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Tour de Yorkshire in Sheffield

On Sunday April 30, the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire cycling race finished in Stocksbridge. The final 20 km included 4 top category climbs, but also passed a number of local pubs in our area. They all reported good business on the day, extending opening hours and utilising extra serving space. The Friendship, for example, had an extra bar to the rear of the pub and was involved in an all-day extravaganza on the precinct opposite.

The Castle Inn (Bolsterstone) had a marquee and the pubs in Deepcar (King and Miller and the Royal Oak) both put on a show. However, the prize for ‘best-dressed pub’ went to the Castle in Bolsterstone.

Bolsterstone - 3rd.May 2017

The Castle Inn, Bolsterstone – 3 May 2017

We expect to see the Tour de Yorkshire return to Sheffield in the future and hope that the Tour de France is back before too long!

Dave Pickersgill


Music in the Gardens

One of Sheffield’s biggest open air concerts has teamed up with Bradfield Brewery to offer four day summer spectacular which will bring together, beers, bands and much more!

Taking place between 29 June – 2 July, Music in the Gardens is organised by the Rotary Clubs of South Yorkshire and will feature a diverse entertainment line-up including headliners The Zombies, famous for hits such as “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No” (Thursday 29 June); the best known Beatles tribute band in the business The Bootleg Beatles (Friday 30 June) and Classic 70s Rock outfit 10cc (Saturday 1 July). The event will culminate on Sunday 2 July when Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra and Unite the Union band come together to perform a “Night at the Movies” as well as brass band favourites, proms and fireworks spectacular.

To celebrate the twelfth anniversary of Music in the Gardens, organisers have teamed up with Bradfield Brewery, who also celebrate their twelfth anniversary in 2017, to host a mini beer festival during the event.

Set to feature a variety of Bradfield Brewery’s popular farmers ales range, a special MitG Blonde will also be available exclusively during the event. For non-ale lovers, a range of wines, spirits, Pimms and soft drinks can also be purchased at the Bradfield Brewery bar, as well as a selection of hot drinks available from Café Carte. To soak up the abundance of alcohol on offer, food stalls including Spoilt For Choice Catering, Rotherham Hog Roast Company, Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Our Cow Molly, will also take up residence at the four day festival.

Music in the Gardens organiser Phil Sherriff said: “We first started working with Bradfield Brewery five years ago and the beer and since then, the food and drink offering for Music in the Gardens has really grown. I think when most people think of visiting a music festival, they automatically assume that it is going to mean paying exorbitant prices for a pint of flat lager and a cold hot dog. Instead we have teamed up with some great local food and drink producers which will all be available at sensible prices.”

Josie Gill, Director of Bradfield Brewery said: “2005 saw Bradfield Brewery open its doors for the first time, and coincidentally it was also the same year that Music in the Gardens was first held. To mark this year’s anniversary we will be selling MitG Blonde, a beer available exclusively during the festival. We were thrilled to support Music in the Gardens once again this year, the music line-up is always fantastic and there’s always a really pleasant and friendly crowd, resulting in a true party atmosphere. and we are delighted to be a part of this wonderful event once again.”

Tickets for Music In The Gardens are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 0114 22 33 777 (Monday – Friday 9am to 8pm), visiting, from Sheffield City Hall Box Office (Monday – Thursday 9am to 2pm and Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm) or from selected outlets across Sheffield, including Design Studio and Spoilt for Choice Catering (both on Ecclesall Road) and The Curator’s House Bistro in Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Annual Beer Census 2017

Saturday 10 June sees the return of the Annual Beer Census for 2017.

As many of you will be aware, Sheffield & District CAMRA organises this city-wide survey to collect information on which beers are available in the city on a particular day. We have been doing this for a few years now, and we are pleased to say that despite various claims from other cities such as Norwich, Derby and Nottingham, the information on the number of beers on sale usually shows that Sheffield can rightly claim to be Beer Capital of the UK. This claim was given further weight after the findings of the recent Beer Report, commissioned by Sheffield University and written by well-known author Pete Brown.

