“We think this is the first pub owned by a seven piece ukulele band,” said brewing magnate, artist and musician Pete McKee, adding, by way of caution: “In Sheffield.”
There may well be seven piece ukulele band pubs in Hawaii or New Zealand, but this weekend, Sheffield’s Brothers Arms (owned by the Everly Pregnant Brothers) was the centre of the city’s uke and ale (ba dum, tish) community, with an estimated 5,000 visitors in the first half of the inaugural Brothers Arms beer and music festival.
“We want to give people the option of tasting beers they wouldn’t normally get in Sheffield and we’ve been trying to cherry pick beers from up and coming breweries,” said landlord and real ale enthusiast Nick Hayne, adding that the planned 60+ unique beers on offer had expanded to 93.
“We have a fondness for beer,” said Pete. “That’s why we started a pub.”
Ye Olde Shakespeare in Heeley became The Brothers Arms seven months ago, and has already established a strong clientele among citywide Everlys fans and Heeley locals.
The weekend was a trial run for future festivals at the Brothers (Tramlines, for example) and was also raising funds for the Heeley Festival and the Ovarian Cancer Action charity. “We wanted to use the festival as a platform to give the charities a helping hand,” said Nick.
The crowds were certainly enjoying the day: Nick noted that two Sheffield United fans had made the trip up from Essex, and got so comfortable that they hadn’t bothered going to the match.
“They said we’re in, we’ve got our beer, we’re staying.”
Pete McKee said the whole idea of a band started by some mates for a laugh playing at national festivals and then running its own pub was ‘bonkers’. He added, however, that there are ideas of brewing Brothers beers, and also looking for new vacant hostelries. Watch out for the second pub owned by a seven piece ukulele band in Sheffield.