All posts by Andy Cullen

FuggleBunny_chapter 9

Fuggle Bunny Brewhouse

If you thought the Bunny was quiet, think again!

In the past three years our little Fuggle has gone from strength to strength. We have been very busy behind the scenes recently, planning and plotting, and the results are in. Firstly we have just launched our latest creation Chapter 9 – LA LA Land 3.9% ABV American Pale Ale. Bursting with tropical aromas with refreshing tastes of passionfruit and citrus, this thirst-quenching sessionable American pale has been created for the start of the summer season, light, refreshing and oh so quaffable.

Fuggle has a new arrival!

Yes, Fuggle is ready to welcome his new baby. We are very proud and hoppy to announce the birth of our newest project, our little ale house which is currently being preened and pruned as we speak, ready for opening shortly.  The first of Fuggle’s ventures into opening cosy little ale houses for people to come and enjoy fabulous award-winning ales, specialised spirits, and much, much more. This is an extension to our already popular and busy Fridays down at the brewery which have taken the community by storm.  We have listened to our customers and stepped out of the box by creating the first chapter in Fuggle’s new ventures.  Keep checking our website and Facebook page for opening dates – you will not have to wait long. “Fuggle’s Chapter One Bar”, opening soon.

You can find Fuggle Bunny Brewhouse at Holbrook near Halfway, just off the main road towards Killamarsh. Bus 70/71 will drop you off nearby or it’s a short walk from Halfway tram terminus.

Heritage Open Days and Sheffield Beer

Pub Heritage walk March 2017 HODs_Box_ARTWORK_a4 Bath Hotel 26 07 2016 (19) Bath Heritage Certificate 2016As part of Heritage Open Days (HOD) 2015 and 2016, we led a Pub Heritage Walk. This will be repeated (twice) as part of HOD 2017 (7th.-10th.September). This short walk takes in some of the entries in the CAMRA ‘Yorkshire’s Real Heritage Pubs’ book. Also included are a number of ‘try also’ pubs which include aspects of architectural merit. Places are limited (to 15) and may be booked via Eventbrite. The tours are both on Friday 8th.September (14:30 and 17:30 start):  http://tinyurl.com/k46742k http://tinyurl.com/kqmg6jz

For the past two years, The Sheffield Tap has also contributed to HOD. In 2016, there were 86 events in Sheffield, feedback being overwhelmingly positive from both organisers and the public. Full details about HOD are available from the national website www.heritageopendays.org.uk . Also useful is ‘Sheffield Heritage Open Days’ on Facebook  and on twitter, @sheff_hods .

Hence, following the success of Sheffield Beer Week, it seems appropriate for more local breweries and pubs to take part. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the local organisers: hods@sheffieldcivictrust.org.uk . Contributions could include a brewery visit, cellar tours, short talks .. all providing excellent opportunities to spread the word about the best beer scene in the World.

This year, we hope to see lots of participation from the Sheffield Beer Scene!

– Dave Pickersgill and Liz Godfrey (Sheffield Civic Trust)

Blue Bee Brewery

There have been a few big changes at the brewery over the last couple of months. We have been asked plenty of probing questions but I can confirm that myself (Josh) and my partner Louise have taken over the brewery in order to secure its future.

Unfortunately as I assume many of you are aware our associated pubs: The Closed Shop, The Three Tuns and The Punchbowl have all temporarily closed so we are currently not supplying these venues. We wish everyone involved all the best and hope to see all three pubs thriving again soon and stocking great beer once again.

Despite the changes at the brewery we are continuing to produce the same quality beers with an emphasis on New World hops, and there are plans for plenty more one-off and special beers. With the loss of these regular outlets we are spreading out and delivering slightly further afield. Nevertheless, our beers can be still found across Sheffield in some top establishments and are regularly available at the likes of the Rutland Arms, the Red Deer, the Kelham Island Tavern and Shakespeares.

Anyway more importantly onto the beers. Our Coffee Milk Stout 5.4% seems to be proving a hit. It was brewed using lactose and cold-brewed Frazers Roasters coffee which gives a smooth initial milky coffee flavour leading to a roasted bitter kick. On top of this we have brewed Son of a Peach 5.2% with Sheffield University Real Ale Society; a golden IPA brewed using El Dorardo hops and then with further additions of El Dorardo and Citra dry hops as well as 15 kg of peaches to give a predominantly fruity peach flavour.

