I almost feel bad for saying it but I’m not the greatest fan of this hot weather we’ve been having recently. The fan has become a permanent fixture in our flat and we’ve had the air conditioning on every day at work. One good thing about it, however, is that it’s a great excuse to get out and try some cool, refreshing beers, although I will admit I’ve recently taken to having a glass of water alongside my pint – after all, it’s important to stay hydrated!
There have been some great pale ales on around Sheffield over the last few weeks, perfect for the summer weather. Sunfest was a great success as always and had some fantastic beers on offer: Five Towns’ Always Crashing in the Same Car (rhubarb belgian tripel) and Steel City’s MPHIBUDDHNZNEIPA (mango and passionfruit IPA “soup”!) were two highlights for me. However, for this column I’ve stuck with tradition and gone for three hand-pulled beers from around the pubs of Sheffield, rather than festival beers. Here they are in no particular order:
What: Nelson Sauvin Pale – Brewsmith (Ramsbottom)
Where: Beer House, Ecclesall Road
Nelson Sauvin is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it hop, but I have to say that I’m a fan of it. This pale wasn’t single-hopped (Gelana and Cascade also featured) but its presence was certainly notable, with hints of tropical fruits and grapefruit coming through alongside a more astringent vinous flavour. In the glass, this had the appearance of a classic pale ale, with a straw-coloured body and small but fairly creamy white head. On drinking, the light carbonation made it very pleasant and refreshing on a balmy evening.
What: Rising Tide – Turning Point (Kirkbymoorside)
Where: Cremorne, London Road
This wasn’t the first time that I’d tried this sessionable pale ale, but this was the best condition I’ve had it in so far. Poured a slightly hazy light amber colour with a very thin head. The aroma was packed with citrus fruits and on tasting there was a nice level of bitterness balanced out by the biscuit-like flavours from the malt which were more prominent than I had expected. Very nice pint from this North Yorkshire brewery.
What: Red Lion – Ashover Brewery (Ashover)
Where: Railway Hotel, Bramall Lane
This beer from the ever-reliable Ashover Brewery has been around before but this was the first time I’d seen it in a while and I think it’s been improved. This was a very interesting American red ale, with a vivid copper colour in the glass and a nice foamy head. An aroma of toffee and blackberries and floral hops delivered exactly what it promised on drinking, with a nice balance between the sweet caramel of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.