New students, welcome to a great beer city!

By the time this issue of Beer Matters has appeared in the pubs, Freshers’ fortnight will be over; the carnage of parties in bars and clubs around West Street will be done and the normal academic year will be underway and you may be looking to find good beer and chilled vibes.

If you are at the University of Sheffield you will probably by now have already found the Interval Café Bar and Bar One in the Student Union and University Arms on the edge of the campus. If you are at Hallam you may have stumbled across the beer meccas of the Rutland Arms and Sheffield Tap or local pubs around the campus like the Old Queens Head, Howard, Globe, Red Lion, Graduate or Roebuck Tavern and possibly also Sentinel Brewhouse. You may even have joined a real ale society!

Here are some more ideas of places to try as you get to know Sheffield when you want to add good ale to your night out! Note due to space limitations this article isn’t intended to be a comprehensive guide, just a few ideas to get you started – our pub guide website (www.whatpub.com) lists all the pubs.

London Road area

(note – area gets very busy if Sheffield United is playing at home!)

Cremorne – a no nonsense boozer with a great laid back atmosphere featuring a number of handpumps serving various real ales and traditional ciders plus craft keg taps. It is also the HQ for O’Hara’s spiced rum, serves pizzas and look out for bands and DJs playing round the back by the smoking area.

Railway Hotel – from the outside this pub across the road from Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium looks like a rather unassuming old street corner boozer, venture inside you’ll find tables with built in retro video games, a lovely selection of ales, friendly staff and pool table. There is also a rather tidy patio area outside to drink in should the weather be decent.

Albion – a basic, relaxed bar on London Road run by Stancill Brewery showcasing their cask beers at reasonable prices as well as featuring some guest craft taps. The bar also has a beer patio at rear.

Clubhouse – a sports bar with lots of TV screens, home made burgers and a range of ales and ciders. Special offers are run from time to time.

Beer Engine – Behind the Waitrose petrol station is this great pub featuring an interesting range of real ales and other craft beers plus a tapas menu. There are normally special deals on food on Mondays such as two small plates for a fiver.

If you want to venture just a little bit further out beyond London Road then check out some of the pubs in Heeley and also look out for special events hosted at Heeley City Farm. Buses 10, 20, 24, 25, 43, 44, X17 run along Chesterfield Road and will drop you at Heeley Bottom outside Ponsford furniture shop – next door to which is the White Lion, a classic multi roomed pub which retains some heritage features, a range of real ale is served (always including a vegan friendly option) plus a real cider and live music features most nights.

Opening soon next door is the Pour craft beer bar and further up is the Crown Inn where you can enjoy ale and pie. Up the hill behind Ponsford you will find the Brothers Arms (associated with the Everley Pregnant Brothers, a local parody ukulele band) with a beer garden with a view out over the city and also the Sheaf View, run by Neepsend Brewery serving their beers and guests at reasonable prices.

City Centre

Washington – So, I know you all will end up clubbing at Corp at some point where the choice drinks are brightly coloured pints of vodka and mixer. However just around the corner is another musically orientated venue open until 3am – theWashy – with two rooms and a beer garden. One room is a relaxed lounge area, the other has a DJ box, mini stage area and dance floor. More importantly it has a number of handpumps, some of them featuring beers from Sheffield or Derbyshire.

Devonshire Cat – pretty much next door to Corp, this is a smarter looking and more sit down and appreciate your nice drinks type place and is run by Abbeydale Brewery showcasing their beers plus guest beers, sometimes ones to get fairly excited about. They also do beery versions of classic cocktails and nice freshly cooked food. The bar opens until 2am every night.

Dog & Partridge – You may have already tried Molly Malone’s Irish themed bar on West Street, however venture just off West Street onto Trippet Lane (possibly via the passageway next to Maida Vale bar) and you’ll find the Dog, a really old school pub layout with some heritage features, this is run by an Irish landlord and has many Irish customers (likewise the Grapes a few doors down). A range of mainly locally brewed cask beers are available along with a number of quality top shelf spirits from Ireland, this pub can also the place to be for Six Nations rugby on the TV and St Patrick’s Day parties. Food is available here with the kitchen run by Olu of ‘Wing Kings’ who serves some great fried chicken and reasonably priced American style comfort food. Look out for Wing King Wednesday when you can enjoy unlimited chicken wings and sides for a tenner per person.

