Well, we might not have been able to hold the normal festival but the second weekend in October saw the next best thing. The Steel City Beer & Cider Festival went On Tour with 44 venues across the city putting on numerous events, Tap Takeovers, brewery tours and general fabulous beeriness!
All the venues did us proud, putting on over 300 different beers and ciders for visitors to try.
Our Pub Heritage Officer Dave Pickersgill kicked off proceedings on Thursday evening with a book signing at The Crow Inn for the latest edition of Sheffield Real Heritage Pubs. Fully updated with new pictures, copies are still available from local booksellers, or via the CAMRA website. Other signings were held at the Rising Sun, Bradfield Brewery and local bottle shop Beer Central.
Abbeydale brewery followed with a Talk and Tasting at the Rising Sun and then Tap Takeovers at the Dog & Partridge and Millowners Arms. The Tap Takeovers came thick and fast as Heist Brew not only featured the Mad Scientist brewery but also had their Head Brewer come over from Hungary. The Bear featured Three Hills brewery and also had a Meet The Brewer session.
For some venues the taps were based on a theme instead. Shakepeares had a range of Milds, Kelham Island Tavern were offering beers from various Berkshire breweries and Pangolin Craft Bar had an Irish Beer Showcase.
Other takeovers were Wilde Child at the Itchy Pig; Saltaire at the Riverside; our neighbours at Drone Valley Brewery were in the Red Deer; Portland House had a selection of beers from Shiny; The Crow had Bristol’s Arbor brewery on the taps, the Rutland featured Buxton, as did the Hillsborough Tap; the Forest had a number of their own beers from Toolmakers; the Industry Tap had a huge selection of 21 different beers; Two Thirds brought in some Brew York beers and Perch served up their own Dead Parrot beers as well as putting on some excellent music from the bands originally booked to play the festival. A little further out of town, St Mars of The Desert were featuring their two SMODfest beers.
Our friends at Triple Point brewery put on a massive range of their own beers including a couple of new ones, and also treated our Festival sponsors Arnold Laver to a personalized brewery tour and beer tasting, which I’m pleased to say led to a couple of new converts to the delights of Real Ale.
The Ecclesall and Fulwood Ale Clubs were launching a new beer brewed in memory of Head Brewer James Eardley who sadly passed away recently. Shining Light is a delicious 4.9% Pale Ale made to James’s own recipe.
Local brewery Neepsend were doing brewery tours in conjunction with Factory Floor, and also brewed two special beers for their own pubs, the Wellington, Blake Hotel, and the Sheaf View, who we were delighted to see reopen after their recent arson attack. The Sheaf also had festival favourites Sunshine Pizzas in attendance keeping everyone fed.
There was more live music taking place at the White Lion, Toolmakers Brewery, Dorothy Pax and morris dancing at the Wisewood. A Sunday afternoon session by Steve Delaney at Portland House, proved so popular they intend to continue with music on Sundays for the foreseeable future.
The festival committee managed to get round all the venues at various times, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. A well-earned reward after the hard work putting it all together.
Thanks to all the venues and breweries who supported us, and all the visitors who came out to make it a success. I’m sure we kept everyone’s appetite for Real Ale going, and next year we’ll be back in the Kelham Island Museum, better than ever. Cheers.
Dan at Heist Brew Co – “A record weekend for us, beating even our Oktoberfest celebration last
Lance at Portland House – “We had a great weekend down at Portland House. The Shiny Brewery
beers went down a treat and we had a lot of new faces in there leaving five star reviews on the bar.”
Nick at Pangolin Craft Bar – “It was a great weekend, and our best Thursday night since opening”