To celebrate the start of Sheffield Beer Week (12th – 18th March 2018), writer Jane Sandwoodshares her favourite places in Sheffield to enjoy a pint of craft ale or lager.
Whether you are seeking a romantic meal for two or looking for food during a group outing, you will find something to suit your taste buds in Sheffield. Apart from the countless national chains on offer, it is encouraged that any visitors to the area venture into Sheffield’s thriving independent food scene which consists of cool coffee houses, delectable street food, innovative restaurants, well-attended food festivals and quaint artisan delis and cafes. Sheffield is also the birthplace of the UK craft beer revolution, offering those keen on a cold ale as many as 400 unique beers to taste on any typical day.
A report by internationally-recognized beer writer Pete Brown stated that the Sheffield City Region sports a booming beer trade of 57 breweries, 31 of which opened since 2015. On any typical day, there are more than 400 unique beers and ales available in the city’s pubs and restaurants. While a good selection of craft beer is readily available at most of the city’s eateries and watering holes that invite patrons to expand their palates, there are a number of joints that stand out among the rest in terms of both service and selection.
Where to find the best craft beer in Sheffield
The Thornbridge Brewery-owned Hallamshire House never has a shortage of local students enjoying a couple of the superb ales on offer. The taps are continuously being rotated with the Peak District brewery’s latest labours together with older favourites such as a punchy American-style IPA known as Jaipur. Another old favourite is the meticulously-brewed Sequoia, a delicious and smooth amber ale.
Brewdog, which is one of Sheffield’s most popular watering holes and a craft beer lover’s haven is perched on the effortlessly tranquil Devonshire Street. Run by the craft beer heavyweight bearing the same name, visitors to the Brewdog can enjoy traditional brews from the Scottish brewery including the ever-popular Jack Hammer, Dead Pony Club and Punky IPA.
The Rutland Arms boasts a vibrant exterior (be on the lookout for local street artist Phlegm’s drawing) which is matched by its colourful choice of dark, light and amber ales served from behind the tavern’s bar. Offerings from the likes of Mikkeler, Magic Rock and To Øl are available on tap at this Steel City favourite. The popular pub’s fridges are always packed with interesting and obscure new brews from the craft beer world.
Local favourite Kelham Island Tavern is situated in Sheffield’s beer-soaked Kelham Island quarter. The pub has won the sought-after national CAMRA pub award of the year twice already and boasts 13 real ales as well as a craft keg beer.
Stocked with a mouthwatering selection of craft ales, the Sheffield Tap isn’t your run-of-the-mill station bar, winning the Great British pub of the year award back in 2016. Travellers who stop here for a drink run the real risk of enjoying themselves so much that they actually end up missing their train.
Shakespeares is another award-winning Sheffield pub and has garnered somewhat of a cult following from local craft beer lovers – largely thanks to its owners’ dedication to offering new and exciting brews. The popular inn has served an astounding 1400 different ales since first opening its doors in 2013. Shakespeares also offers more than 50 bottled beers ranging from Belgian beers made by monks to a Norwegian Baltic Porter.
From brewing to drinking craft beer, Sheffield is an ale-appreciator’s first and foremost UK-based destination. Even if you don’t favour even the occasional ice-cold brew you can be rest assured that your foodie yearnings will be catered for by the blooming Sheffield food scene.
Sheffield Beer Week is a week-long festival celebrating the region’s brewing landscape – old and new! It’s also about highlighting the wonderful world of beer, taking and sharing inspiration from across the globe. Collaboration is key with Sheffield’s bars, pubs and restaurants joining forces with local, national and international breweries to host beery events. Sheffield Beer Week happens across the whole of the city in multiple venues in the second week of March.