Home > Beer > Pewter World: The Sheffield Tap and Thinking Tankards

Pewter World: The Sheffield Tap and Thinking Tankards

A good Sunday, on which we went to Sheffield to walk around John Lewis with a scanner to assemble a wedding list.  This turned out to be less of a chore than it might have been (“Yep, if someone wants to buy me one of those, that would be nice”) , and we got a free pot of tea and cherry Bakewell bun each in the John Lewis cafe for our efforts.

Afterwards I was rewarded for good behaviour with a trip to the splendid Sheffield Tap for a few beers before the train back to Leeds.  A bottle of Thornbridge Versa, the brewery’s new Weisse Beer, was very nice: pleasant and banana-ey, basically a well-crafted and unimpeachable version of a style that doesn’t really excite me.  Magic Rock High Wire was on solid form on cask and Thornbridge Raven, also on cask, remains a truly great beer.  A bottle of Urthel Hop-It (9.5%; crikey) was a nice blonde hoppy Belgian, but far from being the US-influenced double IPA that I had expected for no good reason.  Note for the future: if you want a US double IPA, just order one.

The main point of this blog post, however, is to ask your opinion on a matter of some recent concern to me: pewter tankards.  Beer can be drunk from pewter in the Booking Office bar at St Pancras, as well as the Fox & Anchor at Smithfield.  In both North and Further North in Leeds, regulars have their own pewter tankards hanging on the wall by their names.

But are they really any good?  Do they add or detract from the drinking experience? You certainly see less of the beer, but does it taste more metallic? Do they keep the beer colder than glass?  I’m thinking of adding a Sheffield-make tankard to my wedding list and your comments would be a great help.

  1. July 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    They’re popular with CAMRA beer festival stewards… Resist the urge!

  2. July 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I have a couple of tankards that I use every now and again but largely for bitters and stouts. Hoppier beers need a rounded glass for the aroma to escape. Can’t say I’ve noticed a metallic taste. Also harder to knock a tankard over. Used to drink out of my tankard at gigs I went to in a conservatory

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      Useful, thanks. Yeah, I would continue to use glassware that maximised the aroma of hoppier beers.

  3. July 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    A stone krug, yes. Tankard? Hmmm. I can’t see it.

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      Hmmm… I’ve never used a krug. Further research may be required.

  4. broadfordbrewer
    July 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Enjoyed your post and have tried both the Thornbridge Raven abd tbe Urhell Hop-It. Interested in your DIPA comment as I enjoyed the Urthel. But I haven’t tried nearly enough of the Belgian or US style to know what i’m talking about. On the pewter…never considered it but will raid my dads collection and report back. Stick one on your list though…what the hell!

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Cheers. Yeah, you’re right. It’ll at least be harder to completely destroy than a nice glass.

  5. July 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I used to drink at a pub where some of the regulars had pewter tankards. If it had glass in the bottom then it might have some historical appeal as that was introduced to stop pressgangs from slipping “the King’s schilling” into some poor saps beer and pressganging them into the military.

    But historical nerdyness aside, I can’t see the point and furthermore, the glassware in the Sheffield Tap is pretty excellent without any need to resort to pewter tankers anyway!

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Yeah, I’ve been reading about that. Sounds very Treasure Island. Thanks!

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