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