Kelham & Neepsend

The real ale trail around Kelham Island, Shalesmoor, Neepsend and Hillsborough – The Upper Don Valley – is pretty much the modern history of Sheffield’s real ale scene. Much of the area is a former industrial district but is now in advanced stages of gentrification with lots of pubs, bars, cafes, breweries and residential developments as well as a little remaining industry.

There are two key public transport corridors through the valley – the Blue and Yellow tram route down one edge and the number 7 and 8 bus down the other.

Shalesmoor tram stop is a useful gateway to the whole area whilst the 7/8 bus will take you close to the Neepsend pubs.

You can also stay on the tram to Hillsborough where there is a run of pubs and bars both small and large, however this article focuses on the Kelham Island and Neepsend area – check out for venues further up the valley.

Alder Bar – Burton Road
Alder bar was previously the Sheffield Brewery Company and is located in the former Blanco Polish factory, which supplied the British troops in World War Two. Beer was brewed here from 2006 until the Coronavirus pandemic, on kit arranged on the traditional tower principle. The bar in the brewery was rescued from a student halls of residence that has since been demolished and fits in style with the Victorian building. Currently brewing has been suspended until further notice and the bar is now operated independently as “Alder” with a range of guest ales.
Get there: bus 7,8. Nearest tram stop Shalesmoor. 

Crow – Scotland Street
One of the newest pubs on the real ale and craft beer scene with the addition of en suite hotel rooms upstairs, brought to you by the same people as the Rutland Arms. Bar snacks primarily include pork pies, scotch eggs and sausage rolls. A short walk up Lambert Street from Shakespeares pub and the rest of the Kelham Island circuit.
Get there – bus 31

Fat Cat– Alma Street

The grandaddy of Sheffield’s real ale pub scene – the first real ale free house to feature beers from outside the area and the first to offer a no smoking room! An old, traditional multi-room pub that hasn’t changed in many years, has a great beer garden and a simple, affordable food menu that always includes a veggie/vegan and gluten free option. The pub was previously associated with Kelham Island Brewery which has since changed ownership.
Get there – Shalesmoor tram stop, buses 57,57a,81,82,86 to Gibraltar Street

Forest / Toolmakers Brewery tap room – Rutland Road/Botsford Street
The Forest is just that little bit up the hill away from the popular Kelham Island circuit allowing it to remain a simple locals pub with reasonable beer prices, yet is still welcoming and comfortable. The beer on the bar is from the Toolmakers Brewery located around the corner owned by the same couple as the pub, the brewery has a tap room that opens up on a part time basis for special events including live music and open mic sessions – check their social media for details.
Get there – bus 7/8 to Neepsend Lane.

Gardeners’ Rest – Neepsend Lane
One of Sheffield’s classic real ale pubs featuring around 6 regularly changing cask beers. The pub has 3 rooms – the main lounge, snug (featuring bar billiards table) and conservatory, leading out to the quite wonderfully eccentric riverside beer yard. The pub is now community owned and gets involved with a lot of community initiatives. Note card payment only.
Get there – bus 7,8 stops outside or Infirmary Road tram stop is walkable. 

Grafters – Percy Street
Small container bar boasting a spacious outdoor garden with heating and covered seating areas. Serving cask, keg and bottled delights alongside a carefully selected range of hand picked spirits and mixers.
Get there: bus 7,8. Nearest tram stop Shalesmoor. 

Happy’s Bar – Rutland Road
Opened in December 2022, they promote themselves as a neighbourhood bar – with music, food, cocktails, beer and sport. Craft beer options are from Abbeydale and Vocation on cask and keg. Also quite into their Bourbons. Outdoor drinking area available. Bar open until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Get there: Infirmary Road tram stop or bus 7, 8

Harlequin – Nursery Street
Fairly big L-shape pub with extensive cider selection, range of real ales and bar snacks. Has a mid week quiz night and occasional live music.
Get there – buses 7,8,95,95a 

Kelham Island Tavern – Russell Street
One of the area’s long established real ale pubs that has won many awards over the years including National CAMRA Pub of the Year for two consecutive years.  It is a basic pub with two rooms and a beer garden that is kept well presented, large beer range with all basic styles including mild, stout/porter and traditional bitter alongside popular pale hoppy offerings and more across 13 handpumps, usually including some from Blue Bee Brewery. A recent bar refit has also increased the number of craft beers on keg. Bar snacks include pork pies, bhajis, samosas and sandwiches.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop, buses 57,57a,81,82,86 to Gibraltar Street