Also available in May will be Motueka IPA 5.0% a single hopped IPA with New Zealand hops. Ekuanot Pale 4.2% an American pale packed with Ekuanot hops (formerly known as Equinox) which give a big tropical fruit hit. And Azacca Red 4.7%, a hoppy American red ale brewed with Azacca hops.

Josh Jepson

Sheffield & District CAMRA’s new committee

Our branch AGM last month saw a number of committee members stepping down – Kate Major (Chair), Tony Kennick (treasurer) and Richard Short (Secretary). All three have left the committee as a result of needing to concentrate on other things going on in their lives – in the case of Kate taking over a pub (Rutland Arms), so our beery paths are still likely to cross! Thanks to all three for all the great work done during their time volunteering with us.

We welcome a few new members – including new Chairman Mick Saxton – and some of the old faces will be changing roles, this will all  be confirmed at the committee meeting which takes place the day this issue of Beer Matters is delivered, so more on it next month.

We’ll also be taking a look at the amendments to the Pub of the Month rules proposed at the AGM by Richard Hough which was voted to be referred to the committee, the result of this will be presented to the next branch meeting.

Great British Beer Festival – 8th-12th August, London Olympia,

VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED!

The Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) is CAMRA’s flagship national event taking place in London every August and this year is it’s 40th anniversary.

It features over 900 real ales from not just around the UK but also some rare casks from the USA. It also has two large cider & perry bars and a number of world beer bars. Adding to this is entertainment, food vendors, retail stalls, games and more.

Other than a little help from CAMRA HQ and warehouse staff, the festival is organised and staffed by CAMRA members that work as volunteers to share their passion for it all.

GBBF is a huge event and requires hundreds of volunteers with roles doing bar work, cellar, finance, stock management, membership sales, games hosts, foyer staff, glass sales & returns, stewards, office assistants, press officers, site team and more. The festival is on an impressive scale for customers, there is even more to experience as staff with a lot behind the scenes!

Many experienced volunteers travel down the week before the festival and help with construction, the majority head down on Sunday or Monday morning and help with final touches to set up then enjoy the heritage pub crawl around London on Monday evening, before getting into working the festival for the week whilst it is open from Tuesday to Saturday. After closing time on Saturday you are required to help start cleaning and packing away before then being invited to a staff party.

If you enjoy and care about beer festivals it is a good (if tiring!) experience to take the week off work and head down to volunteer at GBBF. If you work the full week the festival will provide you free accommodation in staff halls of residence along with breakfast every morning, you get access to a free staff bar in the ‘volunteers village’ upstairs from the festival and a free staff t-shirt, glass and programme. The ‘volunteers village’ also has a staff canteen providing lunch and evening meals at a subsidised price and volunteers get a generous discount on beer from the public bars.

If you would like to volunteer fill in the online form at www.gbbf.org.uk and if you enjoy volunteering there, don’t forget we also need volunteers for our own Steel City Beer Festival in Sheffield this October!

The Micropub revolution

Back in 2005 Martyn Hillier opened the Butchers Arms in a former butchers shop in Herne, Kent and came along to the CAMRA AGM the following year as a guest speaker to talk about the concept.

Now 12 years later there are about 300 micropubs across the UK that are members of the Micropub Association and many more that have developed beyond the original template set by the Butchers Arms. Some are in the style of traditional pubs and some are more modern bars, however what they all have in common is they are small, friendly shop size venues with a focus on offering a small but high quality range of drinks and snacks.

In Sheffield we have a number now and can fall into one of three categories – traditional micropub, small modern bar and beer shop with tasting counter.

The original one in the traditional category is the Beer House at Hunters Bar, located in a shop unit that was previously an e-cigarette retailer! It feels like a proper real ale pub but smaller. There is a good range of real ales here including a house beer ‘Beer House Pale’ brewed by Hopjacker brewery complemented by quality spirits sourced by the local specialist off licence, Starmoreboss. Snacks are available including cheese and meat platters, pork pies and crisps.

Just down the road is the Portland House, opened by Welbeck Abbey Brewery in a shop unit that was previously a Cooplands Bakery sandwich shop! It operates on a similar basis to the Beer House but has a much more modern look and feel to the place.

