Steel City 46

After a year off for Covid, we’re planning to be back at Kelham Island Museum for our 46th annual beer and cider festival from 6 to 9 October 2021.

As always, the event is organised, run and staffed entirely by volunteers who do so to share their passion for good beer, cider and perry. And we bring you a massive selection of them all served in your commemorative glass. The festival also features live music, street food, traditional pub games and more in a wonderfully atmospheric venue.

The festival site

The following areas will feature this year (some details of which features are where are still to be finalised so may change):

Upper Hall

Cask ale, cider and perry, bookshop, tombola, stalls, seating, live music.

Brearley Room

Brewery bar, seating.


Street food vendors, toilets.


Cask ale, traditional pub games, seating, CAMRA membership sign up.

Engine Room

See the museum’s mighty steam powered River Don Beam Engine, this will be fired up at selected times throughout the festival week.

Stone Garden (NEW!)

Craft beer in bottle, can and keg; cider and perry, seating.

Millowners Arms

This is now a privately run pub open all year round, festival visitors will also be able to visit their bar for additional food and drink choices (festival beer tokens not in use at this bar – cash and card accepted).

The beers, ciders and perries

The range runs to over 300 different drinks to choose from. On the beer front we feature a whole variety of styles across cask, keg, bottle and can from the traditional styles like mild, bitter and stout right through to modern IPAs, sours and more. On the cider & perry bar it is all your proper farmhouse style still ciders and perries made from fermented freshly pressed apple or pear juice with a number of small artisan producers featured as well as some of your more well known names.

We aim to have them all available when we first open Wednesday night and will remain on sale until they run out. The list will be published here closer to the time when confirmed.

Buying drinks

To keep things easy and secure for our volunteers and speed up service a little, our festival bars only accept tokens. You can buy tokens from the token desks around the festival (we accept payment for tokens by cash or card) and the admission package includes enough to get your first drink. Don’t worry if you don’t spend them all, we can refund up to £5 worth of unused tokens (or you can donate them to charity). Third party traders such as the food stalls and Millowners Arms accept cash or card as normal.

Note as a 4 day event we only have a limited quantity of each so it is a reduced choice on the final day of the event, however there should still be a decent selection!

Admission package

The advertised prices (to be confirmed) include

  • Entry to the festival, including to any live music
  • Deposit on your festival glass which you can either keep as a souvenir or cash in before you leave. All your drinks will be served in this glass and self-service glass rinse stations can be found throughout the venue.
  • £5 of drinks tokens (additional tokens can be purchased from the desks around the venue)

We do not sell advance tickets, just turn up and pay on the gate. The festival can get busy on Friday night so we recommend getting down early if you can – once the festival has reached capacity we have to close the gate to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone.

Optional extras

  • You can also buy a printed programme containing the beer list and other useful information from the admissions desk and token desks
  • We are planning a few private events such as local history talks and tutored tastings, these will require an additional ticket booked in advance. Details to be announced.


Our organising committee have been holding planning meetings on Zoom over the past months to get all the details sorted, however we need lots more volunteers over the week of the festival to make it all happen!

Fancy joining the team? We have lots of roles and not just behind a bar! All the staff are unpaid volunteers but there are a few perks including a free drinks allowance, food on longer shifts, t-shirt (subject to availability), volunteer social on Saturday night and staff reunion coach trip after the festival to a nearby beery place!

Staff are needed for the set up and take down as well as the festival itself.

The online staffing form will go live soon, or you can register your interest now.


There are a number of opportunities to promote your business to festival visitors. You can sponsor the glasses, entertainment, programme, bars, games, tokens, website, posters and even individual beers! Please email for more details.

Getting to the festival

Our venue, Kelham Island Museum, is in a former industrial area a walkable distance from the City Centre that has enjoyed much regeneration over recent years and now features a whole host of pubs, restaurants, shops, breweries and more down the valley alongside the river Don.


Shalesmoor tram stop is just five minutes walk from the venue and is served by the Blue and Yellow tram routes (towards Malin Bridge and Middlewood) and provide handy connections from trains at Sheffield or Meadowhall stations, the City Centre and various other areas of Sheffield.


Nearest stops are on Nursery Street (by the Harlequin pub) or Gibralter Street (by Shakespeares pub), both a short walk away.


The Blue route tram will take you from Sheffield Station to Shalesmoor tram stop, a short walk from our venue.