pubs real ale

The best pub in Britain?

A couple of weeks back, we heard that the Kelham Island Tavern had been named CAMRA’s pub of the year for the second year running and, at a loose end on a wintry Sunday afternoon, we popped up to Sheffield to give it a go.

There were friendly staff and a mixed crowd. The pub is definitely characterful — not sterile, but not grotty either.

We hadn’t tried any of the beers on offer, and weren’t overly familiar with any of the breweries, so chose more-0r-less at random. Midnight Stout from (we think) ‘the Brew Company’) was had those vanilla and chocolate flavours of which we’re so fond; white rose Bucking Blonde (eugh — what an awful pump clip!) was a delicious pale and hoppy beer with a pleasingly sulphurous aroma.

Finally, the best of the bunch. We’d had heard of Pictish Brewing, of course, because Tandleman mentions them in glowing terms from time to time. Brewers Gold was truly excellent, hard not to down in one, it was so crisp. One of those beers which both creates and quenches thirst. It had zing up the wazoo.

We liked this pub a lot and it’s certainly convinced us that we need to check out the runners up for pub of the year.

Our views on the nearby Fat Cat and some thoughts on Thornbridge to follow in later posts.

pubs real ale

I should be on that train

The Sheffield Tap, the newish Thornbridge-affiliated pub on platform 1 at Sheffield’s central station, is a very, very dangerous development.

It’s very easy to find yourself standing at the bar with a half-empty glass of delicious, crisp Thornbridge White Wild Swan watching your train leave without you. And the worst thing is, you don’t even care. Trains are ten a penny, but beer this good is hard to come by.

Seriously, this pub is excellent. It has a beautiful interior, incredible cask beer and (although we didn’t count) what might be the best range of bottled beer in the country, all available to take away.

Now let’s have one of these at every station in London, please.

With thanks to Pete Brown for the tip off. Pretty much all the other bloggers went together a few weeks back and seem to have enjoyed it too.