I’m actually from Hillsborough, but, despite the divides of football rivalry, ask me my favourite area to drink in Sheffield and without hesitation I’ll tell you – Heeley. From continental pub/bar hybrid the Sheaf View to the very traditional Victoria and White Lion, I can always guarantee a great night out around the S2 district with my fellow ale enthusiasts Jake and Lee.
However, I was never under any illusions that every pub in the area was great and Ye Olde Shakespeare Inn on Gleadless Road was never featured on our ale trails through the area. In fact, I specifically remember suggesting we nip in to my brother Jake one night when the ever popular Sheaf View was packed to capacity and being met with a doubtful look. I pestered him though and when we eventually climbed the steep staircase into a dingy room with a very limited selection of lagers and predictable mass-produced beers we quickly retreated. He was right about that place.
First impressions are powerful so when my Dad suggested a trip there last Summer I was definitely resistant. He argued he’d heard great things recently, but I wasn’t convinced. I protested, he insisted and eventually I gave up (he had offered to pay after all!). So okay the name had changed to the Brothers Arms, but as we climbed the unaltered narrow staircase, I was already wondering if we’d get a table in the nearby Sheaf View when I proved this definitely wasn’t amongst Heeley’s finest watering holes. However, emerging at the top I was left speechless by the transformation. The bar was fully stocked with a wide range of local ales, namely those of the locally renowned Bradfield Brewery and the walls were decorated with vintage Yorkshire tourism posters. I was instantly won over – sorry for doubting your dram shop expertise Dad!
On returning home a quick internet search told me the pub had been bought up by Sheffield’s ukulele-wielding cult band The Everly Pregnant Brothers (featuring Steel City’s most recognisable artist since Joe Scarborough, Pete Mckee). Their passion for good beer and long-standing ambition to own a boozer of their own had finally come together. Yet the Brothers Arms is not a self-glorifying tribute to its owners’ achievements, there’s no Everly Pregnant Brothers records on constant loop and speaking to the Sheffield Star in July last year Pete emphasised “It was my intention from the start to make it a McKee-free zone and not to have any of my work on display in the pub.”
As his initial impressions were the same as mine, it took some coaxing to get him in there too, but now my friend (and own hopeful future partner in the landlord business!) Lee will tell you, the Brothers Arms is now amongst our city’s best pubs, and with its rustic yet modern décor, selection of local and continental hand-pulled ales and ciders and one of the most spectacular beer garden views in Sheffield it’s hard to disagree with him. Guinness’ Dublin Porter on draught is perhaps our drink of choice here.
So now, as it fast approaches a year since it first opened under the Brothers Arms name, the pub has become an essential for any night out round Heeley. In Summer it has the beautiful views of the beer garden and in Winter the coal fires and a warm pork pie. I imagine that our Heeley Ale Trail isn’t the only one forced to incorporate another permanent stop!
Brothers Arms, Well Road, Heeley, Sheffield S8 9TZ
Buses – alight outside Ponsfords on Chesterfield Road at Heeley Bridge: routes 10,10a,20,24,25,43,43a,44,X17.