Pub of the Month November 2023

Phil Ellett presents POM award to manager Jason Kerr, second right, of the Walkley Beer Company

Walkley Beer Company opened in 2014 in a former florists shop. Over the years it has increased its opening hours from weekends only and is now only closed on Mondays.

Technically not a micropub but an Off License shop with a tasting bar, it is described by themselves as “A local living room offering on and off sales.” and I concur with this description.

Their normal offering is a cider and two cask ales on hand-pull along with 6 keg beers on draft. Follow on beers and ciders are lined up ready to replace those that have sold out. This is in addition to fridge after fridge of bottled and canned beers.

Walkley Beer Co has a very friendly atmosphere and clientele and they offer a constantly changing range of cask/keg beers from both local breweries and others the length and breath of the UK.

Their normal opening hours are 4pm-10pm Tue-Fri and 2pm-10pm Sat-Sun.

The presentation will take place at the Walkley Beer Company on the evening of Tuesday 14 November, join us from 8pm for a beer or two! Bus 95/95a goes past the front door or bus 52/52a are just a short walk away.

Pub of the Year 2023 (South Sheffield)

Sheaf View

The Sheaf View at Heeley has been voted as CAMRA Sheffield & District Pub of the Year 2023 (Sheffield South) by our members.

The 19th century pub, near Heeley City Farm became a real ale oasis since reopening as a free house in 2000. The walls and shelves are adorned with breweriana and provide an ideal background for good drinking and conversations.

The pub changed ownership becoming part of the Trust Inns estate (along with the Blake Hotel) in 2022. Day to day management however has remained unchanged. They now provide eight casks ales, 4 from Neepsend Brewery and 4 guest ales. A wide range of Belgian and other continental beers, an incredible selection of malt whiskies and traditional cider are also available.

They also have occasional events such as their Spring Time Vegan Beer Festival held over the 1st May Bank Holiday this year.

This is a popular local pub and especially so on Wednesday quiz nights and Sheffield United match days.

The Sheaf View has now won the Sheffield South Pub of the Year award 4 times (every time it has been awarded since the area awards were started in 2019)

We are presenting their award on the evening of Thursday 18th May, all are welcome to join us there from 8pm for a beer or two!

The Sheaf View can be found at 25 Gleadless Road, Heeley, Sheffield S2 3AA. Buses 20, 24, 25, 43, 44 and X17 stop nearby on London Road by the railway bridge / Ponsfords furniture store. Car park also available.

Pub survey results

On Saturday 11 February, members of the Sheffield & District branch headed all around the city and its surrounds to complete the Sheffield Pub Survey (the first we have done since lockdown). The purpose of the event was to take a snapshot of the range and cost of real ales and to update CAMRA’s WhatPub database with post-Covid opening times.

Groups on various different routes set off at midday and met up at the Red Deer in the City Centre. From here, those that could still make it, headed out to other areas and pubs which had not yet been surveyed. As during our last survey (Sep 2019) the weather was good especially considering the survey is not normally in February.

131 Pubs were surveyed (fewer than we would have liked), but a respectable 561 beers were recorded. From this data 309 unique beers were identified from 129 different breweries. Given the time of year, the general trend of reduced beer ranges post-Covid and surveying fewer pubs, we still believe Sheffield can claim to be the Beer Capital, offering the widest choice of cask ales. In fact, for the 110 pubs which were surveyed in person (rather than using data available via social media) an average of 4.6 cask ales per pub were available for sale on the day, the same number as during the pre-Covid survey in Sep 2019! For 77 pubs which were surveyed both in 2019 and again this year there was a decrease in the range of beers from an average of 5.52 beers per pub, down to 4.95. This represents a drop of only 10% in choice which with all things considered is quite positive.

The average cost of a pint of real ale was £3.63 (up 40p/12% compared to Sep 2019). If Wetherspoons and Samuel Smiths are excluded from this data the average cost per pint was £3.90 (up 56p/17%). With no beer duty increases since the last survey, prices are up in excess of 3.5% per year but we suspect most of the increase has been in the last two years. The cheapest beers were Green King’s Ruddle’s Best and IPA at £1.71 a pint. The dearest was a 9.5% Monsters English Barleywine 2021 by Torrside Brewing at £6.60.

Local breweries dominated the pumps with Bradfield (63), Abbeydale (51) and Thornbridge (28) being the top three most widely available.

The top spot this year was taken by Bradfield’s Farmers Blonde available in 28 of the pubs surveyed, with Abbeydale’s Moonshine and Sharp’s Doom Bar taking the second and third spots.

A special thanks to everyone involved in going out to venues and gathering all the data to make up this survey.