Lost in West Bar – Gibralter Street
Small, friendly bar under now ownership that is connected with Lost Industry Brewing showcasing their beers and guests on both cask and keg. Yard at rear offers outdoor drinking.
Get there: buses 57,81, 82,86

Millowners Arms – Kelham Island Museum
Formerly a museum exhibit celebrating Sheffield’s pub and brewing history, this traditional pub room is now open full time as a public bar with real ale and other craft beers available along with a simple food menu.
Get there – Shalesmoor tram stop, buses 57,57a,81,82,86 to Gibraltar Street

New Barrack Tavern – Penistone Road
Friendly multi room roadhouse pub owned by Castle Rock Brewery but operated independently by Kev and Steph. Popular with the more discerning fans of Sheffield Wednesday football club and Sheffield Tigers Speedway team whilst the weekend live music and comedy events also draw a crowd. Usually a good selection of real ales on the bar and an extensive cider and bottled beer selection also features.
Get there: Bamforth Street tram stop or buses 7,8,86.

Riverside– Mowbray Street
Bar owned by True North Brewery offering their beers plus guests and food is available. As the name implies, there is also an extensive outdoor drinking area overlooking the river Don.
Get there: bus 7,8,83,95,95a.

Saw Grinders Union – Shalesmoor
Smart but relaxed bar & dining room. 2 cask ales available on handpump plus a range of craft beers from their keg wall.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop or buses 57,57a,81,82,86.

Shakespeares – Gibralter Street
One of those old places that has been around for years and dates back to the days of being a coaching inn with stables at the back for the horse and carriage, it only really became noteworthy from a beer point of view in recent years since becoming independently owned and operated. The interior is a basic ale house style with several rooms on the ground floor plus a live music room and games room upstairs. The bar offers an extensive range of craft beers on cask and keg served by knowledgeable staff, they also boast quite an extensive top shelf spirit choice.
Get there: bus 57,81,82. Nearest tram stops Cathedral or Shalesmoor.

Ship Inn– Shalesmoor
Classic pub that won an award for its last refurbishment. Laid back atmosphere.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop is across the road or buses 57,57a,81,82,86.

SALT – Green Lane
New build pub/restaurant, initially opened as “Stew & Oyster” but since refurbished and become SALT brewery’s Sheffield bar pairing craft beer with bao buns to eat.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop or buses 57,57a,81,82,86

Wellington – Henry Street
Old fashioned two room pub next to Shalesmoor tram stop operated by Neepsend Brewery featuring craft beer on cask and keg from their range plus guests. The kind of pub where you sit and enjoy quiet conversation or read the paper. Beer garden also available.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop or buses 57,57a,81,82,86


Church Temple of Fun – Rutland Road

Former industrial building expensively renovated with part of it converted into a bar (the other part is a clothes warehouse for the Drop Dead Clothing designer brand). The bar features craft beer, cocktails, vegan fast food, photo booth, classic coin-op arcade games, Playstation pods, pool table, music and riverside balcony. Sounds hipster as hell, actually a really cool, relaxed place to chill with a beer. Cask ale sometimes available.
Get there – Infirmary Road tram stop or buses 7,8,86

Factory Floor – Burton Road
Beer from Neepsend Brewery next door, two of which are served from a tank, along with drip infused spirits. Run by the same people as Peddlers Market and is part of the same complex.
Get there: Infirmary Road tram stop or bus 7, 8

Heist Brew Co – Neepsend Lane
The new kid on the block, a converted industrial building containing a brewery, burger joint, coffee and craft beer bar with 30 taps and a fridge full of exotica. Oh and a mini games arcade. Cask beer sometimes available for special events.
Get there: Infirmary Road tram stop or bus 7, 8

Hymn to Ninkasi – Cotton Mill Walk

Small craft beer bottle shop and bar on a modern residential development.
Get there – Shalesmoor tram stop, buses 57,57a,81,82,86 to Gibraltar Street

Old Workshop – Hick Street
Bar in, as the name suggests, an old former workshop! Features a range of craft beer, premium spirits and vegan fast food, in a laid back atmosphere.
Get there: bus 7,8 or Shalesmoor tram stop

Peddler Market – Burton Road, Neepsend
Takes place the first weekend of most months in an old warehouse and surrounding courtyards, featuring a craft beer bar with a different guest brewery each month, numerous street food traders, makers stalls, music and more.
Get there: Shalesmoor tram stop or bus 7, 8

Abbeydale Brewery

Well we’re certainly ramping things up ready for the festive season so have loads of beers due out this month!