The Itchy Pig Alehouse in Broomhill in terms of style sits somewhere between the two, has a range of real ales and craft kegs, snacks are very pig themed with pork pies and scratchings!

In the City Centre we have the Drink Inn on Commercial Street in premises that were once a fish & chip shop, this is really a modern bar on a small scale. It is friendly and has a choice of three regularly changing real ales plus a keg selection taking in both craft and the mainstream.

The beer shop category includes Hop Hideout on Abbeydale Road and Walkley Beer Company at Walkley, these are basically small bottle shops with the addition of a big communal table and some draught beer taps behind the shop counter.

Finally we have the ‘pop up pub’ that is slowly developing into a proper micropub – the Bar Stewards Hop Yard on Gibralter Street, opposite Shakespeares pub. At the moment it opens selected weekends with a different range of real ales on handpump each time along with a bottled craft beer selection and makeshift furniture, however there are grander plans afoot once it is permanently licenced rather than just on temporary event notices.

Other micropubs to try nearby include:

  • Chesterfield Alehouse, West Bars – Chesterfield
  • Beer Parlour, Whittington Moor – Chesterfield
  • Wath Tap, Wath upon Dearne – near Rotherham
  • Arcade Alehouse, Barnsley

Closed and derelict pubs

Across Sheffield there are dozens, probably hundreds, of locations which at one stage in their lives were pubs. Many of these relics play a part in the fabric of what has evolved from their change of use. However, there remain many examples of dead pubs which are closed: boarded-up or, possibly, derelict.

We asked in March BM for examples of such pubs – our list has grown. Thanks to all who supplied names, especially Pitsmoor Pete for his extensive listing.

Some have will have closed through lack of custom while others are mere pawns in the development of a property empire. Some are eye-sores: ideally they should be demolished and replaced by low-cost housing. However, many offer the possibility of regeneration.

For example, The Boardwalk, the venue where the Clash played their first gig, was in the press recently. An enterprising partnership wanted to take it on, but, we believe, were thawed by a combination of legalise and no sense of urgency from the owners. This is a perfect example of a pub that has fallen out of favour, but has a wealth of goodwill among Sheffield pub goers that could see it return to the thriving venue it once.

There are many similar examples: the Matilda has slowly decayed since closure over ten years ago: the building is in a regenerating area of Sheffield. Why is it not open and thriving? Outside the city centre, there are many examples: the Fairfield has slowly decayed since closure, the Plough at Sandygate is been allowed to slowly rot and the Durham Ox and Ye Olde Harrow by Park Hill are both in total disrepair, yet now within a growing area of student accommodation. As circumstances change, what was an unviable pub in an unpopular area, can become a much different business proposition than when it last traded.

Some derelict sites offer the potential to become ‘Phoenix pubs:’ pubs which like the Kelham Island Tavern and the Rutland have, under new management, revitalised themselves. We believe that sufficient energy exists in the ‘City of Makers’ to ensure that some derelict pubs can rise from the ashes. However, this requires a willingness on the part of their owners. Sadly, many pub companies seem more concerned with generating as much as possible from a change of use instead of allowing their pubs to evolve into the 21st. Century. It also seems reasonable to expect Sheffield City Council to offer some support to local businesses wishing to take on such ventures.

The pubs quoted above are but a small selection of the possibilities available. Hopefully, these, and other pubs, have not yet seen their last pint. The phrase “Use Them Or Lose Them” may seem a cliche but it really is true, and we’re sure that CAMRA members across the city would be only too ready to help any reopening pub by making regular visits.

