Dom’s Casks of the Month

After just about making it through Dry January, it’s been good to get back into the swing of things. The real ales on offer around Sheffield seem to have gone all exotic during my month off; since I’ve started drinking again, I’ve had beers with mint, salted caramel, mangoes, pork scratchings, raspberries and more. Some of them have turned out to be surprisingly delicious, while others were not quite to my taste. Nevertheless, it’s good to see so many interesting beers on offer alongside some of the more traditional fare. Anyway, here are my three favourite beers from the past few weeks: What: You Scratch My Back (5.5%) – Abbeydale (Sheffield) Where: Railway Hotel, Bramall Lane Brewed using pork scratchings from Sheffield-based pub snack producers SmoFo, this love-it-or-hate-it stout has certainly divided opinion since its release. Such strong flavours can easily overpower a beer but I was firmly in the love-it camp; the smokiness and saltiness perfectly complimented the rich, roasted stout flavours. The beer was visually pleasing too with its deep black colour and tan-coloured head. What: Betrayal (4.0%) – Wild Weather Ales (Reading) Where: Sheaf View This was the first beer I’d had from Wild Weather but if the quality of this one is anything to go by it certainly won’t be the last. A slightly cloudy-looking American pale ale (I presume it was unfined), the aroma was packed with tropical fruit. Upon drinking, mango and pineapple immediately came to the fore, before making way for more citrus-like Mosaic hop flavours. One I will definitely be looking out for again in future. What: Dry Minted Mojito Sour (5.3%) – Lost Industry/Steel City (Sheffield) Where: Shakespeares Another offering in the long list of collaborations between these two Sheffield microbreweries, this was one of the rare and interesting beers available at Shakespeares’ recent Stupidly Delicious Beers event. A traditional sour beer with fresh mint added at the end, the result was a hugely refreshing drink which, as the name suggests, was very reminiscent of a certain Cuban cocktail. Surprisingly good! Have you tried any interesting beers around Sheffield in the last few weeks? Get in touch with your three favourites (and a few words about each of them) and you could have your selections featured in next month’s Beer Matters. Dominic Nelson

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