23rd March 2023.

Some lovely street art has arrived at Retired Martin Lane.

Everywhere, things are getting better. Apart from the roads into Cambridge, where the art installation is a series of pot holes on the A10.

Sheffield remains a giant building site, the constructions alternating between student accommodation and food courts. Yes, you heard that right, delegates at the CAMRA AGM next month will be able to eat in Sheffield. What a time to be alive.

Sadly they’ll arrive after the Wetherspoons Beer Festival, which I stumbled across in the GBG (very) occasional Benjamin Huntsman while exploring the scaffolding opposite the City Hall.

Matthew Lawrenson will have a view on the font, but this is a decent Spoons with a lovely rooftop area, rather overshadowed by the giant JDW Waterworks across the square.

I (honestly) only popped in for a flat white, but who could resist the homemade beer board ?

Oh yes, it’s a a series of beers you’ve never heard of before, brewed to sell at that crucial £2.35 £1.85 price point to the handful of folk still entranced by the Spoons beer festival.

I thought about matching my pint of Titanic Extra Brown Ale (whatever) with some artisan scran,

but aren’t they leftovers from Christmas ?

So salted caramel brownie it is, to match the brown ale. #BeerSmellier

The Titanic was very good (NBSS 3.5), the ale brewed by a Belgian in Wolverhampton equally so but let down by not being served in a Kwak or Pedigree glass.

Good quality beer under £2 a pint, it can be done, and the seating was so comfy I nearly stayed all day and added to the tally of pints served.

That sounds quite impressive, but of course 1,373 pints over eight (8) pumps over (9am-midnight x 7 = 105 hours) = less than two pints an hour.

Perhaps the solution would be to only open Friday to Sunday, say 4-9, 2-9, 2-6 like proper pubs do and then the turnover would be over ten pints an hour. Simples.


      1. I tweeted about these last week. I concur they’re pretty decent – a good value snack. Maybe they are left over from Christmas, but frozen stuff doesn’t go off. It would be good to see them become a permanent menu item.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I once stayed at the Three Tuns in Thirsk, but long before it was a Wetherspoons.

      The food was jolly good as I recall, but didn’t include PIBs.

      I didn’t feel cheated.


  1. You do know these are not real festivals don’t you. Real festivals have barrels on wood and scaffolding etc. I have been to 4 proper festivals


  2. “That sounds quite impressive, but of course 1,373 pints over eight (8) pumps over (9am-midnight x 7 = 105 hours) = less than two pints an hour”.
    1373 pints x 52 weeks x 925 venues x £2.35 = £155 million which is 9% of Tim’s £1.7 billion turnover last year. ( that’s if I’ve got my sums right )


  3. I have managed to tick 21 of the 30 festival ales through having 3 large Weatherspoons on my 3 mile walk home from work Despite having a slightly obsessive ticking mentality in many areas of interest I have managed to resist the temptation to divert from the standard route from work to home in the hope of ticking more off


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