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Thread: A Soggy Sheffield Crawl

  1. #1
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Default A Soggy Sheffield Crawl

    Hoppy may have his “fire and finger” curses but the Old Boots curse is weather blighting an otherwise pleasant pub crawl, it was torrential rain in Derby, sleet and freezing winds on the Pennine Railale Trail and now wind and rain for Sheffield's Valley of Beer. After a late start I finally arrived in Sheffield about 1pm, some initial panic at not seeing the Sheffield Tap but soon resolved by looking at the correct end of platform 1. No one to meet here as I was flying solo today, drinking buddies being tied up with work, family crises or pecuniary misfortune. A full looking range of eight Thornbridge beers plus a good selection of decent Europeans on tap and a shed load of excellent bottles, naturally a beer menu is available. Eschewing the Jaipur for obvious reasons I plumped for the weakest Thornbridge, Wild Swan at 3.5%, as expected a golden hop monster but just right to settle the dust. A quick look round and then off to find a tram. No tramlines where I expected to find some so after a short, sharp walk uphill to the Cathedral I caught the tram up to the Langsett, Primrose View stop for a reasonable £1.70. Precious few primroses to view here but a short walk down the hill and I was at the Hillsborough Hotel. Another eight pumps to choose from and as it's their brewery I had the Crown Hillsborough Pale Ale, another golden and hoppy beer. Taking a seat with a view of the pumps I noticed a lad with a professional looking video camera filming various customers. Turning his camera on me I gave an hopefully Oscar winning virtuoso pint draining performance, one for the cutting room floor I fear but you never know! I asked what it was for and he replied he was “just making a documentary about Alice, that girl in the corner” that naturally explained everything. I will also mention my “Geek of the Week”, a young IT fellow with a couple of dozen USB memory sticks dangling off his belt – the modern equivalent of half of WH Smiths pen stock in a breast pocket I suppose.

    Having finished my pint in a misjudged bid for Hollywood stardom I left and turned down the hill following the tram lines. A fair walk to the Wellington, the only pub between the two (George IV) looking closed, at least it's downhill and the rain had slackened off. A longer route to the Wellington would have taken in the Gardener's Rest but I'll save that for next time. The Wellington is easily spotted from afar with a big white sign proclaiming the “Bottom Wellie - the ancestral home of the Little Ale Cart beer & pub company”. That made the choice from 10 handpumps easy and a pint of their Ormond was bought. Another golden and hoppy beer with a bit of a Burton snatch to it. The landlord could have come straight off the pages of The Real Ale Twats with his formidable beard and rotund figure, his cellphone ringtone is a few bars of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, I didn't catch his name. Framed copies of the first three RAT cartoons are actually hung in the corridor leading from the bar to the toilets and smoking area. Very much a CAMRA pub, it's half pints and satchel country in here. Leaving the Wellington and looking down the valley to the right, the gable end of the Ship Inn is very prominent and it looks a short walk but sadly this is Sheffield and the A61 lies between the two pubs. A major Yorkshire artery it is a very busy road and I'm too old to try dashing across six carriageways of fast moving traffic. So after an interminable wait for the lights and a small detour through the urban wastes, although with enough Victorian industrial buildings to satisfy my inner industrial archaeologist, I found the front door of the Ship. This has a magnificent tiled and half timbered front advertising Tomlinson's Anchor Ales, sadly the interior is less magnificent, but three handpumps lurking in a corner of the counter serve well kept beers, I had another Wild Swan, the others being Hardy and Hansons and something from Wentworth I think, called Bumblebeer which I took to be one of those detestable honeyed beers. The Wild Swan was 6p cheaper than in the Sheffield Tap as well as being just as good. Not a CAMRA member or ticker in sight just a group of locals discussing the Falklands and Portsmouth FC who had just gone bust that day. Still a few pubs to go so a short walk down Dun Street and Green Lane, noting the location of the Milestone for future reference and passing the splendid but derelict, Green Lane Works building and the Bulls Head Hotel, a former pub with a carved front advertising "Albion 6X Beers & Stouts". At the end of Green Lane the road forks, ahead is the Kelham Island Tavern and to the left the Fat Cat. I went straight on and into the award winning Kelham Island Tavern. Time for a change from hoppy stuff and as the KIT always serves at least one MILD or Porter I had an Acorn Madness, a “black as yer 'at” porter and an excellent beer from one of my favourite brewers. A cheese bun was also most welcome after the aperitif qualities of hoppy beer. The local CAMRA branch seems to store boxes of spare copies of its monthly magazine “Beer Matters” in this pub, odd but probably just convenient. A turn to the right on leaving and a short walk leads to the Fat Cat, home of the Kelham Island Brewery. In the front porch you are faced with a set of double doors in front but another more inconspicuous door to your right, this is the door that leads to the bar counter and a formidable choice of ales, ok 12. Through the double doors is a drinking lobby with a serving hatch. I tried a Tigertops wheat mild and went through to the comfortable lounge on the other side of the lobby. Every time I've been here the same group of three or four friendly old lads are sat in the corner putting the world to right. I had planned to go from here to the Harlequin but after turning left into Corporation Street and crossing the River Don I spotted the Riverside and thought well why not have just a quick one in here. This is a large quite trendy type of place with 7 handpumps of mainly microbrewery ales, I had an Isle of Purbeck Fossilfuel, a long way from its Dorset home and not a bad beer, not great but drinkable and tasty. The barmaid was up a ladder when I arrived, sadly for Perv's Galore wearing jeans not a short skirt. Other than that it was a pretty quiet place but then it was only early evening. What a change when I got to the Harlequin, only a short walk, and another crossing of one of the gaping wounds that modern roads require, away from the Riverside. It was filled to bursting with happy drinkers enjoying the start of the weekend. 14 handpumps to choose from so perhaps its popularity isn't that surprising, although there were quite a few lager drinkers in. My choice was Mallinsons Volga Porter, brewed in Huddersfield by a nice young lady called Tara and damn good it was too. This was the last pint of the crawl as the train deadline was fast approaching, making good time on the walk to the station I had just enough time for a swift half of Jaipur in the now packed out Sheffield Tap before pouring myself onto the train.

