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)
  • 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)
  • 16:30 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
  • Riverside – buses 7/8
  • Rutland Arms – various City Centre buses
  • Shakespeares – buses 57/57a, 81/82 and 86
  • 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

Steel City 47 review

After last year’s successful post-covid return, we were looking forward to welcoming everyone to another great festival this year. Little did we know the weather would have other ideas. Here’s how it eventually worked out.

Setup

Set up went particularly well this year, thanks to a good number of enthusiastic and willing volunteers. Starting on Sunday morning, we rattled through setting up the racks and cooling system and by the end of Monday all the beers were in place and chilling ready for opening. Tuesday saw us finishing all the bars and signage, and by Wednesday at 5, with all the food stalls in place, we were open.

Wednesday

The Beer of The Festival, contested by all our local breweries, was again sponsored by our friends at Beer Central and judging began straight away. By 6.30 we were ready to announce the winners. Heist Brew Co. took Gold with their “The Bad Part Of Gnome Town”, a hazy session IPA, and one of their first attempts at a cask beer! Silver was a porter named Brook from Tapped Brew, (also the best pun of the evening) and Bronze was Little Critters’ Pecan and Maple Stout, Great Danish. Purity Brewing hosted a drop-in Q&A session and things were well underway, with everyone enjoying themselves and it seemed like we might top last year.

Thursday

A slight change in the opening hours for this year meant we opened at 11.30 and we had a steady stream of visitors from the off. As usual Thursday afternoon saw a lot of beer tickers arrive to sample the best of what we had on the bars, and a number of works events also boosted numbers early evening. Mike from the Old Shoe ran a talk on cider and an excellent set from folk-rock band Kingfisher Blue rounded off the evening nicely. However, by this point we had already had the flood alert warning and were expecting the worst on Friday.

Friday

Rain! And more rain! When we arrived at 9 o clock the river was already quite high, and the management at Kelham Island Museum were planning hourly assessments to track the water levels. Unfortunately, late morning saw a directive from the Museum that we had to close. Everything that might get water damaged was either taken upstairs, or simply placed on top of the bars. The Museum even had to drive their two Sheffield-built early 20th century Simplex motor cars up to the upper Hall and park them in front of our stage. A disappointed festival committee trooped off home (after a quick pint in a local establishment of course) to follow the weather forecast and hope for the best for the following morning.

Saturday

Fortunately water levels peaked early evening on Friday without there being any flooding at the Museum and after discussion with the Museum staff on Friday night we got the green light to open, albeit at a slightly later time to allow to put everything back in its correct place.

The weather then decided to improve steadily and, in the end, it was a great day. The River Don engine drew it’s usual admiring crowd; the Loxley Silver Band entertained everyone upstairs; the boys from Kelham Rapper did their sword dances anywhere there was space (however tight that might be!); St Mars of the Desert hosted a well-attended talk on their beers; and live music from Galloping Dick rocked the Upper Hall to finish. The volunteers did their best to reduce the beer surplus at the afterparty, aided by pizzas from Sunshine Pizza Co, and the festival drew to a close.

Sunday

As always at the festival there is an amount of beer left which sadly has to be poured down the drain. As a result of Friday’s closure there was a lot more to dispose of this year, with an obvious effect on the festival’s finances. We’d like to say a thank you to Bradfield brewery, who kindly took back the unopened casks of their beer, and the Rutland Arms and Kelham Island Tavern, who bought the unopened kegs and cider boxes. And thanks to the volunteers who came and dismantled it all on Sunday. They did an incredible job and by 3 o clock we had everything cleared and back in storage.

Final verdict

Overall the festival was a great success on the days we were open, and had we been open on Friday we would no doubt have exceeded last year’s visitor numbers. We raised £1750 for the festival charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, thanks to generous donations of unused portions of beer cards, cash, and sales of a special beer from Abbeydale and MKM Building Supplies. Feedback was excellent, and we had several encouraging comments from new visitors, and also new volunteers, who are already looking forward to next year. Here’s to 2024 (and hopefully better weather!).

Festival tombola

The organisers of the recent Steel City Beer & Cider Festival would like to thank the
following for donating items to the festival tombola and to sell for this year’s festival
charity – the Yorkshire Air Ambulance:- Blue Bee Brewery, Kelham Island Tavern,
Peak Ales, Ossett Brewery, Alan Gibbons, Sheffield Tap, Chantry Brewery, Terry
Palmer, MKM Building Supplies, Purity Brewery, Paul Goddard, Tom Pugh, Paul
Manning, Bradfield Brewery and everyone who donated anonymously. Apologies if
we have missed anyone.

Festival feedback

By the time you’re reading this, our annual Beer Festival will be over and hopefully it’s been another great success.

The Festival Committee will be meeting in November to review how things went, and where we can make improvements for next year, and as part of that review we would love to receive feedback from visitors on anything related to the festival.

