Announcing our 40th Steel City Beer & Cider Festival

Ruby Anniversaries

This year 2014 marks the 40th year that Sheffield will host a beer festival organised by Campaign for Real Ale volunteers making it one of the oldest festivals in the country. The first was held at the University of Sheffield and since then has travelled around many venues over the years having visited Hallam University, Netherthorpe, Cemetery Park, Ponds Forge and one memorably unsuccessful year at Darnall. This years 40th anniversary festival sees a move to another new venue, one that hopefully will provide a character appropriate to the occasion to celebrate Sheffield as the “Beer Capital” of the UK.

Kelham Island Museum stands on a man-made island that is over 900 years old, providing a historic setting for the festival. The museum tells the story of the growth of the Steel City through the Victorian Era and two world wars to see how steelmaking forged both the city of today and the world! This year’s festival artwork commemorates the Bessemer converter exhibited at the museum which was last used at Workington, Cumbria to make rails used around the world that was last blown 40 years ago this year.

The festival will be spread around the museum including the upper gallery, a marquee outside and the Millowners pub all with different entertainment and things to do offering something for everyone.

Kelham Island lies at the heart of the Valley of Beer surrounded by many freehouses selling real ales from both local breweries and from further afield. The museum is within easy walking distance of Shalesmoor tramstop, many bus routes and is only a 15 minute walk from the city centre.

Could you sponsor the beer festival?

Sponsorship is a great way to become involved in the festival. It doesn’t cost the earth but it does allow you to show your support, allows you to advertise yourself and contributes to the running of a successful event. If you are interested in becoming involved in the 40th Steel City Beer and Cider festival there are a number of sponsorship packages available starting from just £100.  We are looking for individuals, pubs, businesses, societies and breweries to sponsor a range of items and activities, both at the festival and in the lead up to it. Sponsorship can take several forms:-

  • making a financial contribution towards the general running of the event
  • sponsorship of advanced publicity material (e.g. beermats)
  • the offer of goods and services such as staff radios, transport and consumable items for use at the festival
  • supporting a particular activity  such as entertainment, pub games, charity quiz or programme
  • sponsorship of wrist bands, trade/sponsor tickets or beer/cider tokens
  • Sponsorship of a particular stall such as the bottled beer bar or tombola.

New for this year’s festival is the ability to sponsor a firkin (9 gallons, 72 pints) of beer for £100. For this you will get you or your companies name shown over a barrel of beer at the festival.

All sponsorship packages offer free admission to the festival, some free beer and a go on the pub games together with your name or business displayed inside the festival. In addition all sponsors get their names and details included in the beer festival programme and on the Beer Festival website.

Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other significant occasion, why not club together, sponsor a beer to celebrate and make a party of it at the beer festival.

If you would like to support the Beer and Cider festival through sponsorship or have any questions please contact


This will be my 3rd year managing staffing for the beer festival and the 4th that I have worked in Sheffield, so I was well and truly thrown in at the deep end!

My main job is pensions and as such the only thing I know about beer is that I love to drink it!  So I take a week off work every year where I work 30 hrs and volunteer for over 80hrs at the festival!  There are times over the week when I think why am I doing this? and the answer is always the same because it is such great fun.  I get a great sense of achievement being involved in pulling together the festival for Sheffield and it’s  for a great cause, the promotion of real ale and cider.

We start the planning in January and slowly each month it comes together to produce the festival.  What this means for me is I sit there as they discuss pints per kiln and cooling and I get very confused.  Then they mention something that requires need staff and I wonder where I can find more people from.

The answer is you!   I have many jobs that I need help with.  It’s not all serving beer.  I have busy jobs, sit down jobs, jobs where you don’t have to speak to anyone if needed!

You may ask what is in it for me? Well the answer is if you work 4 hours you get free beer, a glass to put it in and you are already in the door so free entry!  I have people who volunteer for a few hours on the Wednesday and then come back shift after shift.

If you would like to know more just get in touch.

Louise Singleton

The basics

29th October – 1st November 2014

Over 100 real Ales and Ciders

Wednesday 29th October                                Free
Thursday 30th October                                    £1 (CAMRA Free)
Friday 31st October 12 to 5pm.                       £2.50 (CAMRA £1)
Friday 31st October 5pm to 11pm.                  £5.00 (CAMRA £2)
Saturday 1st November 12 to 5pm.                 £3.00 (CAMRA £1)
Saturday 1st November12 5pm to 11pm.        £4.00 (CAMRA £1)

Kelham Island Museum
Alma Street
S3 8RY

Steel City Festival

About Andy Cullen

Andy has been actively involved in CAMRA since the early 2000s after being recruited to sit on a National Younger Members Task Group. Since then he has held roles on the branch committee including Secretary, Membership Secretary, Magazine Editor, Chair and now Social Secretary. Andy has also been involved with the Steel City Beer & Cider Festival almost every year since becoming active in the branch.

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