It’s a happy coincidence that this year’s Sheffield Food Festival marks exactly a year since our official opening party weekend. Fitting then that we are able to contribute to such an exciting addition to the festival scene as ‘Eats, Treats & Beats’ and thrilling to be able to collaborate in this venture with such quality and experienced operators as Thornbridge, Plug, Exposed & Events Collective.
It’s been a crazy year and by definition, marked by a long list of firsts, for us, if not for the local or National beer scenes. As the first Brewery encompassing a taproom bar and restaurant in Sheffield we always hoped to add something to an already vibrant beer scene. Serving up to 4 beers straight from tank, one of them hand-pulled (a World first, we think) and pairing all our beers with freshly made locally sourced food came naturally to us and is something we’ll never change – that belief in freshness, supporting local producers and giving our customers a quality experience was always core to our vision.
We like to think we’ve innovated a little in our beer service too, with four branded beer glasses to choose from allowing a “how much do you want?” “which glass would you prefer” approach that’s really caught on. Our beer flights, 4 x 1/3 Pints for a fiver, have been popular since day one and give customers the opportunity to sample a few new beers, mix up with a favourite or two or pair to their menu choices. The tasting flight paired with a 4 quarter house pizza has been so popular on our brewery tours that we’re adding a ‘sampling platter’ to give even more choice.
Our beer range continues to expand with some beers such as SG: Summer Gold, which became our biggest seller instantly, now part of the core range unfortunately relegating OS: Orange Stout to seasonal appearances. Zf: Zestfest became an instant hit as it caught the ‘Session IPA’ wave of popularity. We were frankly unprepared for the success of KOP, our ‘artisan session pilsner’ brewed in collaboration with Sheffield United and badged in their colours which was our first beer in can, and sold out so quickly we’ve doubled the brewlength for the next brew. Proper lager takes time (lager in German means ‘to store’) so we’ll have it back in Tank, Keg & Can soon.
As a brewer, the prospect of creating new and different beer excites me, so I’m looking forward to celebrating our first year with a limited edition ‘double Ar’ a version of our popular American red ale upped to a beefy 7.2% and to brewing an oblique take on Belgian Wit beer, flavoured with apricot and cumin, superbly refreshing for the Summer and perfect with salads or desserts. Later on the Summer we’ll be brewing a range of beers for Octoberfest, so expect seasonal German-influenced lagers and wheat beers, plus some strong brown ales, double IPA’s and October ales as we move toward the Winter.
The new beers excite our chef team too as they bring plenty of opportunity for creative food pairings with seasonal dishes. Pairing with beer and cooking with beer (and beer ingredients) are core to what we do, as exemplified by our house Scotch Egg. Ever popular it features in the Sheffield Cookbook Second Helpings and you can see our head chef, Brendan Barwise make one live in the Theatre Kitchen Marquee on Sunday afternoon.
One year down, the future is bright, bring it on…
Head Brewer & Managing Director