Cheers to city beer festival

Pictured is Andy Cullen, chairman of Sheffield and District Campaign for Real Ale.
Pictured is Andy Cullen, chairman of Sheffield and District Campaign for Real Ale.

Thousands of real ale fans will head for Ponds Forge Sports Centre next week for the annual Steel City Beer and Cider Festival.

About 200 brews will be available at the event, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

“There’ll be a decent selection from local breweries, said Mike Rose, spokesman for the Sheffield and District branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, which moved the festival indoors to Ponds Forge three years ago after it had been under canvas at Cemetery Park, off Cemetery Road.

There will be live music from Thursday.

The festival, now the 39th, has grown over the years and is another chance for Sheffield to stake a claim for the title of the UK’s Beer Capital in the face of competition from the likes of Manchester, Burton-on-Trent, Norwich and Derby.

“Sheffield has a good selection of breweries and is one of the best places in the country to drink real ale,” said Mike.

“The Kelham Island Tavern was twice voted Camra’s national Pub of the Year and Kelham Island is a great place to drink.

“I think Sheffield is going from strength to strength when it comes to real ale.”

Nationally, sales of real ale are doing well, said Mike. Keg beer is down and lager is holding its own.

However, Camra is concerned about the closure of pubs across the country as pub companies come under financial pressure.

In Sheffield, as elsewhere, some pubs are being replaced by supermarkets.

The Steel City Beer Festival, which attracts real ale enthusiasts from across the region, will feature music from The Outfit, Jonny & the Moondogs, Roaming Son, Loxley Silver Prize Band and Soulfaces. There will be a charity pub quiz on Saturday afternoon.

Admission is on the door.

Shakespeares at West Bar will have 30 beers and live music at its sixth beer festival, from October 31 to November 2.

Glasses raised to top real ale pubs

Local members of the Camra chose Shakespeares, West Bar, as Pub of the Year.

The Harlequin in Nursery Street won two awards – Pub of the Month in July and Cider Pub of the Year in October.

Monthly awards have gone to The New Inn, Gleadless, Mount Pleasant, Norton Woodseats, and The Rutland Arms in Brown Street.