Sunday, 3 August 2014

Situational Sups - #1 Summer

You know the deal. It was just the right time, right pint...etc. Might not even be the exact beer that you thought you wanted or hoped for but it just hit that spot (don`t panic, no lager herein). And here`s a couple that spring to mind for me. In Britain, it`s all about the beer garden. Maybe. Or the beer. Or a bit of both?!

Ok, so the wonky beer garden here wouldn`t get that bubble dead-on in the middle of any spirit level, but the Rising Sun (at the crossroads near Carsington just before Hopton above Matlock. Somewhere) is a lovely roadside pub with a child-friendly spot at the rear. This one was a Golden / Blonde Blue Monkey PG Sips (4%) and eminently suppable. The Nottingham brewers seem to be doing well and are at their best with light hoppy efforts like this one from their core range. Only been to the Rising Sun twice and staff were absolutely spot-on plus the bar homes 4 or 5 well-kept ales, mostly well-chosen LocAles. If you can find this boozer from my very vague description, you deserve a pint. Mebbe two.

My second suggestion for a seasonal Summery sup is also out of town in the quiet village of Holmesfield, adjacent and above (literally or metaphorically, you decide) of Dronfield, North Derbyshire.

Normally, I would associate this great little place with all things cosy. The Rutland Arms is that rare type of pub that does not seem to rely now on food or pub co to survive, where you would happily get trapped in by the wintery weather, (snow, rain, any meteorological excuse) for that extra pint or few. AND it has a nice beer garden, our Summer has revealed. A really ermm, green, grassy green patch with picnic table aplenty and space for (well-behaved) little ones to stretch their legs before sharing a bag of Walkers and a Fruit Shoot, (or other similar products). Again, the staff and atmosphere are very welcoming to visitors whilst pleasing their well-heeled regular punters. Beer choice is limited to 3 or 4 fairly local (and well-kept) brews but then that is a decent offering for a small but perfectly formed Derbyshire drinking hole.

Castle Rock, another Nottingham brewery coincidently, are not normally one I would specifically opt for but their Harvest Pale hits that situational spot. This is their marquee Pale ale that won awards at the GBBF a while back as the glass proudly attests. (And isn`t it good to get the proper glass for that particular beer!?).

Other nominations and suggestions are more than welcome, especially in this happy and sun-blessed holiday season, but you`ll probably find me in a well-maintained beer garden somewhere, with my well-behaved kids drinking a well-kept pale ale. Try The Rising Sun or The Rutland Arms for starters!

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