So you want the best pubs to try local beers? The official taps are probably a good start!
The original Abbeydale tap is the Rising Sun at Nether Green near Fulwood on bus routes 83a or 120. This has recently seen huge investment in an extension and as well as offering a large range of beers including both Abbeydale and guests it offers a menu of good quality home cooked food. The Rising Sun is also home to Sunfest, their annual summer beer festival when the car park is closed off to make way for a series of tents, housing a bar serving a choice of over 100 beers plus cider, food and music.
Abbeydale also now operate the Devonshire Cat in the city centre serving great beer and food in a more contemporary building.
Blue Bee Brewery is owned by Reet Ale pubs, who operate a total of 5 pubs. The higher profile city centre pub is the Rutland Arms on Brown Street. There are six handpumps dispensing Blue Bee beers plus guests and interesting craft keg beers are also on the bar along with a real cider tap. Its an old street corner boozer with a classic tiled frontage and a suitably shabby look to the place, however it also has food prepared by a decent kitchen team – if you want something to soak the ale up try a Slutty Rutty Butty (chips, cheese, bacon, sauce) however if you want a nice meal the specials board often has dishes that would be at home in a fine dining restaurant – at pub prices. Look out for evidence displayed around the pub of the staff humour and take special note of the forbidden music board if you put money in the juke box.
Catch the 61 bus from Hillsborough Interchange towards High Bradfield and when you hit countryside you will come to the Nags Head in Loxley. This friendly and cosy pub is frequented both by local regulars and people visiting the area, with walks around the nearby reservoir always popular. The Nags Head offers a range of beers from Bradfield Brewery which is just up the road and food is served too, with the pub particularly known for its pies. It is also known for charging very reasonable prices!
The Three Tuns in Dronfield is an unofficial brewery tap, however Sarah and Dave who run the pub do have connections with the brewery, which is a community benefit company. The Tuns is a friendly place with a large range of real ales and ciders and all day food service featuring simple, good value home cooked pub grub with the Sunday dinners especially recommended – they are very popular though so booking is essential! Buses 43, 43a, 44 stop close by.
The Harlequin on Nursery Street, Bridgehouses, is the tap for Exit 33 craft brewery with guest beers also available. It also offers Sheffield’s biggest choice of ciders and features live music at the weekend. A simple (but well done) food menu is available.
The Dronfield Arms in Dronfield, a few minutes walk from the station, is home to Hopjacker brewery which can be viewed through a glass section of floor near the bar area! The brewery is only about a year old but has already established a reputation for good beer and innovation, a recent example of the latter being a 6% rhubarb and custard beer!
The Fat Cat in Kelham Island is next door to the brewery and is pretty much the pub that kicked off the real ale revolution in Sheffield – when it opened it was fairly unknown for a pub to offer a range of guest ales. It is a pub with an old fashioned layout, friendly atmosphere, cheap and simple home cooked food and a great beer garden.
A fairly new Sheffield brewery, run by the same people as the Doctors Orders near the University of Sheffield and the Fox & Duck in Broomhill, both student pubs that offer a range of Little Critters beers. The Doctors Orders also serves food and recently won a best student pub award at the Morning Advertiser Great British Pub awards.
The Wellington at Shalesmoor, located by the tram stop, has now reopened following refurbishment and under the new ownership of Neepsend Brewery. It is a classic two room drinkers pub.
The Gardeners Rest at Neepsend is associated with Sheffield Brewery and offers a range of their beers plus interesting guests. The pub has three rooms – snug, lounge and conservatory plus a quirky riverside patio area. The Gardeners is also home to art, music and a bar billiards table. Oh and a mannequin. Bus 7 and 8 stops outside.
True North operate a whole chain of bars offering craft beer, food and more – in the city centre there is the Old House, Common Room and Forum, in Broomhill the York is theirs, they also run the Broadfield on Abbeydale Road, the British Oak in Mosborough and the Blue Stoops in Dronfield – amongst others. The brewery itself is in Sheffield city centre alongside Devonshire Green.