Firstly, you may remember that back in August we released Cryo Heathen, an amped-up, 5.0% version of our yummy Mosaic hopped American Pale Ale, as a special one-off for our 25th birthday… well, it ran out so quickly and we’ve had so many requests that we just had to make it again! It’ll be available on cask, keg and can alongside another variation – Fresh Hop Heathen! This one will be the same ABV as “regular” Heathen (4.1%) and sees us be amongst the very first in the UK to have access to fresh hops from America, frozen immediately after harvest to preserve all the gorgeous delicate nuances found within these amazing little plants. And just to round off the trinity of Heathen news, we’re happy to say that this is now a vegan friendly beer, across all dispense formats. So even more of us can now enjoy a pint!

As for non-Heathen related beers, we’ve rebrewed Salvation Sea Salt & Caramel Stout for a delicious 5.0% rich and creamy winter warmer. Damnation also makes a return – a 4.5% classic golden ale, with Columbus and Pacific Jade hops for a bold spicy character with notes of citrus to balance. The next in our Hopback series is due out mid-November too, at the time of writing the recipe is to be confirmed but expect a lovely light pale ale showcasing something delicious from our extensive hop store!

Doctor Morton’s Cold Store Jukebox is a brand new beer being released this month, this one will come with a QR code to take you to our brewery team’s current playlist of choice! (Assuming of course good old Doctor Morton can figure out the technology…!)

And after all that I think we’ll be ready for some Hibernation – our seasonal 4.2% dry hopped pale ale, with Centennial and Simcoe.

