Pubs

Another Grand Day Out – Stockport and its Slope

The trip this month was the relatively short one to Stockport, about 40 minutes away on the train. Arriving mid-morning and armed with a Stockport Plus-Bus ticket the first journey was to Cheadle Hulme where I had to purchase an off-peak day return to Wilmslow.

On arrival, turn right out of the station forecourt and a short walk brings you to the Brewhouse & Kitchen.  Six of their in-house brewed cask ales were available and I sampled an Easter Chocolate Stout (4.5%) and the Unite Local Saison (4.3%).  The Saison was not to my taste but the Chocolate Stout made up for that. Less than 5 minutes’ walk away on the main pedestrianised area is the Old Dancer (a Camra Good Beer Guide 2017 entry).  Five cask ales were available and I chose Track El Capitan IPA at 5.7%.  Train and bus took me back towards Stockport where I then made a detour to visit David Wild.  Some of you may remember David as a regular Thursday visitor to Sheffield, where he enjoyed his Steak Pie in The Fat Cat.  Unfortunately David is now virtually confined to his bungalow in Bredbury following a stroke, but still enjoys hearing about the local beer scene.

Back into Stockport now and to Wellington Road North, which is known as the “Stockport Slope”.  I must say though, compared to some of the hills of Sheffield, I would liken it more to a slight incline rather than a steep hill!  The pubs in this area are, however, very good.   My first stop was The Magnet (GBG 2017 listed) where from their extensive range I sampled Fixed Wheel Single Speed Cluster (4.5%), Manchester Brewing Co Some Might Say Session IPA (4.4%) and Track Valpo Red Ale (5%).  Further up the “Slope” is The Hope (GBG 2017 listed and the home of Fool Hardy Ales).  A couple of their own ales were sampled here, Retro Chique (3.9%) and Ritual (4.7%), followed by Cocksure Brewing Company P’Ale (4.5%).   Other pubs in this area could have been visited but I chose to travel across Stockport to the Market Place area and started at Robinson’s Bakers Vaults (GBG 2017 listed).  A range of Robinsons and guest beers are available and I had Box Steam Soul Train (4.7%).  Crossing the Market Square brings you to the Remedy Bar and Brewery, a relatively new pub which recently held a very successful beer festival.  Among the guest beers, only one brew from their own in house plant (which is clearly visible from inside the bar) was available and duly tried. It was a very smooth and drinkable Laevis Dark Mild (3.7%).

Heading back towards the station is The Calverts Court (Wetherspoons) where Wolf Woild Moild (4.8%) was sampled.  The final call was to The Petersgate Tap, a relatively new establishment in the micro pub style.   Rammy Craft Liquorice Root Stout (4.6%) was sampled which was a smooth tasty end to my visit to Stockport.  On arrival back in Sheffield, there was just time for a swift half of Thwaites Nutty Black in The Old Queens Head.  Beer quality throughout had been very good and there are still plenty of pubs to visit in Stockport on a future Grand Day Out, maybe even next month.

Cheers.

Andrew Morton

ACV and Planning Permission update

Both Carbrook Hall and the Cherry Tree (Carterknowle Road) have successfully gained Asset of Community Value (ACV) status. Thank you to all involved in these applications.

In late April, Royal Assent was gained for the Neighbourhood Planning Bill. This removes permitted development (PD) rights for the change of use or demolition of pubs, a measure to close a planning loophole in England which has allowed pubs to be demolished or converted without a planning application. The decision will not prevent the development of pubs, but will require developers to apply for planning permission.

UNI ARMS ACV CERTIFICATE

Pending Sheffield ACV decisions are the Cherry Tree (Carterknowle Road) (decision was due 14/04/17) and Carbrook Hall (17/04/17). Hopefully, these will be the last ACV applications that will need to made for Sheffield pubs.

Dave Pickersgill, Pub Heritage Officer

Rutland Arms

Heritage Pubs – Rutland Arms

The Rutland was built, in 1936, on the site of a previous pub. Plans from the time (Wm.Fenton, Architect, Sheffield for Duncan Gilmour and Co.), indicate that the footprint of the new pub moved about 10 m back, thus allowing the corner between Brown Street and Furnival Street to take up its current position. The new pub had a corner entrance, a vestibule leading into a public bar with a service bar. Before the Public Bar, on the right is a ‘Smoke Room,’ and on the left is a ‘Tap Room,’ both fronting onto the street. Upstairs is a club room. Off sales are available from an entrance on Arundel Lane, behind the ‘Service Bar’ (left rear). The remnants of this entrance can still be seen under the current-day window which is to the right of the ‘Off sales’ window. To the right of the ‘Smoke Room’ are both male and female ‘Urinals.’ The fact that these are not situated in the yard is an indication of the relative importance of this new build.

1952 plans (J.Foster, Architect for Duncan Gilmour and Co.) show the opening out of the public bar and smoking room into a larger Lounge Hall – see image. 1988 (L.B.Percival, Architect for Josuha Tetley and Son Ltd.) saw the lounge and tap room merged and the reconfiguration of the bar into its current position.

Rutland Arms 1952 (3)

In addition to a considerable amount of Art Deco-style interior glasswork (installed in 1952) and eight original exterior windows (including ‘Smoke Room’ (2) and ‘Off Sales’), the Rutland has a very impressive tiled exterior. ‘DUNCAN GILMOUR & Co. LIMITED. RUTLAND ARMS.’

Dave Pickersgill

The Closed Shop closed no longer

The Closed Shop will be open again from Thursday 11 May at 4pm. The pub is now being funded by the community on a short-term tenancy basis while the long-term lease is being negotiated by a Sheffield-based brewery. Most of the old staff are back and we have eight real ale pumps sourced mainly from SIBA. Food will also return when the kitchen is back up and running.

