Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: 2021

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Beer memories: Derventio Cleopatra

Cleopatra, for me, is one of THOSE beers. One of those beers-that-got-you-into-beer, a familiar pumpclip on the bar, an ever reliable pint. I used to drink Derventio Brewery's Cleopatra during my student years in York (where, despite them being based in Derby, Derventio's beers were oddly prolific). I was an awkward fresher who much preferred sitting contemplatively in a comfortably fusty woodclad pub having a quiet sup with a couple of pals over spending a night in a dingy nightclub with a vodka and Irn Bru (yes really), freezing in a cardigan and wearing heels I couldn't walk in. And when home for the holidays popping for a pint with my dad, I'd find Cleopatra's fruity tones greeting me upon entry to the Fat Cat, an iconic Sheffield venue and one where many of my earliest beer memories were made. 

In 2014, Jim and I went to the inaugural, now legendary, Beer Central bottle share. It was a small and friendly social occasion, and the first time we were really able to chat and get to know Beer Central's proprietor, Sean. The brief for the evening was to take along a bottle of beer that you liked, and about which you had a story to tell. I took a bottle of Cleopatra, and shared the tale as related above.

And now we've heard that, sadly, Derventio Brewery have gone into liquidation, with the owners planning on taking retirement. The news was broken to me by Sean, via a gift of a bottle of that very same beer that I'd shared with him close to seven years ago.

The bottle tastes of nostalgia. The beer itself is a 5% pale ale, hopped with First Gold and with the addition of apricot (we assume flavouring). It's old school, it's easy drinking, it's kinda sweet, certainly fruity - reminiscent of the yellow fromage frais - and it's still, to me, absolutely delicious. 

A total classic, and it will be missed.

Laura x