To end my 2017 monthly specials I thought I would do one about myself and how I started Sheffieldalepubs website. Firstly I want to thank all 13 of the people who took part, each one means something to me over the years and hopefully you all got to know them all a bit better, so its time to get to know me a bit better, I shall be doing the usual format, first few questions about me and then I shall look at the other 13 this year and pick some questions out which I shall answer.
- Who are you and how did you get into ales ?
My name is Peter and I am a 52 year old man, I live in town centre so all pubs in town are my locals and I am on the tram route so its even better. How did I get into ales – well I was out with my friend on 22nd April 2014 and we walked into the Red Deer and after a evening or drinking lager I decided to have a change, and we tried one of those hand pumps, at the time it was new to us and such a late ale developer as well, I haven’t gone back to lager since unless its a brewery brewing their own lagers. That’s how the journey started.
2. What is the next step of the journey – website ?
So now I was into these ales and my next thing was to find the pubs which served ales, I started looking on Sheffield Pub website as my main source and the “real ales” looked for the green tick, I started visiting pubs round town and then ended up deciding that there wasn’t a website that lists how many ales they have as some of the pubs didn’t have many and some had quite a few, I already run another website so starting one would be easy and I decided to start logging my journey, this was initially by listing by pubs on the website, but this was starting to look messy so decided to use the format of listing the pubs by how many ale pumps they have, that’s how it started and that’s the format I have kept, all the pubs on my website have been visited before I list them. I have not decided to add how many keg ale lines they also have as well. I got this idea around Christmas 2014 and idea went live in January 2015. I have visited 209 pubs in Sheffield so far.
3. What came next – pub walk series
I am a avid walker and often go walking in the peak districts so I decided now I had a good list of pubs to create some pub walks which I do most Fridays and Saturdays during the year, I love visiting pubs and meeting new people, my first walk was in 2016 and so far I now have 13 walks around Sheffield covering about 80+ different pubs, each one is downloadable as a pdf file, in 2018 I intend to create them into some kind of booklet and see if some pubs will be kind enough to keep copies, I am sure they will, the walks are forever changing as new pubs come along in the route and some pubs disappear, my main is to create a pub crawl that incorporates at least 1 pub from all 13 walks, which is going to be a challenge, something to do in 2018.
4. How did the Monthly Specials idea start ?
Towards the end of 2016 I had this idea of doing features on pubs/breweries/bloggers/micropubs, I wanted to feature those which people probably didn’t visit often or didn’t know about, we all know about the big breweries and big ale pubs so time to do something different, a time to get to know them a little bit better. I made a list of people who I wanted to approach, I know them all already apart from a couple but that’s the fun, meeting new people. I wasn’t sure if it would be a success so I decided to contact everyone in one go via Twitter and sit back and see what happens, I had a few blank months left so contacted a few more people, the format is 10 questions that they answer to on a word document, an idea given to me by Jon from White Lion and a good idea it was.
It was fabulous when they all replied back and said yes, so I set the idea in motion and you can read about them all on my website, it was a pleasure to get to know them a bit better, 2 of the 13 I met in person to conduct the questions, February and August. It was also nice to get their views of Sheffield and what they thing could be the next big thing so watch this space to see if any come true, and some also gave hints what’s happening in 2018. I wont be doing this again in 2018 but watch this space for 2019.
Now its time to take some questions from the other 13 monthly specials for me to answer.
5. What is my favourite brewery ? (in Sheffield, in UK and in the world)
Favourite Sheffield brewery at the moment is Neepsend, they have produced some fab ales this year and Wellington pub has had a few of them on, this pub is very handy for me on the tram route, looking forward to see what they do in 2018, also like Little Critters, which wont come to no surprise, they have a Incubator series coming up in 2018, love their pump clips as well.
Outside of Sheffield – Buxton Brewery, I had the pleasure to go to Manchester beer week this year to a Buxton tap takeover, I was in heaven, my 2018 to do list is to visit Buxton brewery tap, this could even happen in January.
6. The Keg vs Cask debate
Now when I got going with cask the next thing was the keg thing, as I called it then, at first I couldn’t get my head around the price difference from cask but as my pallet changed so did my thoughts of keg and anyone who knows me know will know I like my keg now, as I say you get what you pay for and with keg you do get some interesting choices, I still do like cask and on Saturdays its cask day for me and Friday I tend to go for the keg lines in Bar Stewards / Shakepseare / Old Workshop. I have had many chats and arguments about this during the year, it does divide people a lot. Will it take off in Sheffield like some other cities/town, well that’s something we will have to see what happens in 2018. The latest 3 new pubs – Bar Stewards / Old Workshop / Ecclesall Ale Club all have more keg lines than cask.
7. A question I asked mashtunandmeow – What do you think to ale in a can ?, can you see it being the next big thing or just a fad ?
Now when ale in a can arrived I was – what’s this all about, we have the bottles so why a can, and can a can keep the taste or would it be fizzy, well after trying quite a few I can safely say it tastes just as good as the bottle version, and also its much smaller to fit in my bag and I have quite a few cans for Christmas and new year, I am just about getting my head round the prices but I do go for the stronger 7%+ cans, also the labels are fantastic and they have got better as more cans are coming on the market, I am also sticking all the can labels on my bedroom wall, pic to follow in 2018. Is it a fad – no, will it replace bottles – well that’s a good question.
8. What do you think will be the next big thing to happen in Sheffield ale scene next year (2018) ?
A question no one knows the answer to but we can all guess, for me I feel it could be a explosion of micropubs, we have got quite a few now and they are very popular, small in space but ale wise you cannot go wrong, I am doing a #tryanuary micropub/new bars special pub crawl, date to follow soon. Eccy Rd has 3 now and plenty of empty shops along that road. I have a sneaking feeling we will see more brewery pubs opening as well, we have quite a few already and its a good way for breweries to showcase their ales more. so for me its – more micropubs and brewery pubs opening. As long as pubs open that’s good news, we don’t want many to close.
9. I asked my friend Mark from Hull who visits Sheffield the following question – I know you are trying to visit as many new pubs as possible, so the places you have been to which is your favourite area and why?
So which are my favourite areas to visit, well I wont like – Kelham Island area with 12 pubs in total and a mixed range, we have 4 brewery pubs there now and 1 pub doing just keg only, this is a up and coming area and expect more pubs to pop up, hope it doesn’t get saturated.
Other area I visit often is London Road down to Heeley and with The Albion opening gives us the added pub along London Rd, this for me is more of a walk crawl and the bus from Heeley takes me home.
10. What are my plans for 2018 ?
To finish off the last question, what do I plan for 2018 on my website.
- 1.more pubs added, I will be visiting further round the border of Sheffield, Halfway are is one of them.
- 2. more pub walks as I feel there are more to add
- 3. I will be visiting more cities/town in 2018 so more blogs about the pubs they have
- 4. Monthly Specials / pub walks turning into booklets/leaflets
- 5. More brewery tours amazingly I have never visited a brewery before
- 6. adding a new section for keg only bars which are appearing
As always I will be promoting anything in Sheffield and beyond that has anything to do with ales, I am more than happy to retweet posts, after all I am here to help you all find the best things in Sheffield and also new things like new pubs and ales … roll on #tryanuary