Opinions on the range of drinks; the food stalls; the live music; layout of the festival; the range of activities and events; the volunteers – we want to know what you think.

Please send any feedback to festival@sheffield.camra.org.uk and I promise we’ll discuss it at our meeting.

If anyone wants to be more involved, either by attending the November meeting, or even becoming part of the committee for next year, please mention it in your email and we’ll contact you personally for an informal discussion, and probably buy you a pint while we’re at it!

Steel City 47 – Talks, tours & tastings

For the first time, events at the forthcoming Sheffield Steel City Beer Festival will include a guided
historical walk: Sheffield’s Little Chicago Quarter in 1925. This will explore streets that feature in the leader’s book ‘Sheffield 1925: Gang Wars and Wembley Glory,’ with a narrative explaining how Sheffield briefly became the most turbulent city in Britain because of an escalating gang war
involving the Park Brigade, Mooney Gang, the Gas Tank Gang and many others.

The short walk will explore the social and Industrial heritage of the area, examining the myths and reality of a tumultuous year in Sheffield history, before finishing at the Beer Festival.

Dave Pickersgill, editor of ‘Sheffield’s Real Heritage Pubs,’ will provide an illustrated presentation
while, the three tastings: ‘Bridging the Gap between Beer and Cider,’ ‘Cask is Craft?‘ and ‘From
Europe to Mars,’ will, between them, cover a wide spectrum of the 21 st century UK beer scene.

Mike Pomranz (Old Shoe) will compare two beers and two ciders: two ‘single variety’ and two of a
‘funkier’ description before sampling the single box of a 2023 mixed-variety Sheffield grown and
made cider from his Exemption Ciderhouse. Mike successfully delivered a similar, more cider-
focussed event, at the recent national Members’ Weekend.

Julia Gray will introduce four contrasting beers: two cask (gravity and hand-pull), one key-keg and one from a small pack. An experienced beer trade professional with almost twenty years in the field, she aims to showcase, “the variety and quality of beer currently available in the UK.”
Jules owns a local independent award-winning beer shop and tasting room, Hop Hideout (established 2013). In 2015 she set-up a city-wide beer celebration in her hometown: Sheffield Beer Week. In 2018, this was followed by a new craft beer festival: Indie Beer Feast, now an annual event.

Dann Paquette and Martha Holley from local brewery, Saint Mars of the Desert (SMOD), will
introduce two European favourites and the beers which they have inspired. SMOD draw their
brewing inspiration from many sources, from traditional 19 th century recipes to the bright, vibrantly hoppy beers of New England. Their greatest influence is possibly the Belgian monastic style. As Martha put it, “this is an ideal opportunity for us to look back to our key influences, the Belgian and German beers which inspired us to produce such classics as Clamp and Jack D’Or.”
After seven successful years managing the ‘Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project,’ in Boston,
Massachusetts, Dann and Martha spent two years travelling. In 2018, they relocated to the best beer city in the world. On RateBeer, they were quickly named as amongst the top ten new breweries world-wide. Their brewery and taproom is hidden behind old industrial units in a currently unfashionable part of the city.

The 47th Sheffield Steel City Beer Festival will be held at Kelham Island Museum: 18-21 October 2023. Advance tickets for all events are available: https://sheffield.camra.org.uk/2023/07/tours-talks-tastings/

Festival beer mats!

By the time this issue of Beer Matters hits the pubs, we will have started sending out our festival Beermats. As usual we have 12 different sponsors for the mats, each with their own design on one side, and a different festival design on the back. Collecting all 12 mats and fitting them together will form this year’s Festival poster, another excellent design from Robin Lunnon at Durb Design.

Our Beer Matters distributors will be taking the mats far and wide across the city, and beyond, so you might have to visit several pubs to collect them all. (I know. It’s a tough ask, but I’m sure you’ll cope.)

We’ll also be putting a few sets up on Ebay to auction off for the festival charity, which this year is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to complete your collection, as we’ll be holding back a hundred or so of each design to put out on the bars at the festival itself. Yet another reason to come and see us at Steel City Beer & Cider Festival 47, 18-21 October 2023, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield

P.S. Our staffing form is now open on our website for anyone wishing to volunteer to help at this year’s festival. If you’ve never volunteered before but are considering it, simply email festival@sheffield.camra.org.uk and we’ll let you know all about it. Trust us, you’ll enjoy it.

