The Portland House, Welbeck Abbey Brewery’s micropub on Ecclesall Road, now offers a discount to CAMRA members of 10% off a pint of real ale if you show your membership card when you order. Following the sad news of the passing away of Stuart Burrows, the landlord of the Mount Pleasant on Derbyshire Lane, the tenancy is being taken over from 31st January by Gillian Nugent who has worked with Stuart both behind the bar and looking after the cellar for the last 8 years. No major changes are planned, however the pub will be closed for a short spell for the decorators to come in and give the place a little TLC. JD Wetherspoons hold one of their regular real ale festivals across the chain of pubs from 22nd March to 2nd April. Their pubs in Sheffield include the Bankers Draft, Waterworks and Benjamin Huntsman in the City Centre, Sheaf Island on Ecclesall Road, Woodseats Palace at Woodseats, Rawson Spring at Hillsborough, Wagon & Horses at Chapeltown, Steel Foundry at the Meadowhall Oasis and Francis Newton by the Hallamshire Hospital. Another new micropub has opened, this time in the City Centre next to Ponds Forge Sports Centre and Fitzalan Square tram stop. The Drink Inn opens at midday every day and has a choice of three real ales along with a choice of spirits and bottled craft beers. Their opening hours don’t seem finalised yet, check their Facebook page for the latest. The Swim Inn on Glossop Road, a former Wetherspoons pub, closed for refurbishment in January and is to reopen as part of the ‘Stone & Tap’ chain offering beer, burgers and pizza. The Washington on Fitwilliam Street in Sheffield City Centre is due to close for refurbishment on 22nd January, reopening with a ‘rebirth weekend’ celebration on 2nd and 3rd February, featuring a number of DJ sets including an appearance from Jarvis Cocker on the Saturday. The refurbishment will see the interior get something of a spruce up along with a new stage and dance floor area along with an upgrade to the outdoor drinking space. There will also be an extended range of products on the bar. See their Facebook page for more details. Sentinel Brewery & bar has been running a Tryanuary promotion during January with a different beer discounted by 20% each day. The Malt House on Monteney Crescent near Ecclesfield has reopened as a freehouse. The pub was previously known as the Fighting Cock and we are told the locals still know it as that, however in a little bit of humour about the north Sheffield accent reflecting that the landlady isn’t local, the pub has been renamed ‘The Feightin Cock Less‘. There are six handpumps on the bar, all the beers are reasonably priced and mostly from local breweries. Another new opening in Dronfield, hot on the heels of the relaunch of the Blue Stoops by True North Brewery is the opening of Smiffy’s Craft Ale & Wine bar, in the premises previously occupied by a cafe next to the Dronfield Arms and opposite the White Swan on Chesterfield Road. 4 real ales feature on the bar. The Norton at Meadowhead has had a refurbishment and is part of Mitchell & Butlers’ Sizzling Pub Company chain. The White Lion at Heeley has been featuring Hopjacker Brewery as a guest including some collaborative brews. The Beer Engine on Cemetery Road has extended its opening hours, opening at midday every day. The Tapas style food is now served Monday to Thursday 12-3 and 5-9pm, Friday and Saturday 12-8pm. At the time of writing Mondays continued to feature a two-for-one promotion on food. On Sundays the food offer changes with a choice of roast dinners (a meat option, a veggie option and a vegan option) served from 12-5pm. The bar is open until midnight Friday and Saturday, 11pm the rest of the week. The Wagon and Horses at Millhouses Park has been taken over by True North Brewery, who are reopening the pub in February. It is expected to be run along similar lines to the Broadfield, British Oak, York and Blue Stoops with a dining room and separate bar. The changes should see better quality food and a more interesting beer range than previously. The BBQ Collective has now left the Hop bar in Sheffield Centre which at the time of writing was no longer doing food. Real ale and a programme of live music continues to feature. The former Hearty Oak pub at Dronfield Woodhouse has another revised planning application for demolishing the pub and building houses on the site with six dwellings proposed. The George and Dragon in Holmesfield is under new ownership and still open as a pub unchanged, meanwhile the rear car park has been auctioned off with a view of house building on it. Hagglers Corner coffee shop & bar on Queens Roas at Heeley has a number of special evening events planned including live music gigs in addition to their normal daytime opening with real ale sometimes available. See www.hagglerscorner.co.uk. Organisers of the Three Valleys Festival, which takes place in the Dronfield area on Saturday 3rd June, have announced the first few confirmed venue out of an expected 15. These are the Barrack at Apperknowle, the Green Dragon in Dronfield, Hill Top Sports & Social Club, Hyde Park Inn at Hill Top, the Manor House Hotel in Dronfield, the Miners Arms at Hundall, the Jolly Farmer in Dronfield Woodhouse and the Pioneer Club in Dronfield. The Old Crown on London Road is now Cask Mark accredited and are also now able to source beer from local breweries as well as the main Punch Taverns list, this has seen Blue Bee make their first appearance on the bar! Heinekin, whose pub operating division Star Pubs UK own a number of leased out venues in our area such as the Church House in Sheffield Centre and the Old Hall Hotel in Hope, are in the process of buying Punch Taverns, who own 3,500 pubs across the UK including a significant number in our area. Heinekin are proposing that under their ownership, Punch pubs must have at least 85% of their beer range from Heinekin, who own Caledonian brewery (of Deuchars IPA fame). This will reduce beer choice in Punch pubs somewhat and potentially damage the business of the licencees that lease those pubs. The Nags Head at Loxley continues to run pie day on Fridays with a choice of home made pies served with chips and peas along with a pint of Bradfield Farmers Ale included in the price – £5.75 for a small portion or £7.75 for a large portion.