Many real ale drinkers and pub lovers in Sheffield have in recent years identified the Heeley triangle as an up and coming beer destination to follow the already established Kelham Island/Upper Don Valley circuit, however many would now argue it has arrived.
There are some great pubs in the area – some long established favourites and some that have dramatically improved recently. The one word of warning is many of them can be very busy on match days when Sheffield United are at home.
There are two interprations of the Heeley Triangle – the small version at Heeley bottom, taking in the Sheaf View, Brothers Arms and White Lion; and the bigger version including London Road, Bramall Lane and Abbeydale Road.
To start, there are three key bus route corridors taking you to and around the Heeley Triangle and I will be describing pubs in such geographic order.
Abbeydale Road corridor – routes 75,76,85,86,97,98,218
London Road/Chesterfield Road corridor – routes 20,43,43a,44
Queens Road/Chesterfield Road corridor – routes 24,25
Plus some miscellaneous others – the 10/10a from Broadfield to Chesterfield Road, the 18 and 252 along Bramall Lane to Heeley Green and the X17 non stop City to Heeley Bridge.
Starting on London Road, we have the Beer Engine. This was reopened in its current guise by Tom Harrington, who has created a friendly, laid back craft beer pub with knowledgeable staff and 6 real ale handpumps plus 4 guest keg lines. The regular house casks are from Neepsend Brewery, the rest are regular changing guests and always something interesting. Food is also available – Pub Tapas Monday to Saturday and traditional roast dinners on Sundays – all fresh ingredients.
On the other side of the main road is the Clubhouse. Very much as sports bar, popular on Sheffield United match days, but also has decent beer and cider along with a range of bar food.
Moving along London Road now, there is the Albion. A simple drinkers pub popular with football supporters, it also offers a range of mainly local real ales.
The Cremorne is a long established multi pump real ale and live music venue. Pizzas also feature here.
Meanwhile on the parallel road, Bramall Lane, opposite the football stadium you will find the Railway, which has been under new ownership in the last year. It has enjoyed a refurbishment and the addition of an interesting range of real ales at reasonable prices and has become a really good, comfortable ‘local’ with three distinct areas – the bar area, the lounge and a pool table area.
Onto Chesterfield Road to Heeley itself, alight the bus at Ponsfords furniture store and next door you will find the White Lion pub which still has a wonderfully old fashioned layout where you enter via a corridor with various drinking rooms to choose from along the corridor, which opens out into a wider area that hosts live music many evenings. You could describe the White Lion as part of Sheffield’s pub heritage – it also has a decent selection of ales!
Further along the main road there is the Crown, a traditional locals pub with a good beer garden, the real ale choice is a bit more mainstream here but reasonably priced. If you carry on past the Crown to Meersbrook, you will find the Tramshed bar, a small but popular place that has no draught beer but an interesting bottled selection.
Head uphill from Ponsfords and you will reach the Brothers Arms. Formerly known as the Olde Shakespeare, the pub was renamed to celebrate the new managers backing of local ukulele paradody band the Everley Pregnant Brothers. A decent selection of mainly local ales can be found on the bar at reasonable prices, as can some quality bar snacks including pork pies. An outdoor drinking area adjoins the pub that boasts a view right across the City Centre from it’s hill side location.
Just around the corner and downhill slightly is the Sheaf View, which 16 years ago was a closed and boarded up pub that got bought by James Birkett, refurbished and extended and has ever since offered a changing range of real ales at reasonable prices along with an impressive whisky selection. An outdoor drinking area also features.
Meanwhile over on Abbeydale Road – from Heeley is walkable or a short ride on the 10/10a Community Transport bus – is another good beer hotspot.
Picture House Social can be found in the basement of the Old Abbeydale Cinema, a landmark white building. The main bar room is comfortable and has an art deco style to it, reflecting that it is located in a former 1920s ballroom, the bar has a choice of three real ales and a regularly changing bottled craft beer selection. To the rear of the bar room is a more basic Italian Street Food diner where you can enjoy freshly made pizza and there is also a games room with ping pong tables (you can hire bats and balls from the bar).
At the other side of the crossroads is the Broadfield, a pub run by True North Brewery with the restaurant section well known for it’s home made pies. The rest of the pub is refurbished with a mixed theme of an ale house with some booths in the style of old railway passenger train compartments. Both the real ale handpumps and the keg taps offer beer from True North plus interesting guests, there is also a beer garden at the rear.
Next door to the Broadfield is Hop Hideout, a specialist beer off licence offering bottled beers from around the world plus a couple of craft keg beers on tap for either drinking on the premises or for growler fills to takeaway.