Monday, 4 October 2010

A visit to the Wellington in Sheffield.

The Wellington is a fine ale house situated next to the Shalesmoor (not so) Super Tram stop. The building is simple to look at, being red painted brick from about the turn of the last century. It is what is inside that is more exciting about the Wellington. As you enter, the bar is in front with seating to the right and a second room to the left. The interior of the pub is quite tired but simple and no-nonsense. Behind the bar the boards shows what ales are on sale, normally about 8. Two of the beers are from the Little Ale Cart brewery which to quote is made “in the brick shed out the back”. The Little Ale Cart beers tend to be blonde, hoppy and very tasty! The bar staff at the Wellington are very friendly and patient. It is fair to say that the facial hair of the landlord must be some of the best in Yorkshire! Other regular beers come from places like the Millstone brewery and the favourite of the ‘Spectator’, the West Berkshire brewery.  The quality of ale here is outstanding.

When it comes to Sheffield beer and beer in general it does not get much better than the Little Ale Cart brewery. The beers from here really are gems. I can think of one close acquaintance who believes this is the “place for him”.

The Wellington is probably the pub in Sheffield where you are most likely to enter conversation with either bar staff of other patrons. The clientele come from a wide range of backgrounds, but have one thing in common; that they are well informed about ale. On my visit I got talking to some locals as well as helping out some guys from Birmingham who were on a real ale pub crawl. The friendly family feel of the Wellington was confirmed by the sign behind the bar giving details of baby Beatrix who was born 3 days earlier at 7lbs 3ozs. Not long after we got sat down, baby Beatrix was brought round the pub. Clearly the Wellington is a very friendly pub

It is the easiest choice of what beers to try first – the made on the premises Little Ale Cart ales.

Drink 1. Little Ale Cart Bayardo (4.4%). Light golden ale containing Centennial, Amarillo, Chinook and Columbus hops. The beer is citrusy with Orange flavours. It is sweet, aromatic, easy drinking and has great length. A lovely beer – 8/10

Drink 2. Little Ale Cart Lady Rowena (4.0%). Once again this is another hoppy golden ale. The nose of this one is more floral with plenty of elderflower. It is not as sweet as the Bayardo, but it is amazingly well balanced with a nice bitterness. It is a complex beer with once again great length. It has so much flavour for a 4% beer. Fantastic example of what low production volume real ale should be like – 8.5/10

Little Ale Cart brewerys fine Lady Rowena (left) and Bayardo (right)

After having these two beautiful beers, we decided to try some of the others available at the bar.

Drink 3.  Millstone Brewery Baby Grit (4%). This is the house bitter at the Wellington. The Millstone brewery was setup in 2003 at Mossley. It is a golden bitter with a nice slightly green/hoppy nose. On the palette one can taste caramel in this easy drinking beer which goes down nicely with a lemony/citrus finish to it. A very tasty bitter – 7.5/10

Drink 4. Cannon Royal brewery Uphampton Gold (4%). The Cannon Royal brewery is based in Upton, Worcestershire and starting making ale in 1993. Gold has an unusual flavour with lots of caramel and also some vegetable tones. Compost, and vegetable stock flavours were detectable which combined with the good body to make this a nice beer. 6.5/10

I had a wonderful time at the Wellington. A Friendly environment combined with the fantastic Little Ale Cart beers make this my favourite ale house at the present time.  

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