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If you want to try some of the best upcoming craft beer brands in the country, look no further than the Steel City of Sheffield where a new generation of innovative brewers is taking the city by storm.

Here are ten of the best venues to get real ale and craft beer in Sheffield – according to local connoisseurs. My list has been drawn up by ‘The Crossed Blades’, an online forum of beer-loving Sheffield United supporters who wouldn’t settle for anything remotely sub-standard and regularly drink in the pubs of Sheffield. 

Choosing a Shortlist

When I originally asked for a “list of ten” one response was “how I can pick only ten, I have no idea!”. The resulting shortlist isn’t in any particular order. They all come highly recommended and provide a varied selection from which you should be able to find something that suits your tastes and preferences.

So that you don’t have too far to stagger back to your hotel, I’ve focused on pubs in or around the City Centre. However, the more adventurous can be rewarded as there are also many excellent venues serving fine craft beer in the leafy Sheffield suburbs.

Where to Stay and Things to Do

For information on where to stay and what to do in Sheffield (beside drink quality beer), please see my companion blog on 10 Brilliant Things To Do In Sheffield.

Read on for a hop infused locals’ tour of the best craft beer and real ale bars this fine Yorkshire city has to offer. Cheers!

1 The Sheffield Tap

Sheffield Tap Bar Craft BeerAdjacent to the main railway station, including exits right onto the platforms, The Sheffield Tap is a popular venue with commuters and revellers alike. It’s located in a wonderful setting for lovers of real ales and craft beers, and usually has around 8-10, regularly rotated beers, available on tap. For connoisseurs of Pilsener beers, the Tap has an excellent range for you alongside its traditional bitters, porters and pales.

The tap rooms have been carefully restored to reflect the former glory of this railway tavern providing a beautiful spot in which to enjoy the wide range of beers on offer, including selections from their on-site brewery the “Tapped Brew Co.”. Whilst enjoying the Tap take a peek inside their rather grand private function room with its elaborate period decor. 

Stand out beers: Tapped Brewery Co. Chico American Golden Ale, The SALT brewery beers and Thornbridge Jaipur on tap.

Find it: Sheaf Street S1 2BP

2 The Fat Cat

As the retail home of the excellent Kelham Island Brewery, the Fat Cat has been a Sheffield institution for as long as I can remember, certainly since the early nineties. One little known fact outside of Sheffield is that the toilet block roof provides an improvised stage for the popular ukulele band The Everly Pregnant Brothers. During the annual Tramlines music festival they can be seem performing live to hundreds of revellers, all standing atop the flat-roofed latrine block. Due to its varied selection of real ales and its traditional pub feel, the Fat Cat is a darling of the national CAMRA scene.

Stand out beers: Too many to mention, but the Kelham Island beers are always exceptional.

Kelham-Island-Beers-At-The-Fat-Cat

Find it: Alma Street S3 8SA

3 The Rutland Arms

The Rutland Arms is one of those places that never seems to change. It has a very traditional Old English pub atmosphere and decor both inside and out. Locals however will tell you that this boozer provides one of the friendliest, most welcoming atmospheres in the whole city.  The Rutland has a strong range of beers including guests from around the city and around the world.

Stand out beers: If it’s on, the Magic Rock is a great beer and, according to my local source, the High Wire is a “reyt belter”.

Find it: Brown Street S1 2BS

4 Triple POint Brewing Bar

Triple-Point-Brewing-BarBelieve it or not, the Triple Point bar is located in a converted tile shop and this relatively small bar has its own micro-brewery in the old store room. The shop’s customer car park is now an outdoor seating area.

Triple Point has a reputation for experimenting with some very unusual guest beers from around the world (including a Mango Milkshake that wasn’t quite my thing), but you always have their own more traditional IPAs, Pale and Golden Ales on tap.

Stand out beers: The hazy pale ale of Cryo and Boston style hoppy Debut are my highlights.

Find it: Shoreham Street S1 4SQ

5 The Beer Engine

One of my personal favourites is the excellent Beer Engine. With six cask pumps and twelve keg beer lines, you’re never going to be short of choice standing at the Engine’s bar. The guest beers are rotated regularly so you never know what will be on offer, but it will be good – the landlords wouldn’t have it any other way. The food is good here too.

Stand out beers: Where to start. How about Bad See, Siren, Harviestown, Tiny Rebel, Magic Rock or Hand Drawn Monkey for starters?

Find it: Cemetery Road S11 8FJ

6 The Bath

Bath-SheffieldNext on my list is The Bath which is on Victoria Street in the Broomhall area of the City Centre and offers a quintessential English pub atmosphere. The Bath is now owned by the Peak District’s Thornbridge Brewery securing its future and ensuring it remains a true craft beer venue.

