Spotlight on: Sentinel Brewery
Not that we needed a report to tell us this, but a recent survey by Sheffield University has crowned our city ‘real ale capital of the world’, after discovering the city has a whopping 4.7 more brewers per person than Greater London. With around 400 different beers available in the city’s pubs on a typical day, you think we’d be content by now… Yet more beery ventures and breweries are opening on a regular basis, showing just how much of a thirst we have for a good pint.
For Alex Barlow of Sentinel Brewery, this isn’t a new phenomenon. An entire career in the industry, from the age of 17 pulling pints in his local pub to jobs at huge companies like Bass, alongside other ventures, has led him to realise his dream of opening his own brewery. It’s been many years in the making, and now Alex has found the perfect spot for his unique project.
Taking over a warehouse on Shoreham Street, Sentinel have adopted an open brewery concept – from the bar and restaurant you’re able to see the whole process, and from grain to tap your beer will travel a mere 25 yards.
Sentinel came onto the Exposed radar during Sheffield Beer Week after they hosted the closing party to great success – despite only having a makeshift bar at this point and no casks! Since then they’ve transformed the former carpet warehouse into a hoppy paradise, so we met up with Alex to have a chat about what’s in store.
Upon our visit it’s a couple of weeks before the official launch and, despite being open during the evening and weekends, it’s still a bit of a building site during the day – though as Alex points out, “Perhaps the only one going with a license!”
We’re given the grand tour through the bar and dining area; in keeping with the industrial style of the building, brand colours are the theme along with materials associated with the beer such as the oak wood bar, steel and copper light fixtures and slate surfaces. There are two private rooms at the back for everything from corporate meetings to tasting events and family parties.
Planning on being very events-orientated, Alex tells us on Tuesdays there will brewers present for talks and Q&A’s, and on Wednesdays they will be introducing “brewvie” nights where they will screen movies while keeping the beer flowing. Thursdays will be food-focused, showcasing the best of their innovative menu.
Food is served daily and, naturally, each of their beers feature on the menu frequently. From small plates like their market vegetable bhajis made with Sentinel cK batter to the brewers Scotch egg with pork, Yorkshire black pudding and Sentinel brown sauce – made to the highest quality using malt crusted free-range Whirlow Farm eggs and Moss Valley pork. The large plates are equally impressive: lamb breast (slow-braised in Sentinal Ar ale) rosemary and olive stew with chive and mint mash and buttered chantenay carrots, or the classic PvO battered fish chips and mushy peas are just a couple of the offerings, whilst the stone-baked pizzas and sharing boards offer an Italian edge. On top of all of that, a takeaway shop offering growlers, six beer gift bags and brewery merch, ensuring you can enjoy Sentinel beers from home too.
From the carefully chosen glassware, excellent range of guest beers and considered menu, it’s clear Sentinel have gone the extra mile to ensure they offer a top-notch experience: “Whether you’re coming in for a beer, some food or a meeting, we aim to make everything as exceptional as it can be.”
See www.sentinelbrewing.co for more. Opening times: Tues-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am, Mon-Sunday 11am-6pm.
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