Abbeydale Brewery

Doctor Morton has an all-new beer on the way from his Chrononautical essentials range – Dinosaur Sedative (4.1%) is the only solution you need to keep your pterodactyl under control. Hopped with Cascade and Vic Secret for notes of zesty citrus fruits coupled with a refreshing pine character and a moreish bitter finish.

From our beautiful series of collaborations with artwork inspired by vintage railway travel posters, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Fell Brewery to create Fall for the Lake District (see what we did there?!) – a 4.5% transatlantic pale where UK grown Harlequin hops meet American classics Simcoe and Chinook for a vibrant beer with notes of pine, passion fruit, peach and pineapple.

And from the Brewers Emporium, we’ve got the return of our ever-popular Splendour (4.4%), a dry-hopped pale ale with the addition of literally buckets full of fresh oranges, and West Coast pale ale Pine Range (4.5%), floral and full-bodied with a clean malt bill allowing the big-hitting hop combination of Columbus, Cascade, Chinook and Mosaic to shine through.

Finally, it’s not being released this month, but we are planning a very special brewday with one of our most iconic beers making a very welcome return – Last Rites will soon be on the way…

Cheers!

Inn Sign Society

Founded in 1990, the Inn Sign Society raises awareness of the nation’s pub signs and compiles a record for the benefit of future generations. Many pub names have links with events from the past or personalities of national and local importance, and the Society provides a forum for members to research the history of inns and pub names.

It has an active web site and a quarterly full-colour journal to which members are encouraged to submit articles, pictures of pub signs and news from their areas.

As inns and pubs close at an alarming rate, much local heritage is in danger of being lost forever. Pubs are not just a place to enjoy a drink, they are often at the heart of the community and can reflect its history. Many members take a general interest in all signs, with some specialising in particular breweries, counties, aircraft or railways, to name but a few.

The Inn Sign Society is seeking to recruit more members and bring in new blood to help continue the good work done over the last 34 years. For more information, including on how to join, see the website at innsignsociety.com If the Inn Sign Society doesn’t research, capture and save our pub sign heritage, perhaps no-one else will.

Iain Perks, Membership Secretary Inn Sign Society

The York, Broomhill

All Points North Pub Company, the new Yorkshire based pub company, has announced its 2nd pub acquisition, The York in Sheffield.  All Points North Pub Co is the new joint venture pub company set up by Steve Holt founder of Kirkstall Brewery and Ed Mason, founder of Five Points Brewing and Whitelock’s Ale House. 

The York is a free-of-tie Victorian public house in the Broomhill area of Sheffield and has been acquired from Sheffield-based True North Brew Co.

The York will showcase Kirkstall and Five Points beers alongside guest Sheffield craft and independent breweries, drinks and food suppliers.

Ed Mason said “we are delighted to be spreading our wings to Sheffield and for The York to be joining our growing portfolio of pubs. Kane and his team at True North have done a great job of establishing the York as a welcoming and popular pub in Broomhill and we look forward to building on their achievements”

Steve Holt added “Ed and I believe in running friendly, welcoming pubs with an emphasis on a wide range of well-kept beer and a quality food menu – respecting the pub’s history, supporting local suppliers and providing a warm welcome to a diverse range of the local community”. 

Kane Yeardley added “We are thrilled to be handing over the ropes to All Points North Pub Co. The York has a very special place in our hearts and we’re confident they will do a fantastic job. Welcome to the Sheffield pub scene.”

All Points North will be keeping on the existing front of house and kitchen teams, and will continue to trade the pub before a refurbishment planned for Summer 2024.

The York pub follows on the heels of their recent acquisition of the Grade II-listed Victoria & Commercial pub in Leeds city centre, which is due to re-open in Autumn 2024 following a refurbishment. Meanwhile Steve Holt of Kirkstall recently added the North Brew Co brands to his growing portfolio of beer brands. 

Abbeydale Brewery

First up is our big news for the month… almost a decade after we last brewed one (3,577 days to be precise), WE’RE MAKING A MILD! This one’s made it into the plan at the behest of our marketing team, who’ve had a petition on the go since 2021. From our Restoration series, it’s a classic 4.0% Dark Mild, characterised by a smooth, malt-driven sweetness, balanced by a touch of roast character and hints of coffee. The ultimate British hop, Fuggles, provides a gentle bitter finish. Comforting, rounded and mellow. Mildly excited for this one.

