Sheffield Craft Beers

Around Sheffield in 14 Craft Beers

Learning the Craft

There’s been a revolution. It started the best part of a decade ago, with just a handful of small independent brewers striking up a rebel cause to put a dent in the domination of mass produced beer brands. The movement quickly gathered pace and a stale UK drinking culture was transformed as punters found themselves increasingly drawn by hoppy aromas to the infinitely more exciting, experimental world of craft beer.

Skip forward to the year 2016 and never before has there been a better time to find a decent pint in the Steel City. We spoke to some of our favourite drinking establishments and asked them to provide us with a sample of the finest brews around at the moment.

 

MIKKELLER: ALL OTHERS PALE (5.6%)

Cheeky take on an American pale with Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo and Nugget hops. Well-balanced, light-bodied thirst quencher with a subtle malty background and smooth taste from its use of flaked oats. Mikkeller’s artistic director Keith Shore created the artwork that adorns the front of can.

Available from Hop Hideout, 448 Abbeydale Rd S7 1FR

www.hophideout.co.uk

 

MIKKELLER: 19 (6.9%)

A juicy IPA brewed with 19 different hops. The biggest hit comes from Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo and Sorachi Ace hops, providing citrusy aromas and hints of lemongrass. Big fans of the Copenhaged-based brewery, Hop Hideout usually stocks over 30 different Mikkeller beers. On the first Saturday of the month they also host Sheffield’s chapter of the Mikkeller Running Club, with free cake and beer offered after the 5km run. Free to join up, head to mikkellerrunningclub.dk.

Available from Hop Hideout, 448 Abbeydale Rd S7 1FR

www.hophideout.co.uk

 

BREWDOG: SHIPWRECK (13.8%)

Not for the faint-hearted, this mighty brew packs a proper punch boasting the ABV equivalent to a decent bottle of wine. It is brewed with smoked malt and smoked agave syrup, and barrel-aged in both Islay and Speyside casks, with the aim of capturing the flavours of Mezcal.

Available from Brew Dog, 5-6, Eldon Court, 108-110 Devonshire St S3 7SF

www.brewdog.com

 

THORNBRIDGE: BEADECA’S WELL (5.3%)

Beadeca’s Well is the old English name for the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, where Thornbridge’s riverside brewery resides. A gentle smokiness comes through with smooth notes of toffee, caramel and dark fruits to balance. The result is a smoked porter light enough for the summer months.

Available from The Bath Hotel, 66-68 Victoria St, Sheffield S3 7QL

www.beerinthebath.co.uk

 

BREW FOUNDATION: HOP & GLORY (4.9%)

Bags of tropical fruit hop flavours are packed into this beer from new kids on the block, The Brew Foundation. The bigger brother of their session IPA ‘Hops & Dreams’, this one’s slightly stronger but still superbly suppable, with Cascade, Magnum and Rakau hops combining brilliantly.

Available from www.thebrewfoundation.co.uk.

 

MIKKELLER: CITRA SESSION IPA (4.5%)

This is a limited edition session IPA, with hoppy lemon and orange flavours and a bitter smell due to the Citra hops used. The Citra hops and low alcohol content makes it a light and tropical beer. Great for sessions on the Picture House Social terrace now spring has arrived.

Available from The Picture House Social, 383 Abbeydale Rd, Nether Edge S7 1FS

www.picture-house-social.com

 

TO ØL: HUNDELUFTER BAJER (5.0%)

This one was made for To Øl’s friends at the Barking Dog in Copenhagen. Carl, the owner of the Barking Dog, wanted an IPA packed with as much Mosaic hops as the brewers could fit in the beer – and that’s exactly what he got in this tropical-fruit forward session IPA.

Available from Shakespeares 146-148 Gibraltar Street S3 8UB

shakespeares-sheffield.co.uk

 

FLYING DOG: KUJO IMPERIAL COFFEE STOUT (8.9%)

“Enjoy your new pet!” Artist Ralph Steadman, known for his work with writer Hunter S. Thompson, exclaimed this when he unleashed his appropriately terrifying artwork for this intense coffee stout. This beer balances rich and roasted stout characteristics with deep, dark coffee notes.

Available from The Fat Cat, 23 Alma St S3 8SA

www.thefatcat.co.uk

 

OMNIPOLLO: NEBUCHADNEZZAR (8.5%)

Originally a home brew recipe, due to demand it has since been scaled up to reach a wider audience. A citrus forward IPA with subtle yeasts, its fresh flavour has won numerous awards in Sweden and is now getting recognised overseas. Named after the ship in ‘The Matrix’ and/or king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 BC – 562 BC of the same name. You decide.

