home! Well, former home.

    Plus, as a bonus, you’d get to walk by Martin’s Guest House on the way! 🙂


    “Two Sheds up next;”

    It looks like one building to me.

    “I picked the strongest one* for Mrs RM. She deserves no less.”

    Agreed. It’s why she married you. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that I may have stayed there…it would be a few years back, and run by an Indian family, I think, though that might have been another place.


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