2019 is a new start for my Monthly Reviews, the last ones I did was in 2017 and I didn’t want to do them every year so 2 years seem a good wait. I didn’t do one in January as the month was nearly over before I had my list of 10 reviews to do.
April – Beer House, I believe this was Sheffield 1st micro pub and now we have a few more so here we go .. they have 6 cask and 4 keg lines, the cask is ever changing.
1. Introduce yourself and tell everyone who you are ? tell us something we probably wont know ?
I’m John Harrison, one half of The Beer House. Ex teacher, football and cricket fan you probably wouldn’t know that I’m a qualified therapist who is trained to hypnotise people!
2. What made you choose the venue where you are now on Eccy Road, with the appearance of other micro pubs it has turned out nice, did you consider any other places ?
I wanted to be on Ecclesall road as I grew up around there and the leafy suburb part towards the top fit into what I thought the pub would be which is a community based local for people to meet up in and enjoy good quality. I didn’t look at any other places as the first place I found was exactly what I wanted with a cellar and some outside space. I wanted the pub to be an old fashioned look as they were places I always liked to drink in e.g the sheaf view. I think people can try to hard with decor as if that’s what your hoping is going to bring people in and make them stay your probably not doing the important things right (like conditioning the cask properly or having staff who care about the customers)
3. What are the opening hours, also what events do you have on during the week and weekends. (quizzes etc etc)
Times 12-11, 7 days a week. We have been open for over 800 days without closing (Xmas day 12-3, that counts!) We closed the first couple of Xmas days but in over 4 years we have closed 2 days total. We are always open on the hours advertised as I hate places closing early if no one around.
We have a quiz night every Wednesday starting at 8.30
4. Do you have any plans to do any meet the breweries or tap takeovers this year ?
No we don’t. I’ve found the MTB events can be good and interesting but really once you’ve been to one you’ve seen it all, sometimes trying to get a word in with the Brewers can feel like a teenager at a concert as people crowd around which I find a bit weird. The Takeovers are more hassle than their worth with having to cap ales to change the offerings. We pride ourselves on having a consistent line up of great cask ales that change daily anyways so every day there is something new to come in for. Personally if I go in a pub and the taps are all one brewery I’m more annoyed than enthused. I honestly can’t think of a brewery that does 6-9 amazing beers. You always end up with a 9% brown ale on in a takeover or 4 stouts. I prefer to have a range to choose from when I go into somewhere to drink.
5. Besides ales what other drinks do you sell ?, gins etc etc, do you stock non alcoholic drinks ? snacks ?
I think we have the best wine list in the city. All sourced from far and wide so not stocked anywhere else. We have over 30 wines, 16 by the glass. We stock around 15 gins from Starmoreboss (as do most micropubs now) we stock juices and general non alcoholic drinks as well as bitburger drive which I think is the best non booze beer. We stocked several but demand just wasn’t there. In January you can bring your own alcohol free beer in as long as make a donation to St Luke’s in the bucket.
Snacks we have cheese boards from Porter Brook deli and pork pies from wateralls as well as fresh sausage rolls daily from perfectionary so we can’t really improve on that! Sunday is quiche day also. We also sell crisps, nuts, and jalopeno pretzels etc.
6. Now time to think back, what was your first ever ale you had and which pub was it in ?, also is the pub still there.
Not sure I can remember my first but do remember Farmers blonde in the sheaf view as the game changer. I think I’d been drinking pish like tetleys etc since then. I can’t believe I loved it so much back then, when I have it now (as nowt else on) it just reminds me of bath water. We fondly call it Farmers bland now.
7. Which are your favourite top 3 breweries and why ?
1 Arbor- they are just consistently excellent and hop forward beauties
2 Bristol beer factory- every new beer is excellent.
3 North riding- not always massively hoppy but the layering you get when conditioned properly is a thing of wonder
8. Which are your favourite 3 pubs in Sheffield and why ? You can choose your own
Yeh us, it has to be as it’s exactly what I want a pub to be, and the best kept beer in Sheff
The sheaf view- good selection and I like neepsend plus the pub holds a lot of memories for me.
Struggling for a 3rd as I’m too picky about beer and too many pubs do it badly. I’d say the Cross on Derbyshire lane as I think Ash is great there and they have a dart board and billiards but I generally have to drink Keg as Thornbridge don’t give the pub and decent cask.
9. A question I asked in 2017 to some and will be asking this to everyone this year and see if any of them happen, so what do you think will be making the headlines in Sheffield in 2019/20 beer wise ?
More bars in kelham island? So many bars you can see them from space! Although my favourite is Bar Stewards as Charlie and Al are great and they know great beer. They would have been my favourites but I’m not down that part of town enough. Trends are hard to predict but I’d say more micropubs and more breweries selling out to the big boys! Not sure many Sheffield ones will be bought up though as we are still behind in the style and marketing of most of the emerged breweries that have gone big.
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