    Tell us, now, how and when
    We may find the bravest men?
    A sure test, an easy test:
    Those that drink beer are the best

  2. #2
    The Beerhunter. RogerB's Avatar
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    Top stuff again OB. . When i finally manage to sort out a long weekend beer & footy trip to the Steel City I shall use your excellent report as my template.

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    Former Pubs Galore Coder
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    Excellent stuff OB, and I must remember to take off my USB keys before ever meeting any of you

  4. #4
    Official JDW Tester hopwas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Hoppy may have his “fire and finger” curses but the Old Boots curse is weather blighting an otherwise pleasant pub crawl, it was torrential rain in Derby, sleet and freezing winds on the Pennine Railale Trail and now wind and rain for Sheffield's Valley of Beer.


    Hopefully curse doesnt strikes again twice tonight at The Bole Bridge and It will be my first visit since that "trapped finger" incident..

    Anyway I must say it was very good reading and bought me some memories of my Sheffield pub crawl in 2003 with my late friend. I have been to two pubs which you have mentioned.. The Kelkham Tavern and The Haqulein. I remember we visited at least 16 Sheffield pubs in just 6 hours..

    Good times eh?

    Glad you enjoy your time in Sheffield

    Hoppy
    J.D Wetherspoon = Home of Hoppy: The Silk Kite, Tamworth.. http://www.tamworthblog.co.uk/2009/0...-blogs-review/

  5. #5
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Another splendid summary ob.
    As one of my key missing 'ticks', I'm sorry you didn't make the Gardeners, but perhaps one for next time.
    The trams run from the east of the station so, if the Tap is townside on platform1, the trams run, I suppose, from platform 5 or 6? £3.50 for unlimited tram & bus day tkt.
    Can I ask about the Green Lane Works building? Was it on the pentagonal or triangular sites I can see on google, south & south-east respectively of the Milestone? Was it noticeably for sale or lease?

  6. #6
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    The Gardeners will be done next time being neatly between the Hillsborough and the Wellington - the only problem is I don't know it's exact location or the best way to reach it on foot

    Yes the trams do indeed run from the east side (Granville St) not the main side (Sheaf St) where the Tap is and it's not very apparent how to get to the tramstop, I guess there is an exit from the station on the east side if you go back over the footbridge next time I'll find out.

    Green Lane Works is a rectangular site south east of the Milestone,(I'm not sure the marker for the Milestone is in quite the right place) between Green Lane and the river and opposite Dun St as far as Dun Fields. You can see the shadow of the clock tower in the satellite view when zoomed in.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    No for sale signs on it, are you interested in purchasing, sir?

    Tell us, now, how and when
    We may find the bravest men?
    A sure test, an easy test:
    Those that drink beer are the best

  7. #7
    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    OH you have made me long for my next trip to the valley of beer. So many good pubs. It is not hard to find a beer festival number of new beers along this trail, and many have slept past their station on the way home as a result. Looking for a slot to get up there. Thanks for your excellent review.

  8. #8
    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    Default Sheffield Crawl

    Our Sheffield crawl is tram from station to the first stop and walk down to the Harlequin as it is the one that opens early. Crawl order is then

    Harlequin 108 Nursery Street
    Riverside.
    Kelham Island Tavern. 62 Russell Street.
    Fat Cat. 23 Alma Street.
    Gardeners Rest.
    Wellington. 1 Henry Street.
    Hillsborough Hotel.54 Langsett Road.
    Rawson Spring (spoons) tram stop outside.
    New Barrack Tavern. 61 Penistone Road.

    Others on this tram route if not full and have time on the way back in the tram

    University Arms. 197 Brook Hill
    Bath Hotel. 66 Victoria Street
    Devonshire Cat. 49 Wellington Street.

    Milestone near Fat Cat sometimes has a new one on.

    Gill

  9. #9
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    I still have Gardeners, University Arms & Sheffield Tap to do. Also, off the usual route - south to Heeley for White Lion & Sheaf View. If, after reading this, I also add the Ship, the Riverside, & Rawson Spring, I'll have a totally unvisited crawl in the making!

    When I was last at Nottingham's Vat & Fiddle, Sheff Wed were due in town & a lass from the New Barrack Tavern was at the bar cashing in a few 'one over the eight' vouchers. Yes, NBT is Castle Rock but just had two home beers and 6 guests on my single visit to date.
    Last edited by trainman; 03-03-2010 at 11:09. Reason: forgot the Tap!

  10. #10
    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Another very entertaining read 'ob'. I really do feel as sick as a parrot for not being able to make it now. Still a Sheffield virgin.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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