ClosedShopBW

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Pub Quiz at The Wellington

The Wellington in Shalesmoor is very pleased to announced the return of its Tuesday night quiz, starting at 9pm, with the first one being Tuesday 16 May. The new quiz also has a new host, Andy, who has hosted Andy’s Quiz at both the Rutland Arms and The Closed Shop over the last 7 years and is now bringing it to The Wellington. Expect the usual array of fun questions, bonus rounds and great prizes, mainly in the form of free beer!

As well as the quiz the usual variety of real ales will be available for quizzers to enjoy. The Wellington is located at 1 Henry Street, Sheffield, S3 7EQ. On public transport, you can take the Blue or Yellow tram to Shalesmoor, or the 57, 61, 62, 81, 82 and 85 buses will all get you there.

Inn Brief

The Punchbowl in Crookes has re-opened after being closed for three weeks following the demise of Reet Ale Pubs. Ed Phillips has stayed on as manager of the pub, which is now owned by the Greene King brewery.

Couch coffee shop on Campo Lane has installed a hand pump. The first cask ale on offer was Kelham Island Brewery’s Pale Rider.

We reported last month that the Old Queen’s Head had introduced a guest ale pump. A second guest pump has now been installed alongside the regular beers, allowing the pub to offer a Thwaites seasonal beer alongside a guest ale.

The Bull’s Head on Fulwood Road is currently being looked after by the manager of the nearby Ranmoor Inn after a brief closure.

Visitors to the first ever beer festival at the Abbeydale Picture House made their way through 21 casks of beer in four days. As well as ale, drinkers were treated to food, debates, live music and an antiques market.

The Anvil at Stannington has been put up for sale. The pub currently serves four real ales, and has a quiz night on Tuesdays.

The Three Cranes Hotel on Queen Street is temporarily closed.

The Mount Pleasant on Derbyshire Lane has recently been refurbished. It retains its layout of a traditional two-room local offering a good range of real ales.

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

The pubs of Millhouses

Millhouses is an area of Sheffield off the radar to many real ale drinkers, yet there are a number of pubs serving good beer all within an easy wander of one another and there are plenty of buses running out there!

The Millhouses
address: 951 Abbeydale Road, S7 2QD
buses: 97,98,218

located on the main Abbeydale Road, this is a traditional looking pub on outside but has taken on a new lease of life as a gastropub inside with a seperate dining room area – there is still a bar with drinkers seating however and a small selection of real ales  is available.

Robin Hood
Address: Millhouses Lane, S7 2HB
buses: 97, 98, 218

Part of the Ember Inns chain, this is a large pub with many handpumps on the bar, a CAMRA members discount at certain times and a value food menu. Despite being big and part of a national chain, it is comfortable and has friendly staff.

Wagon & Horses
Address: 57 Abbeydale Road South, S7 2QQ
buses: 82, 97, 98, 218

Situated alongside Millhouses Park, this is a long, thin, stone built pub fronting onto the main road. Part of the pub was converted from an 18th century farmhouse! Given its location next to the park in can be busy when the weather is nice! The pub is now owned by True North Brewery and is split into two parts – the pub side where you can enjoy beers from True North as well as a selection of artisan gins and other nice drinks; and the restaurant side where the food offering varies by time of day – breakfasts and brunches, lunches & snacks and dinners – all freshly cooked.

The Alehouse
Address: 187 Fraser Road
buses: 86, 96

A community pub located on the housing estate off Archer Road, near Sainsburys. A more down to earth and friendly venue than some of the others but with impeccable standards. A changing range of six real ales are available, a mixture of local favourites and interesting guests, all at very reasonable prices. A simple menu of home cooked food is served on Friday evenings, it is advisable to phone ahead and book if you wish to eat. There are also regular events including live music, quiz nights and more.

And not a pub but…

Archer Road Beer Stop
Address: Archer Road
Buses: 86, 96

A small corner shop off licence established for many years specialising in real ales and craft beers, featuring handpumps on the counter to pour cask ale to take away in plastic carry out containers. If you enjoy what the likes of Hop Hideout and Turners do with American style Growler fills of craft keg beers then you’ll probably also enjoy the longer established ‘old skool’ at Archer Road!

More information on pubs can be found on CAMRA’s pub database website www.whatpub.com. Members can also use the site to submit updates and rate their beer.

Inn Brief

The Old Queens Head on Pond Hill (which won our April Pub of the Month) now has a guest ale pump, enabling them to alternate the Thwaites seasonals with interesting local beers.

Brew Foundation is looking at converting the unit on Ecclesall Road that was previously Eccy Booze off licence into a micropub and craft beer bottle shop.

Reet Ale Pubs has ceased trading, leading to the closure of the Three Tuns (Sheffield City Centre), Closed Shop (Commonside) and Punchbowl (Crookes). All three were pub company leases and are expected to reopen under new management as soon as possible. We understand the Tuns’ Wednesday quiz has temporarily relocated to the Dog & Partridge. The end of Reet Ale Pubs does not effect the Rutland Arms or Blue Bee Brewery, both had previously changed hands.

By the time this appears in print, the Gardeners Rest at Neepsend will open under the new ownership of the Community Society that crowdfunded to buy it. See elsewhere in this issue for their advert!

Not in our patch but may be of interest – you can get there on the 53/53a bus from Sheffield – is a new craft beer bar & shop on Mill Street in Clowne called Heist. You can find out more about them by visiting their website – www.heistcraft.com.

The former Southsea pub in Broomhill has reopened as ‘The Blues Bar‘, a Jamaican bar, grill and music venue. It isn’t really a beer venue – the rum punch appears to be the way to go here – but good to see the venue trading and doing something a little different. You can find out more via their Facebook page.