Cheers! Festival of Beer is brewing for the city

Julian Grocock, SIBA chief executive, with Julie Dore at the Sheffield Tap at the railway station.
Julian Grocock, SIBA chief executive, with Julie Dore at the Sheffield Tap at the railway station.

SHEFFIELD is to stage a three-day Festival of Beer as the brewing industry holds its annual conference in the city next year.

More than 500 beers will be available at Ponds Forge during the gathering of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) from March 13 to 16, underlining Sheffield’s claim to be the beer capital of the UK.

‘BeerX’ is due to be attended by 550 members of SIBA and will target brewers, licensees and consumers, offering an array of cask, keg and bottled beers, lagers, porters, IPAs and stouts. It will be the first time that SIBA brewers from all corners of the country will have brought their beers together under one roof.

The conference will be combined with the final judging and presentations for the National Brewing Competition and business awards.

Chief executive Julian Grocock said: “BeerX will be a big, bold event that showcases British beer in a way that hasn’t been seen before. It will be unique in its appeal to an audience ranging from drinks industry veterans to novice beer drinkers.

“To hold an industry event such as this in Sheffield is fantastic but to be able to host a festival of beer for the public alongside makes it even better. We think people will be astounded by the quality and variety of beers on offer.”

The conference, which was held this year in Stratford-Upon-Avon, is another boost for Sheffield’s credentials as a magnet for beer drinkers and real ale pubs and breweries.

Local members of the Campaign for Real Ale believe Sheffield has more beers that any other UK city and Camra’s annual general meeting and members’ weekend was held in the city last year.

Council leader Julie Dore said: “Sheffield has its own, notable independent brewers whose success is growing so we are ideally based to host BeerX.

“Conferences make an important contribution to the local economy and I’m sure people coming to BeerX will have a great time enjoying all that Sheffield has to offer as they sample the wide choice of beers on offer.”

Brendan Moffett, director of Marketing Sheffield, said: “This event is a perfect fit for Sheffield, which is quickly emerging as the beer capital of the UK, brimming with innovative brewers and businesses.”

Ticket prices for the beer festival have yet to be announced.

lThe Steel City Beer Festival, organised by Camra, takes place at Ponds Forge from October 4 to 6.