It has to be said, I'm quite partial to a sausage. So the thought of a beer & sausage festival today was enough to persuade my darling wife to point the little blue beer taxi in the direction of the Three Tuns in Dronfield.

An impressive pub - open plan, wrapped around a central bar, raised dining area, chunky chairs and smart sofas. The staff were fantastic - attentive, chatty, clued-up. The beers were spot-on; twelve from Spire on the bar - it's their pub - plus sixteen festival beers available on cellar runs.

But it was the sausages that stole the show. The Championship Plate, pictured above, had six pork sausages from different local butchers. And, boy, they were different. Density, depth of flavour, skin thickness... what a fantastic opportunity to compare and contrast.

I had to try a few more, of course. The 'Forest' Plate combined the earthy, slightly nutty Wild Boar & Sage from Farmhouse Pantry, a really rich Game sausage by Gaunt's and the pungent Cranberry, Apple & Chutney of Price & Fretwell.

And I had to make space for the 'Farmhouse' Plate too; a magnificently robust lamb & mint by Meadowfresh, the deep deep deep flavour in the buffalo from Farmhouse Pantry and my favourite of the day by them again: sweet chilli chicken. Never had a chicken sausage before; this was properly meaty, not too heavy and just-so on the chilliometer.

The beers weren't too shabby either. Spire's Coal Porter and Sergeant Pepper Stout were everything I want in dark beers; licks of licorice, ashen kisses, gorgeous engorged malts. A couple of IPAs by Barlow - Full Monty and Three Valleys - had that Fullers-like spicy marmalade feel that I love.

It was a cracking afternoon. The place was busy - as it damn well ought to be on a Saturday afternoon with beer and food of this quality. A brass band were playing which gave rise to the sight of someone walking out of the kitchen with a trombone to perform a number and then go serve beer. The only downside was that they ran out of chilli & chocolate sausage as I was ready to pair it with Spire's imperial stout, Prince Igor.

I'll certainly be going back to the Three Tuns - I can feel a Dronfield mini-crawl coming on - and I hope they put a sausage platter on their main menu. I just wish more pubs put this much thought into their festivals. Mahoosive amounts of beers are a bit meh; something such as sausages presented in this fashion turns a beer festival into a far more enjoyable event.

1 comment:

  1. I went on Friday night. Wish I could have been in longer but I do really like the 3 Tuns.

    I must admit that while Sgt Pepper Stout may not be my choice in a pint glass (Coal Porter is my regular tipple in there) but as an ingredient in food it is excellent.