Laura, Abbeydale Brewery

Sheffield City Centre

For the benefit of those of you who are new to Sheffield, here is our mini guide to real ale venues in Sheffield City Centre. All are walkable, however all are also easily accessible by bus or tram! Where possible a link to the Whatpub entry has been provided for more details and a map.
Bankers Draft (JD Wetherspoon) – Castle Square tram stop Typical Wetherspoon pub with very affordably priced real ales, standard food menu and down to earth clientele over two floors. Get there: all tram routes stop outside, various buses nearby. Bath Hotel – Victoria Street Classic two room art deco back street boozer featuring a selection of ales. Simple bar snacks available, dart board, occasional music nights. Listed on the CAMRA National Inventory of pub interiors. Get there: University tram stop or buses 6,51,52,52a,95,95a,120,271 Beehive – West Street City Centre bar owned by Stonegate with well known beers, sports TV and affordable pub grub. Get there: West Street tram stop or buses 6,51,52,52a,95,95a,120,271 Benjamin Huntsman (JD Wetherspoon) Modern Wetherspoon bar on two floors, beer range, prices and food menu as you would expect from this chain. Get there: City Hall tram stop Bessemer – Leopold Street By day and night the Bessemer is two very different animals… in the daytime like many pubs in the Stonegate chain it serves value for money food to tables in various cosy corners and real ale is available – generally a mix of national and local brands. However Friday and Saturday night the pub is open until 2am with a DJ playing golden oldies, attracting a very mixed crowd! Pub is owned by Stonegate. Get there: City Hall tram stop, buses to West Street. Brown Bear – Norfolk Street Classic two room pub owned by Samuel Smiths Brewery exclusively serving their products. Obey the Smith’s old fashioned values of no swearing or electronic devices such as mobile phones and you will be rewarded with very affordable beer prices! Get there: Castle Square tram stop or Arundel Gate bus stops. Bungalows & Bears -Division Street Large City Centre bar housed in a former fire station with real ale and craft beers available alongside the more mainstream offerings. By day you can chill out with a beer and burger whilst at night there are events including DJ and live music nights, games nights and more. Get there – City Hall tram stop or any bus on West Street Cavells – High Street Unpretentious cafe bar Get there – Castle Square tram stop, buses on High Street/Arundel Gate. Church House – St James Street Gothic looking pub next to the Cathedral, owned by Heineken Star Bars but independently operated, relaxed atmosphere during the daytime then livelier at night with the pub featuring live bands at the weekend, usually leaning towards the classic rock genre. Get there – Cathedral tram stop or any buses on High Street/Church Street Common Room – Devonshire Street American Pool Lounge, sports bar and diner owned by True North Brewery Get there –  West Street tram stop or any bus on West Street Dog & Partridge – Trippet Lane Traditional multi roomed pub with a range of real ales. Classically part of the ‘Irish Triangle’ of three Sheffield pubs (others being Grapes and Fagans) that for many years have had Irish ex pat landlords and customers. Sporting events are regularly shown on TV, the pub hosts a quiz night and classic video games night. Also check out the old fashioned snug room, which thankfully remained unspoilt when the pub was refurbished. Get there – City Hall tram stop. Sheffield Connect minibus stops close by. Dorothy Pax – Victoria Quays Great little canal side drinking venue located in a railway arch with a bar made from an old boat. Choice of real ales, regular live music events. Friendly and relaxed, when the weather is good you can enjoy sitting outside by the water observing boats moored in the canal basin and trams passing over the viaduct in the distance! If going in the evening check their event programme as some gigs are ticketed. Get there – Fitzalan Square tram stop across bridge, various buses to the Wicker or 24/25 to Broad Street/Blast Lane. Dove & Rainbow – Hartshead Square It certainly isn’t posh or smart and the limit of the bar food menu is a Pot Noodle, the Dove has been a home to the rock and alternative crowd for many years with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Real Ale, Cider, Pool Table, music, pinball and murals feature here. Get there – Castle Square tram stop, buses to High Street/Arundel Gate/Angel Street Fagan’s – Broad Lane It may be described as a reyt proper pub and a Sheffield institution. It has recently changed hands after the retirement of the long standing licensees however it is still a traditional pub with folk music. Frog & Parrot – Division Street Landmark corner pub owned by Greene King featuring their beers plus local guests and their usual food menu. The pub is quite music orientated both with the decor and occasional live entertainment. Get there – West Street tram stop Gatsby – Division Street Bar featuring cocktails, music, mexican street food and a beer garden. Cask ale option is usually Thornbridge’s Kelham Island Pale Rider. Getting there: West Street tram stop. Globe – Howard Street One of Stonegate’s Craft Union partnership pubs, expected to reopen following refurbishment on 22 April 2023. Get there: Castle Square tram stop, buses to Arundel Gate, close to Sheffield rail station. Grapes – Trippet Lane Classic multi roomed heritage pub that has been Irish owned and operated by the same family for many years. Get there – City Hall tram stop Head of Steam – Norfolk Street Large venue with island bar in a building that was once a bank, part of a chain owned by Cameron’s brewery offering and extensive range of craft beer, real ales, European beers, food and more. Get there – Castle Square tram stop, any bus to Arundel Gate Howard – Howard Street Comfortable pub owned by Marstons Brewery by the rail station and Hallam University campus. Get there – buses to Sheffield Interchange, trains and trams at Sheffield Station. Industry Tap – Sidney Street Craft beer bar opened by local experimental brewers Lost Industry but now independent, serving an extensive beer range featuring Lost Industry and guests served on a 21 line keg tap wall and bar snacks in a new build development on the site of the old Niche nightclub. Get there: buses to Moorfoot or Shoreham Street, nearest tram stop is Granville Road (Note – keg only bar, craft beers may or may not be real ale depending on range featured) Kommune – Angel Street Food hall and gallery space in part of the old Co-op department store. It is a permenant home to a number of different street food traders making some great quality meals, snacks and coffee along with the “Drinks Department” which is the venue’s main bar where craft beer is available, it is also home to Hop Hideout, a specialist craft beer shop offering some interesting beers on can, bottle and keg to drink in or takeaway. All the food and drink outlets share the same communal tables. Get there: Castle Square tram stop, most City Centre buses. (Note – keg only bar, craft beers may or may not be real ale depending on range featured) Lord Nelson – Arundel Street Typical friendly old fashioned local boozer. 