Thornbridge and BrewDog lined the bar in the Sheffield Tap at midday (Black Dog is the best looking beer I’ve seen in ages); a pit stop in the Harlequin which broke up the long walk; a Kelham Island brewery tour where everyone was drinking Marble Brew No.14; to the current CAMRA Pub of the Year, the Kelham Island Tavern, for a Thornbridge Samhain; to the Sheffield Brewing Co, another tour, a couple of beers; to The Hillsborough Hotel, to a bar lined with Crown Brewery beers, a Marble, Thornbridge and a Pictish; the most to-the-point-brewery tour ever (that’s the mash tun, thanks); Ring of Fire 2009 being tapped; a tram and a bus to a sandwich eating competition and a pint of something from Abbeydale; back on the bus to the Devonshire Cat and a pub full of drunk people drinking Ruination and heading straight for just that; and onwards still, back to the Sheffield Tap, for more, and more; and then food, the missing ingredient of the night, some chicken things, chips and potatoes cooked in southern fried chicken batter; a taxi; a broken key; a shared bed; too-little sleep; the worst hangover ever experienced; a delicious breakfast that couldn’t be eaten as all focus was on controlling the body functions; and then to Leeds; a round of juice and tea in Wetherspoons; taxi to Avery at Beer Ritz; Rooster’s fantastic American IPA on cask got me back on track; a dizzying selection of bottles; bye to Zak, hi to North Bar, for cask, keg and bottles, for bread and fantastic cheese, for a Raging Bitch; then the best pint of Sam Smith’s OBB I’ve ever had; a quick Old Peculiar; another train; a couple of half pints in the Sheffield Tap; Burger King; a four hour train journey made into a five hour train journey by missing the connection by one minute; finally getting in and realising the text I sent to Lauren to tell her I’d be late didn’t actually send; unpack, sit down, pass out.
Damn it was a good time. I felt like hell all day yesterday but who cares, it was worth it. Sheffield is a seriously good place to drink seriously good beer (and if you go then stay at The Hillsborough Hotel, it’s a great place). Jaipur was my first and last of the weekend and just delicious; the Marble Brew No.14 was fantastic; Crown Pale Ale and Stannington Stout show how good a brewer Stu is and then his Ring of Fire blew me away with its green-chilli fruitiness (that was beer of the day); Ruination IPA was a glass of peaches and apricots that kicked my arse; bottles of Orval and geueze ended one day and left their wrath on the next.
A day spent drinking, talking about beer and enjoying it is always fun. Thank you to everyone who came, it was great to meet you or to see you again – I hope everyone had a brilliant day. Special thanks to Alex from All Beer for sorting us out a lot of extra treats and brewery tours and hurrying us along when we floundered. Now we just need to sort out the next one! So far we’ve had suggestions for Manchester (Tandleman, we’ll need a guide!), Oxford or Cambridge, Norwich, Derby, Newcastle (Jeff Pickthall offered to guide us around there), or even Belgium. Plus there’s GBBF, but that one’s a gimme. Where do you fancy going?!
Thanks to Matt for the photos. Check out the #twissup timeline too, it makes for fun and interesting reading!