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The Ay Up Ducks Real Ale Pub Hunt

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JC and Trevor nearly missed this duck due to its altitude. Inside the Gardeners Rest JC had a pint of Seven Hills (4.2% ABV, Sheffield Brewing), a pale and hoppy beer perfect for the windy day, with gentle hops like a gentle ride up and down the hills on teflon skis. The day was so windy the band of skulls actually blew off of Trevor's hat.

The duck-spotting visit to the Kelham Island Tavern was a mixture of contrasts. In the front room a local xenophobe was ranting and raving about how horrible New York City and Los Angeles were and how Americans were just as despicable as the French. So JC and Trevor retreated into the back room where a group of local folk musicians were singing and playing lovely music. JC's half pint of Autumn Gem (4.1% ABV, Glentworth) had a nice aroma and a fragrant bouquet on the tongue. Trevor had a pint of A Knight's Tale (3.9% ABV, Nottingham Brewery), which is a nice classic bitter. They sat next to Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights. JC's pint was so floral she imagined she was in the Garden of Earthly Delights with a Celtic shanty soundtrack.

JC and Trevor didn't have time to stop in the Riverside on this particular day. The previous time they had been in the pub was during a music festival. JC had a pint of Moonbeams (4.0% ABV, Blue Bee), simply because she preferred the lower alcohol level; otherwise she would have chosen a pint of Zeta (4.9% ABV, The Brew Company) which Trevor ordered. It's a lovely, buzzy pint, although quite dangerous. They shared a taster of the honey-brewed Cheif's Head (4.7% ABV, Bridestones). One sip caused JC to sputter "YUCK!" When Trevor tasted it he uttered a duplicate "YUCK!" Seeing as how the two of them have different tastes, one could say their two YUCKs could be squared. This is definitely not a beer for anyone, and the misspelling bugged both of them.

Although JC has regular drinks with workmates at the Rutland Arms, she spotted the duck when she stopped in one day for lunch with Andrew. The two of them first decided to shoot the balloons and have a pint of S.B.C. (5.2% ABFV, Steel City). Based on Escafeld, the pre-Norman name for Sheffield, this brew sent an instant Whooooie! to their palates. Was this going to be fun! Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately -- their pints didn't clear because it was the end of the cask, so they had to go instead for pints of Nectar Pale (4.0% ABV, Blue Bee). And this was the best pint of it JC had ever had.

It was a very rainy and windy day when JC and Trevor found the duck at the Noah's Ark, so of course they had to find refuge inside from the flood. JC had a pint of Copper Dragon Best (3.8% ABV, Copper Dragon). It was nice and warm in the pub on this freezingly soaking day, and this brew is a crisp classic bitter that defines the word "bitter" perfectly. As she watched a short pool match between Trevor and Andrew, JC chanted to herself, "num-num-num-num Copper Dragon yes yes!" (Don't worry, it was only to herself.)

This was JC's first visit to the Nottingham House since Andrew Bodsworth gave up the pub and it was re-opened under new management. The interior was still nice and bright and clean but very stark, there was hardly anybody in the place on this Sunday afternoon, and the barmaid was very surreal, staring intently at JC and Trevor during their entire visit. There were only two cask ales on. But they both had to admit that JC's Farmers Blonde (4.0% ABV, Bradfield Brewery) and Trevor's Deuchars IPA (3.8% ABV, Caledonian) were both absolutely cracking pints. JC described them as gorgeous, brilliant, stunning, radiant, dazzling, sparkling, and striking. She could think of some more adjectives but decided to stop before she became tiresome.

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