4 handpumps for real ale, sport on TV. Museum – Orchard Street Compact but comfortable Greene King pub attached to Orchard Square shopping courtyard. Local guest beers available and food served. Get there: Cathedral tram stop or any buses on Leopold Street/Church Street. Old Queens Head – Pond Street A Thwaites pub attached to the Sheffield Interchange bus station, the original part of the pub is one of the oldest commercial buildings in the City and is now used as the dining area with the more modern parts of the pub offering a comfortable place to relax with a beer or bite to eat. On the bar the real ales are mostly from Thwaites, however there are two guest pumps, one of which is always usually something interesting from a local brewery. The food menu leans towards traditional pub grub with some cheaper lunchtime deals. Get there: any bus to Sheffield Interchange or tram/train to rail station over the road. Old Shoe – Orchard Square A City Centre bar and shop where cider is made on the premises and served alongside a range of bottled ciders from the UK and beyond along with a wide range of craft beer served from keg, cask, bottle and can. They also feature natural wines and other artisan drinks. OPENING SOON. Get there: Cathedral tram stop; buses to Church Street or Arundel Gate. Perch – Garden Street A modern bar that in its previous life was the base for Sheffield City Council’s parking enforcement officers!  Perch is the tap for Dead Parrot Brewery with a range of their beers on handpump. The brewery is next door alongside the sheltered outdoor drinking area at the rear of the venue which hosts special events from time to time. A food menu of good quality burgers and pizzas is offered along with snacks such as chicken wings. Red Deer – Pitt Street Classic ex Tetleys pub popular with University staff that feels like a country pub in the heart of the City. Range of real ales and fresh food served, regular events including quiz nights and music, small beer patio at rear. Get there: West Street tram stop, various buses. Red Lion – Charles Street Traditional multi room pub with snug and conservatory, pool table and lunchtime food. Get there: buses to Arundel Gate, Castle Square or Sheffield Station tram stop Roebuck – Charles Street A fairly traditional pub located in the heart of the City Centre with real ale and food. Get there: any bus to Arundel Gate. Nearest tram stops: Castle Square or City Hall. Rutland Arms – Brown Street Classic traditional street corner boozer that has been around the Sheffield real ale scene for years, however look beyond the heritage building and the interior that is a bit scruffy around the edges there is a little bit of a modern punk attitude – the pub offers a great range of real ales, some quite interesting craft beers on the keg lines, bistro standard fresh food cooking (as well as chip butties) from the kitchen and an extensive selection of top shelf spirits. They also have a beer garden. Keep an eye on their social media for special events planned including tap takeovers and themed parties, keep an eye on the walls for examples of staff humour and customer politics too! Get there – buses to Brown Street or Arundel Gate, nearest tram stop Sheffield Station. Sheffield Tap – Sheaf Street The Tap is located on platform 1b of Sheffield Station in a building that was previously a derelict storage area – although long before that it was the old first class refreshment rooms, buffet and station masters accommodation. It has all been restored and opened as a craft beer bar with its own on site brewery – Tapped Brew Co. Listed on the CAMRA National Inventory of pub interiors. Get there: tram or train to Sheffield Station, any bus to Sheffield Interchange. Showroom Cafe Bar – Paternoster Row Part of the independent cinema complex, this is a large single room with some art deco features. Get there: Sheffield Station (train and tram) & Sheffield bus Interchange is just around the corner. Three Tuns – Silver Street Head Fairly unique wedge shaped pub building, traditional and comfortable interior with friendly bar service and a choice of classic ales from breweries on the Heineken list such as Theakstons. Entertainment at the weekend including disco and karaoke on Friday/Saturday and a drag queen on some Sundays. Get there: Cathedral tram stop Triple Point Brewery + Bar – Shoreham Street Modern brewery and bar in a converted building. Enjoy a range of cask and keg beers brewed on site plus the occasional guest beer. Many of the beers tend to be classic English or European styles with a subtle twist. The bar is also home to the Twisted Burger Company. Get there: buses 1,1a,11,24,25. Nearest tram stop is Granville Road. University Arms – Brook Hill Formerly the University staff club and originally a vicarage, this slightly gothic looking building is now a pub open to all offering a timeless environment to enjoy beer and food inside and a proper beer garden outside.It also has a number of function rooms upstairs well used by University societies. Get there: University of Sheffield tram stop or buses 51,52,52a Vocation & Co – Devonshire Street Small but perfectly formed bar originally opened by True North Brewery as the Old House, now a branch of Vocation & Co which launched on 14 April 2023 with 5 cask ales and 22 keg lines featuring beer from Vocation and guests. Food is described as upmarket burgers and subs. Get there: West Street tram stop or any buses on West Street. Washington – Fitzwilliam Street Traditional pub building with imposing doorway and two rooms – one a comfy lounge, the other more basic seating/tables with DJ box, dance floor and stage. The pub is very music orientated with DJ and live music nights and a decent soundtrack the rest of the time. The pub also has a great outdoor drinking area. 4 real ales are available – Black Sheep Bitter and Abbeydale Moonshine on the regular pumps and two local guest ales. Open until 3am most nights and welcomes a wonderfully eclectic crowd. Get there: West Street tram stop, buses to Moorfoot or West Street. Waterworks (JD Wetherspoon) Originally converted from offices into a bar as a Lloyds No1 venue, this has since become a Wetherspoons pub with the usual reasonably priced ales and chain pub food menu that you come to expect. Get there: City Hall tram stop Yates – Cambridge Street A chain that probably needs no introduction. By day it operates as a pub with reasonably priced beer, basic pub food menu and sports news on the TV whilst at night it becomes a party venue with a DJ playing mainly latest pop hits (and I now feel really old writing those words). Get there: City Hall tram stop or any bus to West Street or Pinstone Street/Leopold Street