Available from The Beer Engine, 17 Cemetery Rd S11 8FJ

www.beerenginesheffield.com

 

ROGUE: VOODOO DOUGHNUT MANGO ASTRONAUT ALE (5.3%)

Living up to their name, the rascals at Rogue have paired two of the best inventions on the planet: doughnuts and beer. A ‘collision of crazies’ this beer was inspired by the famed Voodoo Mango Tango doughnut, bringing light mango and citrus flavours to the palate. Make of that what you will.

Available from The Head of Steam, 103-107 Norfolk Street S1 2JE. 

www.theheadofsteam.co.uk

 

PRESSURE DROP: ALLIGATOR TUGBOAT (7.2%)

With artwork from UK street artist Sweet Toof this one practically leaps off the shelf. Brewing out of a railway arch in Hackney, Pressure Drop have joined the boom of brewers working out of this area of London. Alligator Tugboat is IPA single hopped with US hop Simcoe, making for a heady combo of tropical fruit, pine, resin and citrus notes.

Available from Turners Bottle Shop, 298 Abbeydale Rd S7 1FL

www.turners-craft-beer.co.uk

 

SENTINEL: PVO (4.6%)

One of Sentinel’s core range beers, which all use British malts, many from Yorkshire-grown barley, and a base of British hops accentuated by fine Continental hops. PVO is a Czech Pivo style beer, offering a moderate malt sweetness with a lingering bitterness. They suggest a food pairing of bread-crumbed chicken, pizza or herby pasta.

Available from Sentinel Brewing Co. 178 Shoreham Street, S1 4SQ

www.sentinelbrewing.co

 

WELBECK ABBEY: LADY A (7.1%)

This Belgian Dubbel-style beer is named after Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox, the Duchess of Portland from 1943-1977. Through founding the Harley Foundation on the Welbeck Estate, she aimed to ‘encourage the creativity in all of us’ and that’s exactly what’s gone into this beer. Malty with a blend of fig, plum and raisin flavours, this is an English Abbey Ale with a difference!

Available from Portland House, 286 Ecclesall Rd S11 8PE

www.theportlandhouse.co.uk

 

LOST INDUSTRY + BEER CENTRAL: PARALLEL PARKIN (8.2%)

An Imperial Brown Ale with added depth and flavour from sweet black treacle, fresh ginger and a good chunk of Yorkshire Parkin. This is a collaboration between local brewery Lost Industry and boutique bottle shop Beer Central; it was launched during Sheffield Beer Week to much approval. Predicted to sell-out swiftly, so be quick to get your hands on one!

Available from Beer Central Ltd., Outlet MS3 The Moor Market, Earl St S1 4JE

www.facebook.com/BeerCentralLtd




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  1. K Rogers

    To claim that there’s a “revolution” that happened “the best part of a decade ago” is pretty lazy journalism and undermines Sheffield’s role in that revolution. The challenge to “mass produced beer brands” arose out of the real ale movement that really took off in the 1970s, and owes a massive debt to CAMRA. And Dave Wickett, who opened the Fat Cat in 1981 and then established the Kelham Island brewery in 1990, is a central figure in that revolution and also, I’d argue, one of the reasons why Sheffield has so many real ale pubs and independent breweries today.
    If we want to date the revolution back to the emergence of “craft beer” (ignoring the rather problematic fact that there’s no commonly agreed definition of “craft beer”), we could perhaps date the revolution back (in Britain) to Brewdog’s formation in 2007 – but they were very much following in an earlier American tradition of craft brewing, one which was definitely well established by 2001. And let’s not forget, that one of Brewdog’s founders, Martin Dickie, got his industry experience at Thornbridge. In fact, I’d argue that breweries such as Thornbridge (from 2005) and Meantime (from 2000) were experimenting with beer styles that were markedly different from some of the well-established “real ales” well before Brewdog – it’s just Brewdog had a pretty effective if obnoxious publicity machine to go with its beers – just what the industry needed – a more aggressive, masculine approach to beer.
    There’s plenty to celebrate in Sheffield’s beer culture but it would be nice to see a bit more of that reflected in this article (and a couple more local beers too – there’s plenty to choose from!)


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