After that bombshell, back to the pale, hoppy beers we’re most well-known for! And we’ve got a cornucopia of them coming up this month – our single hopped series returns with Through the Hopback Citra, 4.0% and with an overt citrussy character and a thirst-quenching finish. We’re bringing back our Ossett Brewery collaboration, Discover Ossett (4.1%), too – this was our quickest selling special last year, a beer created from a mixture of the recipes for Deception and White Rat, with Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo and Columbus hops.

The ever-popular Alchemy (4.2%) is due to make its annual appearance, our very own liquid gold single hopped with Amarillo for a lovely satsuma-esque flavour. And finally, we’ll have the first in a new series out at the end of the month. It’s still under development as I type but will be themed around mythical creatures from around the globe!

And finally from our Brewers Emporium, look out for a couple of soft and juicy hazy pales which will both be available in cask as well as keg and can – Hinterland, a 4.5% Sabro and Vic Secret New England style session IPA, and the latest from our Wanderer series, a single hopped Mosaic NEIPA at 6.2%.

Beer Matters Plea

Eh up! Copy, and a plea.

Throughout May, the Dorothy Pax at Victoria Quays will be home to an art display with a difference: PUMP-CLIPS. Richard Hough (noted local Brewer, and ale toper) will take you on a journey to some of the beers he has brewed in the past – via the medium of art we know as The Pump-clip.

This humble item provides a splash of colour on the bar, and vital information as well. They are the first point-of-sale for millions of pints sold in pubs across the UK every day. 

Yet so often overlooked, every pump-clip has its own story to tell. 

Rich has some gaps in the collection. If any of you hoarders out there have copies of BM411, BM415, BM418, BM426 for the art installation at DPx, please get in touch. Your copies of Beer Matters will be returned after the event. Many thanks!

Sheffield Beer Report 2024

Sheffield has retained its position as the real ale capital of the world, with the thriving brewing industry driving tourism and regeneration in the steel city, a new report reveals.

The new report, commissioned by the University of Sheffield, found the brewing scene in Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority area is bucking the national trend for closures, despite the challenges of Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. The region is now home to 58 breweries, more per head of population than anywhere else in the country, producing around 1,800 different beers every year.

A strong culture of traditional pubs that “feel different” to elsewhere in the country, and which see over 600 different beers being served every day on its bars, means Sheffield is experiencing a beer tourism boom, the report found. Dozens of events are taking advantage of, and supporting, this pub culture.

First produced in 2016, the new report has been written by Norwich-based, award-winning beer writer, Pete Brown. The report surveyed breweries across Sheffield and the wider region about the state of the industry in the area. Key findings included:

Sheffield has four breweries per 100,000 head of population, many times higher than other cities. These breweries produce around 780 beers each year. Around 70% of the beer brewed by local brewers is drunk locally with 70% of cask ale brands sold in Sheffield brewed within 20 miles of the city centre. Around 300 different real ales are on sale in Sheffield on a daily basis, with the city and region’s breweries and pubs predominately cask focussed.

Sheffield remains the real ale capital of the world. 

Author, Pete Brown, said: “Sheffield’s prowess as a beer city won’t come as a surprise to anyone who drinks here. But it’s fascinating that when you do the research and generate the numbers, the claim of being one of the best beer cities in the world really stands up.” 

The report also notes that while breweries in the region have been resilient and adaptable thus far, they are in “survival mode”, with no capacity to expand. In 2016, two-thirds of the breweries surveyed said that they were planning significant expansion over the next twelve months; today that figure has dropped to around one in five. There is also a lack of support from local authorities which means that while Sheffield in many ways out-performs its brewing rivals, it could do even better with more active, broader involvement and promotion.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City Culture and Public Engagement at the University of Sheffield, said: “Sheffield has always been a city of makers and what makes the report’s findings really interesting is the added value this industry of modern-day little mesters are bringing to the region. They are not just brewing beer; they are providing a huge tourism pull for people from far afield, while also regenerating neighbourhoods in organic, unplanned ways.

“To anyone living in Sheffield and visiting its pubs, it will come as no surprise that this new report has reaffirmed what we discovered in 2016; that Sheffield really can lay claim to being the ‘real ale capital of the world’.”