The following Sheffield Pubs are currently closed, but offer the possibility of re-opening:
1. Arbourthorne Hotel, Arbourthorne
2. Ball Inn, Darnall
3. Ball, Myrtle Road
4. Barrow Boys, Shude Hill
5. The Boardwalk (Black Swan), Snig Hill
6. The Botanical, Ecclesall Road
7. Brtiannia, Worksop Road
8. Burgoyne Arms, Langsett Road
9. Cannon Hotel, 30 Castle Street
10. Carbrook Hall
11. Carlisle, Carlisle Street
12. Cherry Tree, Carterknowle Road
13. Closed Shop, Commonside
14. Cocked Hat, Worksop Road
15. Crown, Neepsend Lane
16. Cuthbert Bank, 164 Langsett Road
17. Dog and Partridge, Attercliffe Road
18. Durham Ox
19. Fairfield, Neepsend Lane
20. George and Dragon, Beighton
21. Hare and Hounds, Stannington
22. Hop, West One
23. Market Tavern, Exchange Street
24. Matilda, City Centre
25. Middlewood Tavern
26. New Inn, Duke Street
27. Olde Harrow, 80 Broad Street
28. Parson Cross Hotel
29. Pheasant, Barnsley Road
30. Plough, Crospool
31. Punchbowl, Crookes
32. Queens Hotel, Scotland Street
33. Red House, Solly Street
34. Red Lion, Holly Street
35. Rock House, Rock Street
36. Royal Oak, Chapeltown
37. Sportsman, Attercliffe Road
38. Star and Garter, Winter Street
39. Stockroom, Leadmill Road
40. Three Tuns, Silver Street Head
41. Turf Tavern, Handsworth Road
42. Under the Boardwalk, City Centre

Paul Crofts and Dave Pickersgill

On the Edge

On the Edge Nano Brewery hold their semi-regular 9-pin event this month on Friday the 5th May which sees the last 9 different beers they have brewed showcased with a pin of each on sale. A pin is a small cask that holds 35 pints.

As well as beer there is pie & peas, music, board games and competitions and this event celebrates the brewery’s 5th birthday.

Beers this time include Nimbus Wheat, a 5.2% cloudy wheat beer with oats and barley and lots of czech hops; Wieman, single hopped with Wieman hops and brewed with British ale yeast; Wheat Fusion brewed with nugget hops, cascade, oat, wheat andbiscuit malt plus another six not yet announced at the time of writing!

The venue is the Old Junior School on South View Road, Sharrow (5 minutes walk from the Cremorne on London Road up Sharrow Lane).

Pub of the Month May 2017

University Arms

Our Pub of the Month awards are voted for by our members and are designed not as a competition between pubs as such, more to celebrate those pubs and bars around our area that serve great real ale in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, day in, day out.

The University Arms became a pub in January 2007, having previously operated as Club 197, the staff club for the University of Sheffield. It was originally built as the vicarage for the nearby St. George’s Church. The University Arms gained the status of Asset of Community Value in March 2017.

The bar offers a fairly extensive range of real ales – usually there are beers from Acorn, Welbeck Abbey and Kelham Island plus an ever changing selection of guest ales. Other craft beers plus real cider is available too.

Food is served from midday until 8pm with classic pub meals done well, additionally a lunchtime menu of hot and cold sandwiches and snacks is available until 3pm. Prices are kept quite reasonable, with most main courses around the £7 mark.

At the rear of the pub is an excellent lawned beer garden, one of the only ‘proper’ beer gardens in the City Centre. During the summer BBQ events take place in the garden and at Tramlines festival weekend is converted into a live music venue which really draws the crowds.

Upstairs there are a number of meeting and function rooms. As well as being used by various student societies they are used by groups such as Sheffield Board Games Club and Rutland Cycling Club, there is also a monthly live blues ‘loft club’ held there, organised by local promoter Saxbob.

We’ll be heading to the University Arms to present the certificate on Tuesday 9th May from 8pm, all are welcome to join us for a pint or two.

The pub can be found at 197 Brook Hill, Sheffield S3 7HG. It is a short walk around the corner from the University of Sheffield tram stop or buses 51, 52 and 52a stop nearby outside the Student Union.

Mildmonthlogo

Mild in May

CAMRA promotes Mild throughout May.

This year we are asking  pubs in the area to consider stocking at least one Mild during May for the local pub-goers to try.

What is mild? 

Milds are black to dark brown to pale amber in colour and come in a variety of styles from warming roasty ales to light refreshing lunchtime thirst quenchers. Malty and possibly sweet tones dominate the flavour profile but there may be a light hop flavour or aroma. Slight diacetyl (toffee/butterscotch) flavours are not inappropriate. Alcohol levels are typically low.

Pale milds tend to have a lighter, more fruity aroma with gentle hoppiness.

Dark milds may have a light roast malt or caramel character in aroma and taste.

Scottish cask beers may have mild characteristics with a dominance of sweetness, smooth body and light bitterness.

Original gravity: less than 1043
Typical alcohol by volume: less than 4.3%
Final gravity 1004 – 1010
Bitterness 14 – 28 EBU