Thursday, 19 February 2015

Thornbridge - The Best Of!

OK. Our 100th blog-bit and, completely coincidently, ish, it's now ten years since Thornbridge started brewing in a micro sort of way. They are now way-macro (new word alert), world renowned for beer brewing nonpareil. These Bakewell upsTarts have given us plenty to write about / sup and they serve the Steel City well with a , err clutch, gang, group (I know it's not a murder) of posh pubs in the select SW section of Sheff. But which boozer is best....?...!?


Blimey. Tough choice. By the very nature of being a 'top end' `craft` `real ale` provider, the beer should all be, at least, good. 'Should'. Here, it's hats off to The Coach & Horses and The Bath Hotel. Both have well-established reps, although the latter is being tirelessly and selflessly reviewed in light of recent management changes..... Top tackle. A mix of cask and keg plus a few select guests. (The Hallamshire House is highly regarded, and they have guests now too, but oft a tad outside our schlepping / supping ground).

Best for....Music
It's the Greystones, isn't it? A tired pub transformed and now drawing in niche artistes from far and (world) wide. Is there a better place in Sheffield to drink good beer and listen to live music? (No, would be the answer there, quiz kids).


This is NOT (yet another) food blog, but t'winner is The Cricket Inn. Yay! Yum!! Wow!!! Great local produce, blah, blah, rhubarb, probably local rhubarb too. And drizzles, well-seasoned, etc. And, after a decent fill (and a proper pint: Even had Puja on at this family-friendly 'diner' / eek, 'gastro-pub), the kids can have a reyt good run around in the shadow of the beautiful Blacka Moor. A special place for a special occasion, or just an occasion. Try it!

Best for....families

Umm, err. It's 'see above' for this one. Honourable mention to Stag (playground AND a pint= uber rare combo in Sheff)) and THE Coach & Horses (hospitable hosts nonpareil). Ditto The HH; they even hosts a weekly toddler group!

Best for....a quiet pint

Not DaDa (RIP, BTW). It is The Bath Hotel, with the 'paper. Ideal haven from the 's' word (shopping) especially in Winter. And other seasons. 

Best for....Sport

Real ale + sport = no thanks, it seems, always, BUT The Coach & Horses has THE oldest, original-est football club on it's doorstep / car park. A perfect pint at half-time was never so accessible. You might not even bother with the second 45 minutes!  #43bus. Alternatively, hit the green Baize at the Hallamshire House!


It .... Is.... The Coach & Horses. The Original and the Best. This place was the  tap house for Bakewell's best 10 years ago and it's still nĂºmero uno. This cosy respite was the place that where both of us beer geeks discovered that drinking bitter could be a journey of many colours, not just twiggy brown (cough-Tetley's-cough) stuff.
Jaipur was the juice of choice back then and it opened our eyes to a beer(ave) new world. This place is your quintessential little British boozer.: read the paper, have a hearty meal, half-time pint, chat to nice folk at or behind the bar, plenty of possibilities and with a proper pint. Like.

for feedback and insights. And good taste!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Kelham Island Brewery Anniversary Ale (6.5%)

It's 25 years since Dave Wickett established the ground-breaking Kelham Island brewery that gave birth to Pale Rider and the Fat Cat pub. And to many copy cats! The Alma Street pub still draws in beer tourists from far and wide whilst Pale Rider is still prolific on bars country-wide years after it was proudly crowned CAMRA's Champion beer of Britain.

 Just Champion

Rather than rest on its esteemed laurels, Kelham Island are upping their game. Their beers have recently had a colourful rebrand courtesy of snazzy comic book hero clips by local artist Jim Connelly and they have opened a new outlet on Cambridge Street, the Tap and Tankard. The new artwork is eye-catching and the pub promising. Alongside them Riders, expect cutting-edge craft, mebbe on keg, from the likes of Bad Seed and Buxton. The TnT is NOT the Fat Cat part two! Try it (it's between John Lewis and 'spoons....!).

To mark their 25th anniversary, Kelham Island brewery have produced a special one. At 6.5% and with an aggressive orange hue, this strong brew is not to be taken lightly. It's no Easy Ride , err, and only 5000 have been produced. I was the proud purchaser of the first bottle of this regal-looking IPA that Mitchell's had sold.


The beer scene in Sheffield and nationally has changed beyond all recognition over the past 25 years (NS Sherlock!)  but it's clear that Kelham Island brewery and the spirit of Dave Wickett are very much alive. Some copy cats may well be a lot fatter but this lot were the old school of hoppy micro beers, probably University dons or something. Hats off.