Three pints of Tiny Rebel Compton Cricket Club came to £10.80, that’s £3.60 a pint to my reckoning. I don’t usually go for Tiny Rebel beers, I find the juvenile pump clips and the can designs off putting. Makes me think I’m drinking alcopops.
On the other hand the Compton Cricket Club pump clip is a statement of establishment, of lazy afternoons around a village green punctuated by the smack of leather on willow. Far more relevant to my age and position in society.
Yeah, course it is! What is all this about logos and designs? To be fair I thought this one was comparatively crap compared to the usual Tiny Rebel stuff. It’s a sort of public school crest with cricket bats and a touch of palm trees and Sandinistas mixed in.
But what about the beer? This 4.5% West Coast Amber ale, this delicious clash of cultures (Tiny Rebels words, not mine) makes me think there’s something going on that I’ve missed, which just reinforces the fact that for most plebs like me any subliminal message goes right over the top of my head and all this bollocks about inappropriate branding is exactly that.
Just in case you’ve fallen into the trap of believing everything I write; I lied in the first paragraph. I’m a big fan of Tiny Rebel, their beers, their quirky logos and signature design. Seems you can advertise unaffordable loans at a thousand plus percent rate of interest on mainstream TV, but you can’t have a quirky can design. There’s some people out there that need to give their heads a shake, or perhaps have them shaken for them.
What? Oh, the beer? Absolutely delicious, nicest pint I’ve had all day and it’s also the best quality, an easy 4+, not far off 4.5 NBSS. A proper delight, full of hops.
Even better sat amongst a nice collection of assorted folk. Some eating, some talking, some just sitting quietly enjoying their beer. A quick scan around the room confirming that indeed, most folk were drinking beer, pints actually. Quite an eclectic mix of people, all ages, all very friendly too, including the eager bar staff. Martin can’t quite believe it, a lot of the Good Beer Guide pubs he visits up and down the country aren’t this busy at 10.30 on a Friday night, let alone early doors on a Tuesday.
One room, one bar, looks like it was probably a series of small parlours once upon a time. Seven cask ale lines, loads of keg beer, cans and bottles; Belgium, rest of Europe, British, American, wherever. Generally things tended towards the progressive rather than the traditional. Carpet throughout, clean and tidy, well decorated with a touch of eccentricity in parts. I like it.
Simon started to get a bit agitated, repeatedly looking at his watch and then back again at his pint. ‘What, you’re going?’ ‘Train’. And that was that, just me and Martin left in the midst of a flurry that two seconds before had been Simon.
Over several trips out, I’d become accustomed to Martin’s continual forward drive. No turning back, no, or very few, repeat visits and definitely no second pint. So when he said, ‘lets have another one, I’ll choose,’ I felt bit out of my comfort zone.
He did say how much it cost, I cant recall now. It wasn’t cheap. Ten and a half percent never is. Little Earth Project The Brett Organic Stock Ale was sour, strong, in a funky, vinous, almost solerafied way. I don’t know who was more surprised? me or the other folk in the pub watching two grown men sharing a half of beer. Very nice, very different. Totally demolishing the caricature of Martin the boring brown bitter man I have built up over several posts and many comments on social media. Maybe he was just playing to the gallery? Roger would be well impressed I reckon, only thing is he’s now on the train back to St Albans.
Overall, it’s an impressive boozer. The main plus point being. it’s nearer to the city centre than Kelham Island, so easier to sneak off to whilst the other half is shopping, especially now the city centre seems to have migrated it’s focus more towards The Moor.
If I had to put my finger on the best boozer visited on this little trip to the Steel City, I’m probably going for The Rutland. Not because there’s anything wrong with the others, there isn’t they’re all very, very good boozers, it’s just there were more beers that excited me in here than the other ones. Put that down to personal taste then. Sheffield’s got it’s own style of pubs that’s well … Sheffield. The Rutland felt more Leeds to me. It was the choice of beers that did it.
Verdict; A very excellent boozer that looks out and wider, rather than focusing on what has gone before, yet still retains that old school pub feel.