Saturday, 15 September 2018

2BGs meet `Real Ale Pubs Away Days`

It's fair to say that there has long been a crossover between beer and football.  Both can be an expensive business, truth be told. However, a growing number of discerning footy fans are becoming more selective about which pubs they visit pre-match. Gone are the days of piling off the train and falling into the nearest boozer (which was often a reyt dive near the station) or heading for nearest 'spoons. Many fans will plot trips as soon as the fixtures come out using the Good Beer Guide or seek online advice. 

Recently, I met up with Matty Banks who had the bright idea of forming a Twitter site and Facebook group called `Realale pubs Away days` which really has gone from strength to strength since he started it last year. We met up for his first visit to a Sheffield FC match at the Coach and Horses ground, Dronfield.

The Home of Football. And beer.

Over a cheeky beer or two, I picked Matty's brains:-

Q. Which team do you support? 

Doncaster Rovers. I am a season ticket holder.
Q. Best pub in Donny? 
Now that Cask Corner has gone, the Corner Pin.
Q. Favourite brewery?
Castle Rock. (And Matty spoke highly of our own New Barrack Tavern here).
Q. Best city for pubs? Sheffield?
No, Nottingham! My favourite is Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. In Sheffield? Shakespeares. (AGREE!)
Q. Worst?
Scunthorpe. Apart from the Honest Lawyer, it's terrible. That pub is great but miles from Glanford Park!
Q. Future plans for RAPAD?
 Build the Facebook group by linking in with supporters' groups. Also I'm looking at some end of season awards for pubs. (Matty seemed really impressed with the Coach and Horses! "What a pub!" quoth the man himself).

Sure enough, the match itself didn't disappoint! A massive 5-3 win for Sheffield Club over Pontefract Collieries accompanied by some splendid Thornbridge ales in the late Summer sunshine. Happy days!

Beer & football. Marvellous.

Check out Matty's site here - FACEBOOK GROUP
He enjoyed our guide to visiting SUFC found here - BLADES

Saturday, 1 September 2018

twobeergeeks` Pub of the Month August 2018

Soooo, this month we're going for The Wellington as our prestigious victor!

`Bottom Welly` has long been on the ale trail for visitors to Sheffield, known for being the home of Little Ale Cart brewery a few years back and a decent place to pass on hour or two with a pint. However, it was always a tad shabby, to say the least! Last year, the pub became a part of the Birkett portfolio alongside The Blake Hotel and The Sheaf View, undergoing a fantastic transformation into what is now, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful boozers in our fine city. Two rooms with plenty of comfy seating, tastefully decorated and a bar stock superbly front and back. It is also the Tap House for the outstanding Neepsend brewery and so you can expect to find a clutch of their ales here alongside a guest or two and some kegged delights. Head honcho Niall (formerly of the White Lion and the Sheaf) is also rightly proud of the Welly's strong selection of whisky and of the development of a beer garden out back.

Wonderful, indeed!
Visiting for the latest Beer Central bottle share, I enjoyed one of Neepsend's latest creations and a lovely Garden IPA. Niall did the place proud with some fantastic half-time snacks alongside his offering of Wild Jambo (which everyone agreed is aging really well) and Spirit of Pogo!

To the regiment!
Jon from the White Lion had a winner on his hands with a rare Marble Imperial Cherry Stout, receiving the evening's highest marks. I was close though with a beery beaut from Jules at Hop Hideout - Torrside's No More Tuesdays, an imperial blonde with raspberries and bergamot. Love it. And Sean himself placed well with a Kernel Imperial Brown Stout leaving the good folk from Lost Industry, Steel City and Pete from sheffieldalepubs in our wakes. Finally, a toast to everyone's good health with that Pogo spirit..... Cheers!

Marble-ous winner!
Last month`s winner - HERE !
Previous Bottle Share - HERE !

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

twobeergeeks` Pub of the Month, July 2018

And it`s the Waggon & Horses! 
In our city, pubs with really good beer and that are welcoming to families are few and far between, we have found. However, the True North chain balks that trend and, in the Waggon and Horses, they have a family-friendly place that could be great....

The spacious pub includes two rooms in an open plan style with a main dining area and a less formal bar. Listening to feedback from punters, you can now eat in both areas and there is a seated area outside albeit beside a busy road, hence the (much-publicised recently) need for a beer garden. The food is fab but this is a beer blog! True North's own beers tend to be solid and head brewer Dean Hollingworth is rightly proud of Torpedo, a tasty DIPA haze at 8% ish and thus year's brews have been increasingly adventurous. Also you will probably find Black Iris and maybe even something like Verdant or Anarchy backed up by an array of fridge beers and a huge gin portfolio.

Current `Beer Garden`

On Vocation, so to speak
Anyways, over the past few months, there has been lots of talk about adding a beer garden to the Abbeydale road establishment but this has been swiftly countered by Friends of Millhouses, who do a lot of work maintaining and protecting the fantastic park. The proposals suggest that TN are not looking for a huge space but they are offering a substantial sum and annual payments. Sounds good to us.

And there is a meeting at the pub, Thursday 2nd August at 6PM to discuss the plans.