Stand out beers: Thornbridge has an excellent range, and you won’t be disappointed with a Jaipur or Green Mountain IPA, or anything double dry hopped.

 Victoria Street S3 7QL

7 The Broadfield Ale House

A bit of cheat this one as it’s not quite in the city centre, but I wanted to recommend it anyway. Famous as much for its home cooked pies as for its craft beer, the rustic Broadfield Ale House provides a warm, traditional welcome. Life doesn’t present many pleasures that come close to a couple of pints on a Sunday afternoon at the Broadfield, accompanied by a delicious roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner.

Stand out beers: Some of the German pilsners on offer are excellent, such as the Früh Kölsch as is the rather alcoholic Schneider Weisse Tap 5. If you prefer something a little fruity maybe the Schöfferhofer will be of interest.

Find It: Abbeydale Road S7 1FR

8 Peddler Warehouse

Peddler Warehouse is foremost a street food market, with a range of delicious, innovative food stalls. However, it also has bars and they always have a decent range of guest craft beers and ales on offer. Although maybe not as varied or numerous as some of the other venues in this list, Peddler’s makes it because it provides a great day out. Have a poke around Kelham Island Industrial Museum in the morning, grab some lunch and a pint at Peddler’s, take a Kelham Island Brewery Tour, have a pint in the Kelham Island Tavern, then wobble a little further to spend the rest of the day at The Fat Cat (see number 2 above). Heaven in a small corner of Sheffield.

Stand out beers: Guest beers rotate all the time, but often has an excellent Thornbridge or Bradfield Brewery selection on tap.

Find It: Burton Road S3 8BX (tram stop Shalesmoor)

9 Industry Tap

The Industry Tap can be found on Sidney Street (S1 4RG), tucked away from the main thoroughfares of the city. It provides a broad and ever changing choice of local and international beers from over twenty different craft brewers, in a basic but functional tap room. It also offers an equally imaginative craft gins menu. They also have a well-stocked online shop.

Stand out beers: Polly’s Brew Co Holy Ghost Love IPA, Verdant X Equilibrium Keep Left DIPA.

Find it: Sidney Street S1 4RG

10 The Kelham Island Tavern

Kelham-Island-Tavern

Located in the trendy, shabby-chic industrial quarter, The Kelham Island Tavern offers a very warm welcome and fine range of craft beers and real ales. Voted in the top four pubs of the year by CAMRA, the Kelham has around a dozen real ales and craft beers on tap, including regulars from several Sheffield brewers including the Bradfield Brewery. There’s usually a fine selection of guest beers from around the world and other local brewers.

Stand out beers: Bradfield Farmers (Brow Cow, Farmers Blonde, Yorkshire Farmer etc), Barnsley Bitter and Acorn are all worth a try.

Find it: Russell Street S3 8RW

The Other Contenders

The second biggest challenge (the first being staggering back to my hotels after many reconnaissance trips) was picking the best 10 from the vast quantity of excellent real ale pubs Sheffield has to offer. For the record though, here are some of the other contenders that you might also give a try:

  • The Red Lion – Charles Street S1 2ND
  • The Red Deer – Pitt Street S1 4DD
  • The Devonshire Cat (sadly, according to their website, it appears that this beer lover’s heaven won’t reopen after lockdown)
  • The Gardner’s Rest – In the Neepsend area of Sheffield and the brewery bar for the Sheffield Brewery Co
  • Triple Point Brewery, Shoreham Street.
  • The Shakespear, Gibralter Street for sawdust and spittoons.
  • Two-Thirds Beer Company, Abbeydale Road (not quite city centre but definitely worth taking a walk, grabbing an Uber or jumping on a bus for)

Sheffield's Craft Brewers

Like the UK in general, Sheffield is enjoying something of a renaissance in brewing, with many innovative craft and real ale breweries popping up in and around the city.  Here is just a small selection of my favourite brewers, along with what, in my honest opinion, are their best beers.

The Steel City Beer Festival

CAMRA hold an annual beer (and cider) festival in the city every year, which coincides with street food markets and other events and is well worth a visit. Details are on the CAMRA website. There’s also an excellent Indie Beer Festival planned for August – social distance rules allowing.

About Sheffield

If you want to do other stuff when you’re in Sheffield, as well as drink great beer, or you’re looking for suggestions for comfy hotels, then please take a look at my other post –  10 BRILLIANT THINGS TO DO IN SHEFFIELD.

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