Mid-morning crowds at the bar

It was 11:45 in the morn­ing at the Sheffield Tap and we couldn’t get served.

Two harassed bar staff – one of whom was a woman with a mous­tache (Movem­ber) – were try­ing to deal with a four-deep crowd of foot­ball fans and beer geeks at the bar. One bloke want­ed to taste a few things. The bar staff were patient about it but the pun­ters behind him weren’t. A cou­ple of low-key rows broke out: “Don’t let that bloke push in front of you! You were there first!”; “No I wasn’t, you nob­head. Shut up!”

Even­tu­al­ly, squeezed into a cor­ner with our Thorn­bridge Pivni (“Pos­si­bly the best break­fast beer in the world” – Reluc­tant Scoop­er), we won­dered whether, when this pub first opened a cou­ple of years ago, any­one ever expect­ed it to be this busy at any time, let alone before mid­day.

The mar­ket for craft beer bars isn’t sat­u­rat­ed yet. If there’d been anoth­er one a few doors down, we reck­on that would have been full, too.

Tast­ing notes (all Thorn­bridge): Pivni (3.7%3.2%) was deli­cious – how we false­ly remem­ber Sum­mer Light­ning tast­ing; Black Har­ry (3.9%) was one of those milds that’s coy about it, pleas­ant enough, but lack­ing oomph; Sequoia (4.5%) was our favourite, light-bod­ied and exot­ic-tast­ing – what Ewoks would drink; and Ver­sa (5%) was a Schnei­der-alike with big banana aro­mas and lots of tof­fee flavour.

8 thoughts on “Mid-morning crowds at the bar”

  1. Ah-hah! Bad hand­writ­ing let us down, fol­lowed by bad research online.… Thanks for the cor­rec­tion.

  2. I’m very luck to have the Sheffield tap on my route home from work. Mag­nif­i­cent place.

    There is anoth­er pub just a few yards away past the Show­room Cin­e­ma and Sheffield Hal­lam Stu­dent Union called the Rut­land Arms that fits the defe­n­i­tion of “craft beer” pub quite well, and a few oth­ers in the Town Cen­tre such as the Devon­shire Cat. Sheffield is very well served indeed for that sort of thing and I do won­der some­times if we are sat­u­rat­ed when it comes to real ale.

    As to whether any­one expect­ed it to be as busy as it is, it’s in a bril­liant loca­tion for pass­ing trade and when I first went in short­ly after it opened it was heav­ing. It’s usu­al­ly busy and right­ly so

  3. T_i_B – got a soft spot for the Devon­shire Cat, even though its decor is a bit soul­less. Always had great beer and been made to feel very wel­come there.

  4. Dave – not our most help­ful tast­ing note but there’s only so many times you can describe some­thing as piney, earthy, blah blah blah blah…

    1. Pivni abv research not helped by the fact there was a beer of that name to launch Pin­vi bar in York, though that was a Thorn­bridge rebadge .

      I’ve always want­ed to brew a beer that a redun­dant Impe­r­i­al Stormtroop­er would drown his sor­rows with.

      And I will use the descrip­tor “blah blah blah” at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty.

  5. Blah blah blah is more help­ful than “malty with bal­anc­ing hop­pi­ness” (thanks beer label writ­ers).

    Imag­ine Stormtroop­ers would drink some­thing fair­ly bland in the social club on the Death Star. Wor­thing­ton Cream­flow?

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