It is now time to undertake the census again, and we are looking to enlist more volunteers to help collect the information. There are several daytime crawls, starting in various suburbs and working into the centre, followed by a number of city centre crawls in the evening. Each crawl will be led by a designated leader who will have the survey forms and a planned route through the various pubs.

Daytime crawls will start at 12 noon, and eventually arrive at the Red Deer on Pitt street by early evening to hand in the completed forms. Evening crawls then start from the Red Deer moving out through the center and regrouping in the Kelham Island area. The crawls are a sociable way to try different pubs and clubs from your usuals, as well as helping to further the beer scene in Sheffield. Most of the routes will involve public transport at some point, but your route leader will have details and can advise on costs etc.

If you would like to join on one of the crawls simply be at the start point for midday and look out for someone carrying survey forms, and a copy of Beer Matters. If you can’t make the start, simply email us at and we will pass on the mobile number of the appropriate leader so you can arrange directly with them where you can join on the crawl.

If you are unable to join on a crawl, but would still like to help with collecting information, we will have an interactive survey section on the Sheffield CAMRA website where you will be able to enter details on the day. It will be updated in real time so you will be able to see which pubs still need surveying. We will need the name of the pub, and then for each cask ale on sale that day we need the name of the beer; the brewery; % strength; and price of a pint. There will be a Notes section where you can add if the pub serves real cider and keg beer.

It would be great to see a few more faces on the crawls, and even better if we can prove yet again that Sheffield is unrivalled in it’s range and quality of beer on sale.

The routes this year (and how to get to the starting points) are as follows:

Route A – Dore, Totley, Abbeydale Rd. Starting at Devonshire Arms, Dore. Route Leader: Mick Saxton. Buses 81, 82, 181, 272 and M17.

Route B – Norton Lees, Woodseats, Heeley, London Rd. Starting at The Abbey, Woodseats. Route Leader: Dom Nelson. Buses 18a, 24, 25, 43, 43a, 44, 44a, 75 and 76.

Route C – Ecclesall Rd. Starting at Hammer & Pincers. Route Leader: Alan Gibbons. Buses 4 and 88.

Route D – Deepcar, Bradfield, Stocksbridge. Starting at Rawson Spring, Hillsborough. Route Leader: Dave Pickersgill. Buses 31, 52, 57, 61, 62, 81, 82, 85, 97, 98 and the Blue tram.

Route E – Attercliffe, Meadowhall, Chapeltown. Starting at The Wagon & Horses, Chapeltown. Route Leader: Patrick Johnson. Buses 1, 1a, 29, 86, 265 or train to Chapeltown station.

Route F – Walkley, Commonside, Crookes, Broomhill. Starting at Walkley Cottage. Route Leader: Paul Crofts. Buses 31, 52 and 95.

Route G – Lodge Moor, Nether Green, Ranmoor. Starting at The Three Merry Lads. Route Leader: John Beardshaw. Bus 51.

Routes H, I, J – City Centre (afternoon). Starting at Sheffield Tap, Sheffield Station. Route Leader: John Bratley and others. Buses 1, 1a, 4, 4a, 6, 7, 8, 8a, 18, 43, 43a, 44, 53, 56, 65, 71, 85, 95, 181, 215, 218, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, X1, X17 or Tram or Train.

Routes K, L, M will be done in the evening after all volunteers meet at the Red Deer around 7pm.

Closing Times

About twenty years ago my father, Michael Liversidge, produced a book entitled The A-Z of Sheffield Public Houses. The book was well received by the people of Sheffield and sold reasonably well for a small print run, local interest, book. This book is now a collectors item. Albeit disinterested at the time, I have come to notice that the book which included over 600 images and small profiles or simple addresses has seen closures of around 400 of the hostelries that were still serving when my father was a frequent pub-goer.

