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Pewter World: The Sheffield Tap and Thinking Tankards

July 24, 2011 10 comments

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.

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