Dove & Rainbow – You may have noticed the Bankers Draft Wetherspoon’s pub at Castle Square tram stop which will need no introduction, however round the back on Hartshead Square (there are walkways by Argos or Pizza Hut) is the alternative world of the Dove offering real ales, ciders, a pool table and music. If you are into rock and metal you may well love the Dove.

Bath Hotel – Quite close to the University of Sheffield campus, on Victoria Street just off Glossop Road and near West One is the Bath, an old-school art deco two-room boozer run by Thornbridge Brewery with a great selection of their craft beers on both cask and keg. Food includes hot pork sandwiches and sausage rolls. There is also a darts board and occasional events including quiz nights and live music.

Kelham Island

This is a newly gentrified up and coming area with some great pubs, bars and cafes. It is easily walkable from the City Centre, however if you are feeling lazy the tram will take you down there with Shalesmoor tram stop providing a convenient gateway to the area.

There are some classic real ale pubs with a great selection of beers and good outdoor drinking areas too, many of these pubs have been going for years now – these include Shakespeares, the Kelham Island Tavern (the only pub ever to win CAMRA National Pub of the Year two years running!), the Fat Cat (the tap of Kelham Island Brewery), Wellington and Gardeners Rest. Venture a bit further up the tram line for the Hillsborough Hotel (Langsett stop), New Barrack Tavern (Bamforth Street stop) and the Rawson Spring (actually on the platform of Hillsborough tram stop).

Meanwhile also check out Bar Stewards micropub and bottle shop, the Riverside (run by True North Brewery), Harlequin (tap for Exit 33 brewing, has probably the best cider range in Sheffield and also has live music at the weekend), Old Workshop, Stew & Oyster and Church – Temple of Fun (which has vegan fast food, Playstation pods and retro arcade game machines).

The first weekend of each month sees the Peddlers Night Market (open Friday 5pm to 11pm and Saturday 2pm to 11pm) with an old warehouse full of craft beer and real ale, street food traders, craft stalls and music whilst nearby Sheffield Brewery and Neepsend Brewery open up a bar in their actual breweries to serve their beers.

Broomhill

Buses 51, 52, 52a and 120 run up to Broomhill frequently. The two highlights from a beer point of view are the Itchy Pig micropub and the York, however there are more pubs that serve real ale too.

Ecclesall Road

There has been an explosion of micropubs along here including the Ale Club, Sport Shack, Garden Room, Portland House and Beer House, you should also manage to find a decent pint in pubs such as the Porter Brook, Porter Cottage and Lescar, amongst others.

The countryside

If you fancy venturing a little further out by bus for a pint that comes with a stunning view of Peak District countryside then it is easily done.

Closest to home would be the Bradfield area. Buses 61/62 operated by TM Travel run a circular route from Hillsborough Interchange (connect between trams and buses here) and will take you to the Nags Head at Loxley (the tap for Bradfield Brewery where the beer is quite cheap, also look out for their home made pie and a pint meal deals), the Old Horns at High Bradfield, the Plough at Low Bradfield and the Royal at Dungworth.

Hulleys of Baslow – a local independent bus company based in the Peak District – run a number of services out to Derwent dams, Yorkshire Bridge, Bamford, Hope and Castleton (routes 271, 272, 273, 274) that pick up near both Universities and offer a student day ticket for exploring the Hope Valley (currently £2.50). There are a number of pubs in the area including some that put on beer festivals from time to time including the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, the Anglers Rest at Bamford and the Old Hall Hotel in Hope. Castleton is famous for its show caves (including Speedwell Cavern, an underground boat ride) however a pub crawl can also be had with the Olde Nags Head and the Peak Hotel offering local ales and interesting beers sometimes turn up at the Castle pub too.

Public transport tickets

The three main bus operators in Sheffield (First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire and TM Travel) offer a discount flat fare for students within the city of Sheffield (and neighbouring Dronfield), currently £1.20 a ride. If you are travelling every day then student season tickets can be bought online for the week, month or academic year. On the season tickets you can also include tram travel (Supertram doesn’t do student singles although a discounted day ticket can be bought from the Uni of Sheffield Students’ Union box office.

Although the student single on the buses is cheap, if you are making several journeys in a day or including tram travel in your plans, an all day ticket may still work out a better deal. A CityWide pass including all buses and trams in Sheffield costs £4.80 or the SYConnect ticket for the whole of South Yorkshire costs £6.60 (or £8.20 with trains included).

Andy Cullen

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