Christmas Social in Sheffield Saturday 1 December 2012
A good beginning to December for all of us who managed to make Sheffield. I counted 16 MCB members plus three partners and around six friends. There were about 15 Northern Brewers and friends as well so a mighty group at its height. Quite a number of us managed to make the Sheffield Tap on the station at around 11.00. Just to show our responsible attitude to alcohol, several started the day with a cup of coffee. There were several Thornbridge beers on (the White Swan was in very good form) plus a number of strongish beers from other small breweries.
I have had some very good feedback from several of those who managed to attend and for me it was one of the best socials that I have ever been on. Many thanks to all those who managed to come, and commiserations to those who couldn’t make it.
The Harlequin was next and we found a good range there as well and the two (halves) I had were in fine form. Later, I had a report that the Bock was poor and surprisingly, the barman wouldn’t change it for another beer (I gather he said, “nobody else has complained.” A real throwback to the bad old days.)
The Shakespeares, a fine backstreet multi-roomed “boozer”, with a chequered recent history was next. It is a warm and welcoming pub with a large range of draught beers in very good condition and worthy of support. It also has a fine stock of Belgian and North American bottled beers at prices that were cheaper than many specialist beer shops. A number of our party succumbed, quite rightly, to temptation.
Most of us then caught the tram to the Shalesmore stop and sauntered to the Fat Cat. The intrepid Lorna, though, led a small party of walkers, and arrived several minutes before us!
A number of our party joined us for the first time here and nearly everybody was with us by the time we reached the Kelham Island Tavern very close by. We tended to travel between the pubs in a number of groups and this meant that we didn’t swamp the smaller establishments. The downside was some very unusual and lengthy navigations, between pubs, that were all close together, by some of the splinter groups. However, as the day progressed we always managed to end up in the same places, for some of the time.
Both the above pubs had a good range of beers on, at attractive prices, and in very good condition. The highlight for me was the Mill Green Brewery Tasmanian Hop Devil. A so-called Black IPA, and a hefty 6.0% with plenty of Topaz and Galaxy hops. However, although hoppy, it was well balanced and very easy drinking.