Tramlines fringe festival

Supported by Sheffield BID and Sheffield City Council, The Fringe at Tramlines promises a packed weekend of entertainment including the free outdoor stage at Devonshire Green and many city centre venues

After a successful post-pandemic comeback in 2022, The Fringe at Tramlines makes its anticipated return to Sheffield from July 21st to 23rd. Supported by Sheffield BID and Sheffield City Council, this exciting event promises a jam-packed schedule of activities. Prepare for a weekend filled with music and entertainment as the city centre becomes a vibrant hub of celebration. From the lively outdoor main stage at Devonshire Green to the numerous city venues, bars, pubs, and clubs, a diverse range of live music and DJs will create an extraordinary festive ambience that extends beyond the city centre. Get ready to join the biggest party of the year as Sheffield comes alive with The Fringe at Tramlines.

At Devonshire Green, the main stage of The Fringe at Tramlines will captivate attendees with its range of music and an enticing selection of food and beverages. Under the expert curation of local music promoter, Papa Al, this stage strives to showcase a rich tapestry of musical genres that beautifully reflects Sheffield’s diverse cultural landscape.

Saturday headliners Jungle Lion are an energetic ska ensemble featuring 10 talented musicians with a long history of performances during the Tramlines weekend. Jungle Lion will be joined on Sat by reggae, funk, soul, ska and more from supporting acts, Solar Love Society and The Free RadicalsSpeed for Lovers will perform their live electronic music inspired by Sheffield’s vibrant club scene whilst gifted reggae performer, Ripton Lindsey and soul/Motown band, Soul Battalion are also appearing on Saturday as are Romano Jilo (Roma dancers) and Blue Street Brass

The highly acclaimed Beatles Dub Club from Chris Arnold will also feature on Saturday and has been a huge hit on the festival circuit with support from by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim). Chris remixes and re-edits Beatles classics. Completing the Saturday line-up are Los Vastardos, a new mystery band from Alex del Mango and the Shine Performance Choir with Sista Soul, a vibrant and funky choir including gospel soloists. 

Sunday at Devonshire Green is headlined by the magnificent Sheffield Beatles Project, a super group of local musicians playing music from The Beatles. Also performing are Highway Child (soul, funk and blues), Shanghai Treason (folk-tinged punk rock), Tracks Presents (a big group of young performers from Sheffield Music School) and Rogue Siesta with their funky reggae grooves. 

With so much musical entertainment being hosted across the city, Sheffield City Council have partnered with app developers Woov to create a brand new mobile app that will include a comprehensive guide to everything that’s taking place over the weekend. The free app can be downloaded for both Android and Apple devices using the link woov.to/tramlinesfringe

The Welcome to Sheffield webpage also features dedicated ‘The Fringe at Tramlines’ pages and is a great source of general information about Sheffield. It has suggestions for discovering areas around the city to eat, drink and hang out over the whole weekend.  www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/thefringe

A printed programme is also being produced by Exposed Magazine and will be distributed across the city in advance of the event with digital version via the Exposed website. https://www.exposedmagazine.co.uk/

Papa Al – Stage Curator, said;

‘Sheffield is blessed with a huge range of music from many different cultures and it’s brilliant to see this reflected on the main stage at Devonshire Green. We have everything from Beatles hits with the Sheffield Beatles Project to Roma dancers with Romano Jilo. Young musicians will be there in abundance with the Tracks showcase featuring talent from the Sheffield Music School and the fan favourites, Jungle Lion, will be there a ska extravaganza to finish on Saturday.  The Fringe at Tramlines is a chance to highlight the best Sheffield has to offer, we can’t wait to see you in July!’

Diane Jarvis, Head of Business Operations at Sheffield BID, said;

‘Sheffield BID has been a funding partner to the Fringe at Tramlines since its inception in 2018. The event continues to play a key role in the major events calendar, driving vibrancy in the city centre and delivering an economic boost with increased footfall, dwell time and spend for local businesses.

The Fringe at Tramlines is an inclusive and diverse event. Once again, we look forward to playing our part in helping to create yet another vibrant and colourful experience for city centre visitors. It’s a great way to animate the city centre and showcase what the city does best.’

Councillor Martin Smith – Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Committee, said; “The Fringe at Tramlines brings music fans together from across the city to celebrate Sheffield’s cultural diversity and creative industries, There’s an incredible line up of acts and activities. With the main stage on Devonshire Green, plus a brilliant programme of music and entertainment in city centre pubs and bars, The Fringe brings the Tramlines party right to the heart of Sheffield.

REAL ALE PUBS PARTICIPATING IN THE FRINGE:

Check out Clashfinder for timings.

Our beer festival is back!

It’s coming up to that time of year again. After last year’s successful post-covid return, we’re back once again at the Kelham Island Museum to celebrate all the best in beer and cider.

We’ve chosen to keep a very similar layout to the festival to let everyone get used to the changes we introduced last time. The Millowners Arms is still independent and offering a wide variety of drinks; The keg bar will stay in its new position in the rear courtyard, accessed through the engine room; and the Bradfield bar will be in the Brearley room, on your right as soon as you enter the festival.

