CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> Guzzle
Guzzle, 843 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
When I returned from my California brew tour last September, I was happy to find a surprise waiting for me when I got home. On the day I actually returned from America (having been stranded in Amsterdam for an unplanned night when my third flight was cancelled), a brand new micropub opened in Sheffield. The very next day, with jetlag swimming about my head, we drove across town to the area of Sheffield called Woodseats. Named after the Old Norse word for “fold in a wood”, Woodseats is located near Graves Park and grew from a small cluster of cottages to a popular residential neighbourhood. The fact that nothing really stands out about Woodseats is probably the reason we’d never been over there.
But now we had a reason to visit. Having opened in a former gift shop, just down the road from a KFC and an Asda, Guzzle was bound to become popular with the cask ale-loving locals. The three-level pub features wood furniture in the front lower part, the bar with stools in the middle part, and a low round table with chairs in the wide upper back room. It was crowded with friendly locals on this Sunday afternoon, and the five handpumps were featuring local brews. In addition to the handpumps are taps featuring three craft beers, a cider, and a sparkling wine.
We stood at the bar on this first visit. I had a taste of SG (4.0% ABV, Sentinel Brewing Company, Sheffield, South Yorkshire), which was much better than my first taste of this not long after the brewery had opened. But we both went for pints of Encore (4.5% ABV, Exit 33 Brewery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire). The pump clip described this as a repeat performance ale, suggesting one fills, empties, and repeats, or simply "encore une fois". As a starburst of zingy umami hops filled my mouth, I could only utter "Wow". (Or "sensationnel", if you want to say it in French.)
On our second visit a few weeks later we took along our friends Mike and Holly on an evening we dubbed "Dumfries On Tour Visits Woodseats". [See this column for our original Dumfries On Tour adventure.] It was a Saturday night and the micropub was very crowded indeed. This time Andrew and I went for pints of Illumination (4.8% ABV, Abbeydale Brewing Company, Sheffield, South Yorkshire). Brewed with Green Bullet hops from New Zealand, this golden ale was pleasant. Mike's first choice was Damnation (4.5% ABV, Abbeydale), but sadly it was at the end of the barrel and never cleared. So he joined us in our Illumination. Holly went for a pint of Sleepy Badger Oatmeal Stout (4.5% ABV, Little Critters Brewing, Sheffield, South Yorkshire). This was surprisingly yummy, with the taste of treacle without being sweet and too rich.
On this Saturday night the pub was very crowded, but we found a three-person table in the back, where Andrew and I squeezed our skinny bodies onto one seat while Holly and Mike shared the two-seater side. The din of the crowd around us in the all-wood pub made it difficult for us to hear each other, but we did the best we could with conversation. Perhaps we should have just done what the students do and texted each other instead.
Our Woodseats excursion culminated in a delicious meal at a nearby Indian restaurant, and a quick pint at another local pub. We all decided we would like to repeat this excursion soon. So should we call it "Dumfries On Tour Visits Woodseats Part II?" Why not?