No half measures as city seeks the real ale capital crown

The Sheffield tap, Midland Station
The Sheffield tap, Midland Station

Real ale enthusiasts will set out next month to gather evidence in support of the belief that Sheffield is the beer capital of Britain.

Starting in the suburbs and gravitating towards the city centre, they will monitor the different types of beers and their breweries and check the price of a pint.

The survey is carried out every year by local members of the Campaign for Real Ale and was prompted by claims that Derby was the real ale capital of Britain.

Enthusiasts have concluded that Sheffield has more beers, although Derby has more beers per head of population - “so everyone is a winner”.

Yet it is accepted that competition is growing. Nottingham - “home to one of the country’s best beer festivals” - has its own survey, Norwich “has come out all guns blazing” and York has “a long list of real ale pubs within the city centre”.

A local Camra spokesperson added: “Sheffield still stands tall on pure choice, but Norwich and York have quite valid claims to being beer cities.”

Now volunteers being sought for crawls on Saturday, July 13, starting in Totley, Bradway, Handsworth, Chapeltown, Walkley, Lodge Moor and Greystones before converging on the Red Deer in Pitt Street, off West Street, then heading for the renowned real ale pubs of Kelham Island, Shalesmoor, Neepsend and Hillsborough.

Camra says Sheffield has “lots of great pubs” which offer an interesting range of beers, and points to the Kelham Island Tavern twice being Pub of the Year, the Sheffield Tap at the railway station winning a heritage award and Kelham Island Brewery’s Pale Rider once being voted Champion Beer of Britain.

It’s time to gather fresh ammunition.