Sheffield Beer Week

A Decade of Beer Week Celebrations in Sheffield

4th to 10th March

Can you believe it’s our tenth annual Sheffield Beer Week!?! 2024 is going to be an exciting year. Through a challenging climate, Sheffield’s beer businesses have survived in a buoyant local market.

2024 sees the revisiting of Sheffield University’s commisioned ‘Beer Report’ which has broadcaster Pete Brown reviewing the regional beer landscape once again. Look out for a launch during Sheffield Beer Week.

Key Beer Week strands include ‘Beer and Food’, ‘Community’ and ‘Heritage’; with ongoing organic strands including International Women’s Day events, 10 years of Beer Week, and celebrating our access to vital green spaces alongside The Festival of the Outdoors. Visit Sheffield’s The Festival of the Outdoors has become a vibrant month of annual activities in March. There’ll even be a running and beer event which includes a brewery tour during the beer week from Triple Point Brewery, Hop Hideout and Run Talk Run. Heist Brew Co are also collaborating with The Foundry Climbing Centre on a beer to go alongside their beer and climbing social.

There’ll be more special beers being released for Beer Week including Triple Point Brewery collaborating with Indie Beer Feast, Sheffield Beer Week and The Festival of the Outdoors to highlight the South Yorkshire green spaces and Peak District campaigner Ethel Haythornthwaite.

Lost Industry and Thornbridge are both brewing their own International Women’s Collab Brew Day beers. While Abbeydale are re-releasing their 2023 Sheffield Beer Week collab Cloud Peak due to demand; this year it will include a limited art print alongside.

Beer shop Hop Hideout is collaborating with Heist and Indie Beer Feast on a super limited sour-style beer. While new microbar The Wonky Labrador are collaborating with Triple Point on a birthday beer. Just to name a few!

With a influx of breweries heading to Indie Beer Feast, you’ll find a number of tap takeovers and meet the brewers happening at venues like Pangolin (Turning Point Brew Co), The Beer House S6 (Amity Brew Co) and Kelham Island Tavern (Siren), and more to be announced.

The Rutland Arms, The Crow Inn, Beer Central, The Riverside Kelham, Heist Brew Co Tap, Shakespeares Ale & Cider House, Hop Hideout, The Wonky Labrador, Dog & Partridge and The Old Shoe have all started to plan events and will be announcing in the coming weeks.

Thornbridge Brewery are set to host Bundobust, Newbarns and Red Willow at their pubs – The Greystones, Hallamshire House and The Stag’s Head. Brewery tap openings so far confirmed include Brewery of St Mars of the Desert, Fuggle Bunny Brew House, Heist Brew Co., Triple Point Brewing and Tapped Brew Co.

Beer historian Dr Christina Wade, who specialises in the hidden histories of women in the brewing trade, will be launching her new book – The Devil’s in the Draught Lines (published by CAMRA Books). Hop Hideout will be celebrating with a collaborative beer alongside Dr Wade and Torrside Brewing which takes its inspiration from historical women’s recipes featured in the book. In addition to hosting a Queer Brewing tap takeover (owner Lily was commissioned to take photographs for the book).

On the weekend of 1st to 2nd March, to start the week, Sheffield’s craft beer festival, Indie Beer Feast is back at Trafalgar Warehouse. It’s a celebration of great independent craft beer with brewery bars, street food, low intervention wines and fine cider. The beer festival champions and supports The Everyone Welcome initiative. British Guild of Beer Writers’ members and leading UK
award-wining beer writers David Jesudason (current Beer Writer of the Year), Pete Brown and Adrian Tierney-Jones will be heading up to host pop-up tastings. David will be discussing his latest book ‘Desi Pubs’ and Pete will be launching ‘The Beer Report’. Hop supplier Barth Haas X have sponsored the talks and tastings and will also host their own trade panel discussion. Dr
Christina Wade will be celebrating her new book launch and Henry Kirk of soon to launch new brewery, Sunken Knave, will be discussing his passion for Old Ales. Look out for more talks to be announced.

Breweries pouring include Sheffield outfits Heist, Triple Point, Kelham Island, Grizzly Grains and Abbeydale. In addition to Manchester’s Track, Liverpool’s Neptune, Leicester’s Round Corner, Reading’s Siren, Leeds’ Amity Brew Co and Tartarus, Wales’ Sobremesa Drinks, Derbyshire’s Thornbridge and Torrside, North Yorkshire’s Turning Point Brew Co and Hitchin’s Crossover Blendery.