No change in the range of beer and cider on offer though! Over 200 beers including around 50 keg beers, over 40 real ciders and 2 bottle bars featuring continental beers. The Sheffield Beer of The Festival award will take place again on Wednesday evening.

One noticeable change this year will be our decision to switch from beer tokens to beer cards. These will be A6 cards featuring a set of 20p boxes which will be crossed off as you spend. A common sight at other festivals we have decided to move to these to speed up service at the bar.

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.

Our overall festival charity is Yorkshire Air Ambulance, who 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 Henderson’s Relish are again one of our glass sponsors. This year they are sponsoring the pint glasses, with Bradfield brewery sponsoring the half pint ones.

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 Lincoln, and as an extra reward for the Sunday take down volunteers we have a free buffet at the Gardeners Rest. If you fancy joining our happy band please visit our website Sheffield.camra.org.uk/festival to get more details on volunteering. We can guarantee that you’ll enjoy it more than you expected.

Don’t forget to look out for our festival beermats around the locals pubs. As we have done for the last few years, the festival side of the mats are all different and once you collect all 12 they fit together to form an image of the festival poster.

We can’t wait to welcome you all back once more.

Steel City Beer & Cider Festival, 18-21 October 2023, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.

Pax in the Park

Dorothy Pax canal side bar on their Ukraine fundraiser event night

You may recall that last year the Dorothy Pax didn’t run their Canal Lines event on Tramlines festival weekend with a live music stage outside their canal side bar at Victoria Quays as the Canal & Rivers Trust no longer allow it.

Instead, the guys from the Pax put on a new event, Pax in the Park, at Heeley People’s Park with a busy programme of live music, food vendors, a bar and free entry.

Stage at Pax in the Park. photo credit: Mal Whichelow

Being able to offer free entry to all at this fringe festival was only possible thanks to money left from their successful application to the Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, which had paid for improvements to the sound system at the Dorothy Pax bar to help them as a live entertainment venue.

This year, of course all that grant is gone, it has also been a hard year in the hospitality business with significantly increased operating costs as well as customers going out less frequently thanks to the cost of living crisis, so they have very little funds spare to start up such an event – it costs in the region of £85k to put on.

View from Pax in the Park stage. Photo credit: Mal Whichelow

Team Pax are still well up for running Pax in the Park again this year, from 21-23 July, with a stage in Heeley People’s Park hosting some top class live music supported by a bar serving quality slurps from local breweries and vendors selling delicious street food. They passionately believe it should be a community spirited free entry event too. They are asking for help though…

  • contributions to a crowd funder to help pay for the infrastructure at gofundme.com/f/freepaxpark
  • corporate sponsorship
  • volunteers to help on the day with things like stewarding, marshalling, litter picking and generally ensure the event fits in the local community happily

More information can be found on the Dorothy Pax website at dorothypax.com/freepaxpark.

Live music at Pax in the Park. Photo credit: Mal Whichelow
Live music at Pax in the Park. Photo credit: Mal Whichelow
Selfies at Pax in the Park. Photo credit: Mal Whichelow

Indie Beer Feast 2023

In early March 2020, I visited the 3rd edition of Indie Beer Feast (IBF), the kick-start to Sheffield Beer Week. This was an excellent afternoon at the 1920s, Grade II listed Abbeydale Picture House: the only Beer Festival venue with spider plants in the toilets. 

The 2021 4th edition was cancelled and my advance ticket then saw two postponements and a change of venue. The next IBF finally took place in March 2022 at Trafalgar Warehouse, a whitewashed ex-industry space – unfortunately, after two years of careful avoidance, Covid caused me to miss the event……..

Finally, three years after my last visit, 2023, saw a welcome re-acquaintance with IBF. There were no spider plants. However, a new distinctive glass, the 20 Fl.Oz. Barley, greeted the wide beer range provided by the various brewery bars: some cask, mostly keg, but all interesting.

The available beers covered a large variety of beer styles: the Redwillow range of Saisons, a 15.2% barley wine from Little Earth Project and many more. 

Included were pop-up tastings. Les O’Grady from the Magull-based Brewery, Neptune, led a session on Friday afternoon: all Neptune beers are vegan, there is no forced carbonation. Hence, all their beers are classed as real ale. The brewery is currently a team of seven, with a projected expansion to nine. 

Their ‘Lost at Sea,’ 6.2% IPA was sampled. This was originally a lock/down collaboration with Lost and Grounded. It utilises Golden Promise and crystal malt, Challenger hops in the boil and is dry-hopped with Centennial, Columbus, Simco and Brava hops. Les also commented that Brexit has killed off possible overseas sales. 

Trafalgar works was originally built in the late 19th century as a medium sized integrated factory for the production of edge tools, and later cutlery and blades. It was then part of the larger Trafalgar grinding wheel complex.

Yet again, IBF proved a positive start for Sheffield Beer Week: lots of innovative variety in, for myself, a new venue.