Hope this pans out; we've said for years that the Waggon needs a beer garden. 2BG's Pub of the Month for July! Cheers.


& MAY!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Northern Powerhouse Brew Series - Wylam Brewery

Did you get a box? We did, thanks to Hop Hideout and Beer Central, our Sheffield Powerhouses!

Intriguing idea, this one. Wylam hooked up with a variety of the best brewers in the North of England to produce a tour de force over a wide range of beer styles from kettle sour to imperial stout.

Power pack!
We've been fans of Newcastle's Wylam ever since having Jakehead at the Broadfield, or was it at a Picture House Social beer festival a few years back, and now they've taken their rightful place amongst the big players.

Everyone we have talked to seems to have their own favourite and we'd say that all are worth a try but here are our picks:-

1) Mixed Fermentation Farmhouse - Wylam & Black Lodge

2) Kettle Sour - Wylam & Magic Rock

3) Split here. 
Brown - Wylam & Cloudwater (DAN)
IPA - Wylam & Northern Monk (MIKE)

Our winner!

To be honest, Black Lodge were a new brewery to us amongst a host of usual suspects but we will certainly be looking to track them down again soon. And we hope Wylam repeat the project in the future!

Which brew was your favourite?

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

twobeergeeks` Pub of the Month, June 2018

OK. Game on. This month's 2BG's pub of the month is a bit different but one we agree on. June is a time when we really start thinking about holidays and where better to go on holiday than..... The Peak District. This month`s winner is …… The Buxton Tap House !

Recently we have both enjoyed visits up to Buxton and spent an enjoyable time at the brewery's Tap House. Tucked away down a street next to the Pavilion Gardens, you are greeted by friendly bar staff in a clean cut benches and big tables arrangement. Comfy enough and you then face a three-pronged attack of temptation; bar, bottles and food. All are top notch.

Decisions, decisions....
A couple of casks are on offer but also a vast array of kegged splendour almost exclusively from Buxton 's range new and core. Danny's visit heralded some of the fantastic collaborations with his faves Omnipollo whilst I spied some variations on the excellent Berliner Weisse Sky Line. Whatever, you are guaranteed a reyt royal range, although not much of the dark stuff on the bar when I visited.

More is better!

The place is like a mini version of Hawkhead's place although the actual Buxton brewery is a schlep away from the Tap, not on-site like at Staveley. Food is similar too - tasty accompaniments to the beer, often with a modern twist. Yum.

And, before you leave, we challenge you to resist the temptation to buy a big bag of beer; a rucksack full of Cranachan has to be done, doesn't it, so take a full wallet!

Takeaway is a must!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

twobeergeeks` Pub of the Month May 2018

Another in an occasional series inspired by those that Matter....

Having lived in the Heeley area for nearly 40 years The White Lion is a pub that I've seen change hands a number of times over the decades. For a long time since the noughties it felt very much like a pub that had lost its way somewhat. While undeniably a pub of character and charm with it's quirky individual rooms and stunning glazed tile frontage often the beer choice fell a bit short and prices were frequently a fair bit higher than other local establishments. As much as I liked the place I tended to go elsewhere as I knew I'd get a better pint for a better price.

be envious of this exterior!
Well a lot has changed in the 3 years since Jon and Mandy and their team took over the reins and now The White Lion is a pub that has very much found it’s way and is once again a thriving hub of the community. Something recognised recently when they received Asset of Community Value status.
It's clear when spending time in The White Lion that it is held dear by it’s regulars and let’s face it there is a heck of lot of competition in the area with the likes of The Sheaf View, The Brothers Arms, The Tram Shed, The Broadfield and The Picture House social all within walking distance. Despite this under Jon and Mandy The White Lion continues to hold its own which is a remarkable feat considering the restrictions and financial disadvantages that come along with being a tied house. Jon was a regular of the pub before he took it on and it shows and works in his favour. He knows his clientele and caters to their requirements which makes for happy and more importantly loyal punters.
On any given night there is a hive of activity taking place at The White. On a recent visit, Sean from Beer Central was holding a bottle share. At the same time there was a band warming up and in one of the little rooms The Sheffield Socialist Party was holding a meeting, and that's just a snapshot of the kind of things you can expect to find going on.

Typical bottle share shenanigans from years gone by

And the beer has improved too. Despite being a tied house, Jon has managed to get beers on from local brewery Hopjacker and you'll nearly always find one of their excellent beers on the bar. This is great news for vegans as their entire range is vegan friendly. Being a stout lover, Jon always makes sure there’s a decent dark beer on. There are plans to free up another pump to feature regular beers from Abbeydale's new range: The recent switch from Punch to Heinekin means Jon will have a lot more freedom to explore new breweries. If Jon gets his way, there will also be some improvements to the beer garden and backroom as well. If you like your traditional pub games you'll be pleased to find Jon has recently ditched his fruit machine in favour of a bar billiards table.

So it's a pleasure for once to agree with Camra and give our Pub of the Month award to Jon and Mandy and all the team at The White Lion. Great work guys keep it up. Onwards and upwards.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

twobeergeeks` Pub of the Month March 2018

So, this month our winner is the Broadfield Ale House on Abbeydale Road.