Using over 100 of his original colour images (the A-Z book was printed in black and white only, so some of these images will be seen in colour for the first time) I have tried to find the exact locations of some of these now demolished drinking establishments to produce a then-and-now format book. Places like the Broughton Inn which was sited where the corner of the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena car park now stands, The Hole in the Wall now literally, itself, a hole in the wall just before the Wicker, The Hare and Hounds Nursery Street where, at the time just before going to press, I took an image of the rubble of the demolished pub with just the letter H of the pub sign still on view. The Beehive in Wadsley is now a Tesco supermarket which the last landlady stated was the very reason for the closure, cheap alcohol. Other now defunct old pubs are being used as businesses, turned into apartments, flats and houses. A prime example is the Haychatter Inn in Bradfield which is now a private dwelling known as Haychatter House. The Furnival on Verdon Street has been re-launched as a religious establishment The Methodist Church of Sheffield.

I hope you are reminded of some of the good times you had in these old Sheffield public houses and hopefully go out and take some photographs yourself of the places that are there one minute and gone the next. Go on, get your cameras out.

The list within the book is in alphabetical order A to L of Sheffield public houses. List M to Y will be in volume two.

Mark Liversidge

Introducing your new Sheffield & District CAMRA Committee

As we mentioned in our last issue, there were several changes to the committee following the recent AGM, with a existing members changing roles and a few new faces entering the fray. Together, we are hoping to continue working hard for the real ale drinkers of Sheffield and the surrounding areas. We thought we would introduce ourselves, so here goes…


Chair, Mick Saxton: Beer has been an important part of my life for over forty years and, although I brew beer at home, I love the life and atmosphere of a good British pub. In many respects I am a traditionalist, and I have strong views on the directions in which the British beer brewing and drinking scenes are being pulled. I also believe in encouraging as many CAMRA members as possible to get involved in branch activities and decision-making, so that we can say with confidence that we are a representative campaigning body. Therefore, I feel very privileged to have the chair of CAMRA’s Sheffield & District branch at this interesting time, to help promote and support cask conditioned beers, real ciders and perries, and British pubs.


Vice Chair and Beer Festival Organiser, Louise Singleton: I became involved with Sheffield CAMRA when I volunteered to help at the 2011 AGM. Following that I volunteered at the festival at Ponds Forge, and was soon given the task of Staffing Officer. I became Chair of the Festival Organising Committee for the 41st festival, and again this year. I am not from a Beer Industry background as I work in Pensions Administration, and although working 60+ hours on the festival week I really enjoy it, though at times through the tiredness it doesn’t seem that way! It is a long 11 months organising the festival with many obstacles to overcome, but I do enjoy working with the other volunteers and am very proud of what we achieve together.


Secretary, Press Officer and Deputy Festival Organiser, Paul Crofts: I joined the committee 2 years ago, after many years of appreciating CAMRA’s work in promoting good beer and pubs. I work in the furniture industry for a local manufacturer and am a big music fan, particularly live music. As a born and bred Sheffielder, I’m keen to help promote Sheffield’s breweries and pubs and I believe that is something the committee will build on in the coming year. I am involved with the Steel City Beer & Cider Festival, which is something I really enjoy and have taken on the role of Deputy Organiser for this year. (Spare time is so last year!) If you see me out and about, feel free to stop me for a chat and we can lower a couple for the tonsils (one of my favourite phrases, courtesy of P. G. Wodehouse).

Treasurer, Andy Cullen: Andy has been actively involved in CAMRA for over 15 years after being recruited to sit on a national younger members task group, since holding roles locally including secretary, membership secretary and Chairman; also editing Beer Matters magazine for many years up until last month – this is the first issue with new editors Dom and Poppy! Andy has also been staffing officer at the Steel City Beer & Cider Festival for almost every one held since becoming active in the branch, except from 2012 to 2015 when responsible for the beer order!

DP 21 02 2016

Pub Heritage Officer, Dave Pickersgill: CAMRA member since the late 1970’s: SCBF43 will be the 36th. Sheffield CAMRA festival at which he’s worked. Leads on Pub Heritage and associated issues within the branch. His e-book on Worksop and Retford Brewery has now sold over 100 copies!

Bio picture1

Social Secretary, Patrick Johnson: I moved to Sheffield from Newcastle 5.5 years ago and straight into the Kelham Island area to partake of its many glorious pubs and myriad pale ales. While I’ve been a member for almost 11 years, I was ‘activated’ only last year and am continuing in the same committee position again this year; it must have been good!