Jules Gray, Sheffield Beer Week founder shared that, “A decade of showcasing great independent beer in Sheffield is something to be hugely proud of as a city and community. A city with a long-standing heritage of beer and brewing, that goes back hundreds of years. It’s a testament to everyone involved and everyone who supports the beer scene. Beer is part of the city’s fabric, it’s culture, it’s heritage, jobs, economy and keeping the high street vibrant.”

Jules Gray

For the latest information on Sheffield Beer Week events visit their website and follow their socials. Most of the events can be easily reached by public transport and the maximum single fare charged in Sheffield is currently £2 on buses and £2.80 on trams, alternatively a range of daily and weekly unlimited travel passes are available, see travelsouthyorkshire.com for all your timetables, maps and ticket information.

Events listed at time of publication (more likely to be added, check their website & socials). Note some events require tickets booking in advance.

Thursday 29 February:

  • 12:00 The Devil’s in the Draught Lines Queer Brewing Tap Takeover & Torrside Beer Launch, Hop Hideout (City Centre)
  • 12:00 Kernel Irish Whisky BA Imperial Brown Stout Launch, Rutland Arms (City Centre)
  • 13:00 Amity Brewery Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer, Beer House S6 (Hillsborough)
  • 18:00 Turning Point Brew Co Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer, Pangolin (Hillsborough Park)
  • 19:00 Crossover Blendery Meet the Brewer, The Crow (West Bar)

Friday 1 March

Saturday 2 March

Sunday 3 March

Monday 4 March

  • 11:30 Brew York Keg & Black Iris Cask Tap Takeover + Pie Week, Riverside (Kelham Island)
  • 12:00 Liquid Light Cask Takeover, Shakespeares (West Bar)
  • 12:00 Acorn brewery tap takeover, Red Deer (City Centre)
  • 16:00 Bundobust Brewery Tap Takeover & Paired Food Menu, Greystones (Greystones)
  • 16:00 Lord’s Brewing Co new brand launch, Oxbow (Woodhouse Mill)
  • 21:00 Blue Bee one off cask beers + quiz with beer theme, Kelham Island Tavern (Kelham Island)

Tuesday 5 March

  • 11:30 Brew York Keg & Black Iris Cask Tap Takeover + Pie Week, Riverside (Kelham Island)
  • 16:00 Neon Raptor tap takeover, Oxbow (Woodhouse Mill)
  • 16:30 Big Walk 2024 Launch with Thornbridge Brewery, University Arms (City Centre)
  • 18:30 South Yorks Beer Girls Social, Hop Hideout (City Centre)
  • 19:00 Lords Brewing Rebrand, Wonky Labrador (Nether Green)
  • 20:00 Sheffield Beer-Themed Quiz, Triple Point Brewing (City Centre)

Wednesday 6 March

  • 11:30 Brew York Keg & Black Iris Cask Tap Takeover + Pie Week, Riverside (Kelham Island)
  • 16:00 Exclusive Heist Brew Co Cask Launch, Heist Tap (Neepsend)
  • 16:00 Celebration of dark beer, Dog & Partridge (City Centre)
  • 18:00 Wonky Labrador’s First Birthday, Wonky Labrador (Nether Green)
  • 19:00 Newbarns Tap Takeover & Tutored Tasting, Stag’s Head (Nether Edge)
  • 19:00 Balance Brewing & Blending Meet The Brewer Event, Old Shoe (City Centre)
  • 19:00 Sheffield & District CAMRA Pub of the Month & Quiz, Oxbow (Woodhouse Mill)

Thursday 7 March

Friday 8 March

Saturday 9 March

Sunday 10 March

  • Funky Fluid Barrel Aged Beer Bottle Tasting, Rutland Arms (City Centre)

PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO VENUES

  • Beer House S6 – Hillsborough tram stop or buses to Hillsborough Interchange
  • Crow Inn – bus 31
  • Dog & Partridge – City Hall tram stop or various City Centre buses
  • Dore Moor Inn – buses 65 and 271/272
  • Fuggle Bunny Brewhouse – buses 26/26a, 74 and 80/80a or walkable from Halfway tram terminus
  • Greystones – bus 6
  • Hallamshire House – bus 95/95a
  • Heist Tap – bus 7 and 8
  • Hop Hideout – Castle Square tram stop or various City Centre buses
  • Jabbarwocky – buses 75/76, 86 and 97/98
  • Kelham Island Tavern – buses 57/57a, 81/82 and 86
  • Magna – bus X1/X10
  • Old Shoe – Cathedral tram stop or various City Centre buses
  • Oxbow – buses 52 and X5
  • Pangolin – Hillsborough Park tram stop
  • Red Deer – West Street tram stop or buses 95/95a
  • Riverside – buses 7/8
  • Rutland Arms – various City Centre buses
  • Shakespeares – buses 57/57a, 81/82 and 86
  • Sheffield Tap – train or tram to Sheffield Station, buses at Sheffield Interchange
  • Stags Head – bus 218
  • St Mars of the Desert – buses 9/9a and 52/52a
  • Trafalgar Warehouse – various City Centre buses
  • Triple Point – buses 1/1a, 24/25 and 51
  • University Arms – University of Sheffield tram stop or buses 51, 52/52a and 257
  • Wonky Labrador – bus 83

Governments urged to strengthen pub protection laws

Strengthening planning laws and enforcement powers would save more historic pubs, says CAMRA 

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is marking the six-month anniversary of the demolition of the Crooked House pub in Himley, Staffordshire by calling on government ministers to commit to extra protections for pubs to avoid them being illegally converted or demolished. 

The consumer organisation, which last week met with Levelling Up minister Lee Rowley MP to discuss protecting the nation’s pubs, wants more enforcement powers for local councils in England to stop pubs being illegally converted or demolished – including the ability for councils to force demolished locals to be rebuilt brick by brick. 

In England, changing the use of a pub or demolishing one requires planning permission – but figures compiled by CAMRA showed that last year up to a third of closures and demolitions may be happening without the required planning permission. 

The Campaign is also calling for similar protections for pubs in the planning system in Wales which don’t currently exist, and for a tightening of loopholes in Scotland to prevent pubs being allowed to be demolished without planning permission. 

CAMRA also produces a range of pub-saving guides offering advice for individuals and community groups looking to save their pub from conversion or demolition and is working with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Mayor Andy Street to list heritage pubs in that region to offer them better protections. 

CAMRA’s pub saving guides are available at Save your local pub – CAMRA – Campaign for Real Ale 

Commenting on the six-month anniversary since the fire and subsequent demolition of the Crooked House pub, CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona said: 

“Six months on, this national scandal rightly still angers people up and down the country. Our pubs are at the heart of community life across the UK and must be protected as a vital part of our social fabric. 

“Local people deserve to have a chance, through the planning system, to save their local pub from demolition or conversion to another use. Where this is done illegally, it is vital that local authorities have the powers and resources to force buildings back into use as pubs – or for them to be rebuilt brick by brick if they have been knocked down. 

“That’s why on this anniversary we are renewing calls for governments in Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh to commit to improving planning protection laws and to make sure local authority planning departments are equipped to stop pubs being illegally converted or demolished without permission. Otherwise, we risk seeing more beloved locals across the UK being illegally taken away from the communities they serve.” 

CAMRA calls on Government for support

In response to the news that Elland Brewery is facing liquidation, and reports that Adnams is looking at options to bolster its funding, CAMRA Chairman Nik Antona commented:  

“To hear that Elland Brewery is facing liquidation just six months after their 1872 Porter was crowned CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain 2023 is a major cause for concern. This, coupled with the reports that Adnams has been working with a management consultancy to explore options to shore up its finances – including the possibility of an injection of private capital – is a one-two punch at the heart of the UK brewing industry. 

“The news raises the issue of fair competition, access to market and consumer choice. CAMRA does not want any brewery or cider producer to close their doors for good, be it a contemporary small independent brewer or larger family-owned establishments with decades of history. 

“The worrying news that two prestigious, award-winning breweries are both facing pressure to remain trading and survive is indicative of the wider problems the brewing and pub trade are experiencing. CAMRA, along with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB), is calling on the Government to increase Draught Relief to 20% from its current figure of 9.2% in the Chancellor’s upcoming Budget. Cutting tax specifically on draught beer and cider in pubs would encourage people to support their community local and help secure jobs and businesses in the pub and beer sector – particularly small and independent breweries that sell more of their products into pubs and taprooms. 

“CAMRA is encouraging everyone to email their MPs asking them to support the ‘Make it 20%’ campaign and call on the Government to show their support for pubs, social clubs, breweries and cider producers.”