There were two (2) weeks between the last ticks in England and Wales and the resumption of the assault on the Beer Guide in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Those two weeks were agony, if I’m honest, each day increasing the chances of family drama (of which, less later) or illness or “Winter” hours intervening.

So I was rather distracted when West Berkshire legend and top bloke Tim Thomas came to visit and suggested a catch-up in mid August.

Tim and I love modern music, and combustible CAMRA magazines, and finding new pubs.

And I was glad he wanted to see the new delights in Kelham, three (3) new places in the last year alone, which is as many as Haverfordwest in 30 years.

It was great to see young folk out and about on a Thursday (well before Uni resumes), drawn to the Neepsend Social Club by retro Chicken In A Basket and cans of Black IPA.

I’ll be honest, I forgot that chicken had bones and nearly lost a tooth here, but the staff are spectacularly good and the beer range only lacks Bass from a barrel. In fact, Sheffield lacks Bass, any Bass.

But it has palm trees, and sunsets, and old industrial units converted to Proper Uses like drinking.

Alder is a new bar on the site of mothballed Sheffield Brewery and surprised us by being packed with lads wearing metalcore T-shirts and talking about how Loathe have lost the plot.

We increased the average punter age from 20.3 to 27.7 and fitted in perfectly. I wasn’t expecting cask;

and I certainly wasn’t expecting good cask; cool and tasty.

It’s a quirky place, perhaps with a touch of Manchester’s Angel.

Sheffield is a great night out, and it’s hard to find a duff pub (though I’ll keep looking).

We crossed the Don to give Tim a 4th and final new pub at SALT (aka Stew & Oyster on the map),

and found it quieter than it normally is, the Bao Buns market having left, leaving the dedicated drinkers of Ossett craft to enjoy the immaculate surroundings.

And that, Tim, is what a Northern head looks like.


      1. Yes, the New Year trip, a couple of dried up dried up chicken goujons in a stale bun for a “chicken sandwich” at I think Β£6.
        The absolute opposite was my turkey sandwich in the Arden Arms I think a few weeks before.
        No, I’ve not been back since.


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