I’m ashamed to admit that an American newspaper knew Sheffield was the best beer city in England before I did.
My excuse is that I haven’t lived in Sheffield for 11 years.
When I did live there, a stone’s throw from the Hunters Bar roundabout, Friday evening was almost a ritual: my husband would arrive home from work and we’d be off for ‘a quick pint’ in the Porter Cottage or the Stag.
It would always become ‘oh, go on then, I’ll have another’ and usually ended up with fish and chips or a curry.
In the interests of healthy eating I started preparing dinner before we went out so we didn’t have to resort to a takeaway when we couldn’t be bothered to cook after a few pints.
After a few weeks of wasted food I started to make sure it was something that would keep in the fridge for the following night.
We live in Wellington, New Zealand now, and a ‘real’ pint is not so easily available.
Don’t feel too sorry for us – Wellington is fast gaining a reputation as the craft beer capital of New Zealand and we can partake of 568ml of quality beer as often as we like. But we’re still searching for the perfect pint.
Whilst there are plenty of ales, stouts, lagers, even ciders, to choose from, there’s not much in the way of a traditional English pint. At the NZ beer festival we made it our mission to try every ‘English’ style on offer. By the time we were, literally, weaving our way home, we hadn’t tasted anything that we would consider ‘a pint’.
Imagine our excitement when we saw ‘English Best Bitter’ on one beer menu. ‘Two pints (sorry, 568ml) please!’
First disappointment was temperature – cold enough for brass monkeys – the taste was well removed from a bitter.
Anything that comes remotely close is too strong.
I admit that the days of drinking seven pints of Tetleys are well in the past, but the standard here seems to be the more alcoholic the better, meaning that a couple of pints (rats…) of a 7% ale and I feel like there’s a strong earthquake happening around me.
Best Beer City?
Well that’s the first part of the next visit sorted.
Until then I promise to keep up with the local news a bit better.
Anyone know if any of these great pubs offer accommodation?