A lot has changed since we last held our festival in 2019. It goes without saying that the last couple of years have been extremely difficult for a lot of people, including the hospitality industry that we all hold so dear. Victims of the times include Kelham Island Brewery and Sheffield Brewery, both of whom would always appear on our bars, and we are extremely saddened they won’t be here again this year.
There have been a few changes at the Kelham Island Museum too. The Millowners Arms is now being run as an independent venue, although they are working with us to be a part of the festival as normal. All this has meant a rejig of the festival layout. We have an extra room in the rear courtyard which will house our KeyKeg bar, and the Bradfield bar is switching to the Brearley Room, the old home of the keg bar. The marquee layout will also change slightly, but we’re sure that these improvements will make the festival better than ever.
No change in the range of beer and cider on offer though! Over 300 beers including around 50 keg beers, over 40 real ciders and two bottle bars featuring continental beers. The Sheffield Beer of The Festival award will take place again on Wednesday evening.
We have our usual array of live acts, and a great variety of food stalls, with extended vegetarian and vegan offerings this year. In addition to this we have our ever-popular tombola stall, traditional pub games and CAMRA merchandise desk selling books and t-shirts.
This year will see three charities taking a stall. Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCC) will appear on Thursday, the Stan Shaw Memorial Appeal on Friday, and the return of the Sheffield WI cake stall on the Saturday. Our overall festival charity is Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which will be grateful for any of your unused beer tokens, or festival glass deposit.
Although we’re not sure you’ll want to hand your glass back! We are delighted to announce that the half-pint glasses this year are being sponsored by none other than Henderson’s Relish. The distinctive orange logo will be gracing a 12oz conical glass which we’re sure will be in big demand.
No article on the beer festival would be complete without a word of thanks to our dedicated and hard-working volunteers. Each year they arrive to set everything up, man the bars, run the various desks, do whatever needs doing to ensure the festival is the success it is, and then dismantle everything and put it back in to storage for next year. We cannot thank them enough for the time and effort they give. The festival simply would not happen without them. As a thank you, this year we are running a free staff trip to Halifax, and as an extra reward for the Sunday takedown volunteers we have a free buffet at a yet-to-be-decided venue. If you fancy joining our happy band please visit our website sheffield.camra.org.uk/festival to get more details on volunteering. We’re sure that you’ll enjoy it.
Don’t forget to look out for our festival beermats around the locals pubs. As we have done for the last three years, the festival side of the mats are all different and once you collect all twelve they fit together to form an image of the festival poster.
We can’t wait to welcome you all back.
Steel City Beer & Cider Festival, 19-22 October 2022, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.