Sheffield Pubs

July 29, 2009

Living in the fine city of Sheffield is great. Not only it is a really cool place to live and very beautiful (when it finally stops raining) it is also a proper real ale city. You are never too far from a cracking establishment where you can sup a few jars of brewed perfection in this part of the world. Whilst I haven’t visited all the decent pubs in Sheffield, I do know a thing or two about getting a decent drink in this town, so here is my top 5 pubs in Sheffield (that I have actually visited and in no particular order – I am aware there are many more good ones!)…

The Fat Cat, Kelham Island, S3

A fantastic little pub which has all the charm of a traditional old boozer from the home made grub to the walls covered with old school decoration of brewery mirrors. They always have a great selection of ales on their 10 hand pumps! They also have an impressive array of bar snacks. I think this has to be the only pub in Sheffield that I know of that still asks if you want a ‘straight’ or ‘tankard’ glass for those worried about warming their beer with their hand holding a normal straight glass- proper retro stuff. Furthermore, this is in fact the famous Kelham Island Brewery’s flagship pub with the actual brewery museum and brewing site just around the back of the pub. As a result there is no finer place to enjoy a couple of pints of the former CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain, Kelham Island Pale Rider(5.2% ABV) and the Kelham Island beers feature heavily in the selection of beers available, which is just another reason to adore the place. The only real shame is that is in a remote part of the city…but then again perhaps that is its greatest charm. It’s like a 1970s CAMRA throw-back and that’s why I love it; wholesome, traditional and local. Get In. Try the homemade pies as well…very tasty!

The Rising Sun, Fulwood, S10

A great, roomy, modern-take on a traditional pub in a nice end of town (it’s very leafy around these parts indeed). The selection of real ales in this pub never ceases to amaze me and that is the main reason I love it so much. As an Abbeydale Brewery pub it always has 5 regular Abbeydale beers plus 1 seasonal Abbeydale offering. On top of this (as if that isn’t enough!) they have 7 guest pumps where they serve an ever changing array of microbrewery beers from around the country. They also have a pretty good selection of ciders and continental lagers. This is a top place! The inside of the pub is really relaxed and the decor is quite modern with leather sofas. It’s pretty nice to come here in the evening in the autumn or winter and enjoy the roaring open fire. They have their very own beer festival in July, which is supposed to be a bit special and I’ve heard that the music nights on a Monday are pretty good too. It’s more than worth the bus fare on the number 60 to visit the place.

The Devonshire Cat, Devonshire Green, S1

This is the first pub I fell in love with in Sheffield and it is probably the real ale haunt which I visit the most frequently in Sheffield. Whilst the decor isn’t that traditional, I do love the open-plan feel of this place and the buzz you get in the evenings there with a great mix of different people of all ages enjoying a fine selection of good ales, lagers, perrys and ciders. They have 6 permenant cask ales available, including their own special Kelham Island brew, Devonshire Cat Best Bitter (3.8% ABV) which is ok. But you’re far better sampling the best real ales South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire have to offer from Kelham Island, Abbeydale, Acorn and Thornbridge breweries, which are all available on draught. There are also 4 guest ale pumps and on top of this and there is a vast selection of continental beers both on draught and in bottles, from Chimay of Belgium to Paulaner of Germany. In fact the ‘take out box’ part of the pub where the bottle beers are stored is truly amazing with around 100 world beers on offer. It’s almost worth visiting the pub for this alone! The food is immense as well and I strongly recommend a hearty pub lunch there. But you know what this pub is really all about when it has a ‘beer menu’ on each table. This truly is a proper beer lovers paradise. If you have a couple of hours to spare in Sheffield and fancy a drink this is the place to be…my goodness.

The Bath Hotel, Broomhall, S3

Just a few minutes walk away from The Devo Cat you will find this great little gem hidden away from the noise and bustle of West Street. This is yet another traditonal pub and boasts an original tile and glasswork interior in the old format of two-bars (both ‘saloon’ and ‘lounge’) which gets the pub listed in CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. Being so close to the University it is a real academic’s pub with lectures being held in here some evenings and often being frequented by professors and postgrad students trying to find a more interesting location for their seminars or perhaps some inspiration for higher thinking! I have to say it is the Historians who love and frequent the pub most, obviously due to the traditional decor. It offers around 8 real ales on the hand pump (from the usual local suspects – Acorn, Kelham Island, Abbeydale breweries plus a few guests). I recall the Acorn Barnsley Bitter (3.8% ABV)  being in exceptionally good condition the last time I was in there and the Hotel is always in the Good Beer Guide so they have obviously got their cellarcraft spot-on. I recall the people behind the bar being particuarly helpful and made good, knowledgeable recommendations on what to try. This is a great boozer in which to have a quiet afternoon drink.

The Kelham Island Tavern, Kelham Island, S3

This super pub has been CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year and CAMRA Sheffield and District Pub of the Year on numerous occasions. There are very few more highly regarded pubs than this in the whole of the country. It is a fine traditonal public house but with an modern extension to make it quite roomy and light – in good contrast to The Fat Cat. There is however only a relatively humble selection of 4 hand-pulled ales, which isn’t many in Sheffield terms but the beer is always very well-kept.  I am always glad to go to The Tavern because they always make sure that their small range of beers includes a variety of styles from Pale and Goldern Ales to Stouts and Porters. But most importantly they sell Milds and Dark Milds, a style of beer which is sadly dying out in the UK but is surely one of the best in my opinion. Thwaties Nutty Black (3.3% ABV) is their current Dark Mild they have on and I can inform you on good authority that it is not too shabby a tipple. Even better to be drunk in these wonderful environs…after all the anual beer festival here was voted the ‘most atmospheric’ in Sheffield because of the nice pub garden. Well worth a visit if you are already in The Fat Cat because it is just a 30-second walk around the corner. Happy days!

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2 Responses to “Sheffield Pubs”

  1. Rob said

    Well, this is a fine blog indeed and is making me feel just a teensy bit sad to be so far from all these magical pubs. Still, Little Creatures is not far away and will be visited this very week!

  2. Pete Green said

    I enjoyed this a lot – thanks. Can’t argue with a word of it! You might be interested in my blog Get to the pub.com too, which features a lot of Sheffield pubs. Cheers!

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