Pub of the Year (Kelham Island)

Congratulations to the Kelham Island Tavern on been voted as the Sheffield (Kelham Island) Pub of the Year 2022. Constructed in the 1830s as part of a terrace, and originally operating as the Sawmaker, the pub was later renamed the White Hart, and in 1995 became the Kelham Island Tavern, before closing in 1999.

Local CAMRA guides from this period describe the pub as:

  • Typical back street pub serving local factories at lunch times, quiet in the evenings’ (1979).
  • A three roomed unspoilt local, situated amongst the factories’ (1981).
  • Tiny three roomed pub. Rosettes and trophies adorn the bar.’ (1985).
  • Small open plan pub. Recently modernised from three small rooms’ (1996).

In March 2002, the derelict building was purchased and re-opened, specialising in real ale. By the following year, the local press had noted it as one of five pubs in the area among the ‘best real ale pubs in Yorkshire.’

In 2003, the Sheffield CAMRA guide described the pub as: ‘The newest free house to join the Upper Don Valley Ale Trail offering eight real ales of which seven are constantly changing. Opened in March 2002 after being closed for three years. A single room with a wood panelled bar, and a friendly welcome awaits you here. The scheduled garden to the rear is being developed.’

Over the last twenty years, the pub has continued to evolve from this promising start. Since 2019, under the new management of Josh and Louise, it has continued to offer a wide range of both cask (13) and craft beers: the beer garden is outstanding and the pub maintains the standards to which others aspire. The beer range is consistently excellent, always including at least one beer from Blue Bee. A simple bar snack menu is available including pork pies and samosas (while stocks last!).

The Kelham Island Tavern is the only pub to be CAMRA National Pub of the Year two years running (2008/9). It has been CAMRA Yorkshire Pub of the Year five times and Sheffield & District Pub of the Year on 15 occasions: a record which is unlikely to be overtaken.

Our presentation will occur on Tuesday 9 August: meeting from 8pm, presentation at 9pm.

Dave Pickersgill

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