Beer Matters Editor, Dominic Nelson: I first came to Sheffield as a student seven years ago, and the beer is one of the things I really like about this city. I’ve been drinking real ale and going to beer festivals for a few years now although I only joined CAMRA in December last year. I enjoy writing, so this is a perfect role for me really! I’m looking forward to getting the news out there about the great breweries and beers that Sheffield has to offer. I’ll be working closely with our Social Media Coordinator, Poppy, to try and reach as many people as possible. If there’s anything you would like to see in the magazine, you could just send me an email, but why not try and find me in the pub?


Social Media Coordinator, Poppy Hayhurst: I didn’t really think I was into real ale, but I downloaded a beer scoring app a couple of years ago and have checked in over 500 different beers since then (not all full pints, don’t worry!) so I guess I’m a convert. I spent a year exploring all the microbreweries and beer festivals in South London, and having moved to Sheffield earlier this year joined CAMRA as a way of meeting people with similar beery interests. My background is in marketing so I’m looking forward to growing Sheffield & District CAMRA’s social media presence and I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from me in the run-up to the Steel City Beer & Cider festival.

committee man

Committee Member, Glyn Mansell: After a number of years as a draught Guinness drinker (I still enjoy one occasionally) Graham my brother cajoled me to start drinking real ale. I remember many years ago going with friends to a new pub called the Fat Cat (originally called The Alma?), apparently a “Real Ale Pub”. That was the start of my idea of a really good pub, now supported with many others in Sheffield and elsewhere. Graham and I are to be found most Thursday evenings exploring other pubs in Sheffield.

I joined CAMRA a few years ago having an interest in real ale issues and started attending Sheffield and District Branch Meetings just over a year ago. So far I’ve really enjoyed the Peak District Pub Trips and a RambAle walk. Currently my position is a Committee Member and at branch/committee meetings I raise issues and ask questions. My interest is supporting all Sheffield real ale pubs and how to encourage more CAMRA members to vote for their local pub. My other interests are walking in the countryside (staggering if on a pub crawl), travelling, cycling, conservation work and having fun with our grandchildren.


Real Cider Champion, Sarah Mills:  Hi, my name is Sarah Mills. I have been a member of CAMRA for about seven years. I was encouraged to join because I wanted to get involved with the beer festival. I joined at the time when cider was a small sideline and since I have been joint cider bar manager I have seen it go from strength to strength. I enjoy talking about the ciders we sell and like to encourage customers to try the new things we have on offer.

Also on the committee: Pub of the Year and Good Beer Guide Coordinator, Alan Gibbons; Pubs Campaign Coordinator, Mark Boardley.


Volunteers’ Week 2017

Volunteers’ Week is an annual UK-wide initiative organised each year by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), and this year it runs from 1–7 June. The week is an opportunity to celebrate, thank and inspire the thousands of CAMRA members who give their time to the Campaign in a variety of roles.

There are many ways CAMRA members can get involved with their local branch as a volunteer. As well as the committee positions, members can help out by distributing magazines, working at festivals, scoring beer online, lobbying your local politicians or simply promoting the Campaign on social media. There’s something to suit everyone!

If you would like to join CAMRA, simply go to for more information. If you’re already a member and want to get more involved, why not come along to our monthly branch meeting? June’s meeting will be held at the Greystones on Tuesday 6 June at 8pm.

Great British Home Brew Challenge

Thornbridge Brewery have once again teamed up with Waitrose and Brew UK for the 2017 edition of the Great British Home Brew Challenge.

If you are a dedicated homebrewer, or you would like to try your hand at making a good beer from the comfort of your own home, then this is the competition for you! All you have to do is create your own brew and submit it so that it can be judged by some of the most discerning palates in the world of beer. If you’re successful, your beer will be brewed at the Thornbridge brewery and sold across the country in Waitrose supermarkets. Past winners of the challenge include 2014’s Vienna IPA, 2015’s Rhubarbe de Saison and last year’s Raindrops on Roses.

Entry is free and more details can be found at Good luck and happy (or should that be hoppy?) brewing!


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):

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 . 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: . 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)

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.


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