Weekend in city leaves beer lovers ale and hearty

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SHEFFIELD enhanced its claim to be the beer capital of the UK as a result of staging the national conference of the Campaign for Real Ale.

Immeasurable quantities of beer were drunk over the weekend, inbetween 1,200 real ale fans debating issues of the day at the University of Sheffield Octagon Centre.

National Camra spokesperson Jon Howard said: “The effort pubs in the local area went to in holding beer festivals and laying on events was staggering, the public transport system made it effortlessly simple for attendees to get around and the positive feedback from the Camra member’s bar highlighted the real position of strength Yorkshire brewing finds itself in at the moment.

“While the UK pub industry goes through a turbulent time at the moment, it’s fantastic to see a city like Sheffield bursting to the seams with so many valued community pubs doing new and interesting things to attract consumers.”

Mick Moss, the campaign group’s Yorkshire regional director, said: “All the pubs were happy.”

In the city centre, the Rutland Arms in Brown Street stayed open until 3am on the Friday and Saturday nights, and sold more food over the weekend than it does during the whole week.

There was a ‘wall of cider’ upstairs with 50 extra ciders, in addition to eight hand-pulled beers.

Landlord Andy Stephens said: “It was really busy. People are jealous that Sheffield has so many good pubs!”

A bus was run from the Octagon Centre to the Kelham Island area, which is dubbed “the valley of beer”.Dave Wickett, owner of the Fat Cat pub and Kelham Island Brewery, said: “It was a phenomenal weekend. We were incredibly busy.”

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Alan Law, today (Thursday) officially opens Kelham Island Brewery’s new shop and off-licence.

It is selling its beers and a range of goods, from clothes to key rings, in a building once occupied by the Union of Wire Workers.

Other parts of the premises are being used by the brewery to provide office space.