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.
March – Sheffield Beer Week & Hop Hideout .. a double one this month and they are both the same people and we all know Hop Hideout have moved premises and I am sure you want to know what their plans are and what is in store for Sheffield Beer Week.
- Introduce yourselves and tell everyone who you are ? tell us something we probably wont know ?
Hi – we’re Hop Hideout an award-winning specialist beer shop and tasting room – we started back in November 2013 along Abbeydale Road in the Antiques Quarter. We stocked over 300 beers, quality cider, intriguing spirits and had 5 draught taps with a constantly rotating offering at that location. Though we started in a much smaller space next door, and just organically grew. We’re Will and Jules (husband and wife team) and we’re currently in the midst of relocating Hop Hideout into an exciting new food hall and social dining space called Kommune in the city centre of Sheffield. They’ll be a few tweaks, but more on that later! 2019 is Jules’ 12th year working in beer and she has a passion for collecting vinyl (especially anything soulful and boogie), Will used to be a professional sports photographer mainly focusing on skateboarding.
- As most people will know Hop Hideout has moved, so where are you going and will the bottle/can space increase/decrease, what have you planned for the keg lines/how many ?
We’re still in the process of moving to be honest, the new space is amazing but it’s a big build project and we’re just a little part of that. Our new space is a focused Hop Hideout concession space in a new food hall style space called Kommune. There’ll be lots of great food kitchens and retail spaces in there such at Tamper, Depot, Pom Kitchen, Chaat Cart and more. It’s going to be an evolving space as we find out how it works with the flow of people. We’re looking at refrigeration to improve beer/drinks quality for consumers. I think we’ll probably start around the 200 beers and rotate and see how we can use and then maybe adapt the space to develop. We’ll be dropping one draught line to four in total, again it’s just about rotation and freshness and we’ll still be offering take out and drink in on the beer and cider. We’ve been getting excited by natural, organic wines too in the last 12 months so we will start to offer a small curated range of producers and styles in this area also. And a few intriguing spirits – especially since there’s a growth area in breweries expanding into distilling.
3. What will the opening hours be ?
Pretty much the same as our previous space. So closed Mondays, open Tuesday to Sundays. Roughly from 11am each day, closing around 7pm during the week and 8pm on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is likely to be the shortest day 11am to 6pm. But we still hope to run regular events and I think they’ll be scope to be flexible around events and hours in this new space. we’ll still be offering mail order and click and collect too, but will be phasing our website back in after the shop launch.
- Do you have any plans to hold any tap takeovers /meet the brewery ?, I know it’s a bit early for these but will give us an idea of what you will be doing.
Sheffield Beer Week events are planned in, we had hoped to be in Kommune by then but there’ll still be some finishing touches to happen that weekend. So we’ve moved our Fem.Ale and Mikkeller events to friends’ brewery – Saint Mars of the Desert. Hopefully we’ll be launching at Kommune not long after that! Watch this space. From the beginning we’ve always focused on events – tastings, meet the brewers, beer and food pairings, beer festivals (Indie Beer Feast) and more – so it’s a big part of what we do and we hope to continue.
We’ll also be having a Hop Hideout pop-up drink in and take out stall at Indie Beer Feast Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March. It’s great to be able to put on a craft beer focused festival like this in our hometown and to kick-off Sheffield Beer Week. We’ve also invited friends Erica from Fem.Ale and Julie From Neptune Brewery (celebrating International Women’s Day) and award-winning beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones to host some tasting at the festival. Then Friday 15th March we’re celebrating women in beer with a brewsters’ beer celebration alongside Fem.Ale in support – they put on wonderful festivals around the UK in the same vein. We’ve listed more of the breweries on our Facebook event page – such as Welbeck, Ashover, Burnt Mill, Mothership (who are very new!), Neptune and Wild Card. On Saturday 16th we’ll be hosting the Mikkeller Running Club 5km as part of the Festival of the Outdoors and then a Mikkeller beer showcase straight after. All the events are up at the brewery of Saint Mars of the Desert and are free entry – so please do come along! That’s about as far ahead as we can think at the moment, but Kommune’s launch shouldn’t be long after.
- 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.
Jules – It would have been in Durham where I grew up. Possibly a Samuel Smith ale in their pub called Colpitts Hotel where Carol Brown has been the landlady for 40 years (https://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/landlady-s-40-years-at-the-same-pub-and-she-s-not-giving-up-yet-1-5360584). The pub is still there, I really hope she is too, but I’ve not been back in a long time. Or it could have been the Rose Tree where we used to go to a regular rock night, but you could pretty much only get Newcastle Brown in that one!?!
Will – I really remember enjoying drinking Duvel in the early days of North Bar when I used to visit friends in Leeds in the late 90s.
- Which are your favourite top 2 breweries and why ?
Jules – New local fav Saint Mars of the Desert. Cito has to be my new go-to favourite pale, so refreshing and balanced flavours. Gueuzerie Tilquin – great Belgian lambics and unique, full of personality from Pierre Tilquin (though I adore Drie Fonteinein too!!!)
Will – Magic Rock Brewing you just can’t beat them for getting things absolutely right brew after brew, bangin’ IPAs. Dugges – have a soft spot for this Swedish brewery, especially their big imperial stouts – always big big flavours packed in like, go search out Big Idjit (12% beast of an impy)…
- Which are your favourite 3 pubs in Sheffield and why
The one thing we love about Sheffield is the fact there’s loads of superb suppin’ places. We don’t get out as much as we used to with running your own business and whatnot, often with its own late hours it can be difficult. We do live near Walkley Beer Co which a very friendly and relaxed beer shop sort of micropub and nice people and beers. Otherwise we do usually head to Shakespeare’s and Rutland Arms when we can – always tasty beers on and nice atmosphere to boot at both.
- Sheffield Beer Week ….. what made you come up with the idea of SBW and what a success it has been. How did it all start.
Lots of different things really – one the frustration people (maybe outside of Sheffield) didn’t know how good it was and it seemed to be ignored a little in the beer world. Two in a way kind of making the scene here grow and diversify – there was lots of great cask ale but maybe not so much Belgian or ‘sours’ and I seemed to be going to other cities for beer events like meet the brewers and just thought – wouldn’t it be great if there was more of all this in my hometown. Thirdly the beer business can be tough, long hours, low wages comparatively to other industries, slim margins, lots and lots of work – and I just thought it’s a way to support such a wonderful trade and industry. There’s so much more – the director’s bit in the Sheffield Beer Week guide is probably worth a read – supporting local economy and beer tourism. I also think it’s a great platform to spread positive messages in the beer community and tackle challenging topics. Like this year’s focus on diversity and inclusion in beer. And finally shouting about all the great independent breweries and venues here!
- People probably don’t know how much effort is needed to organise such a big week, so how much of your time does it take ? and do you manage to breathe 😊
It’s really difficult to quantify all the thinking, preparation and hours really that go into it. I usually start around September for a mid March launch – thinking of key strands, key events and focus. Then it’s putting the feelers out to the Sheffield beer community before Christmas, then really starting to get the ball rolling from January on. I always do say this though – but Sheffield Beer Week is indebted to everyone who gets involved and runs with the spirit of it, as it’s an umbrella event so really it’s about bringing together and promoting all the wonderful pubs, beer shops, restaurants and more beery places that get involved each year. As the week gets closer, there’s a good two weeks spent just writing and collating information for the printed guide, 2019 is the second year we’ve done that and Exposed have helped pull together. This year there was a focus on securing a sponsor which has helped hugely and Lallemand Brewing have been hugely supportive, the money then helps put on events such as The People’s Photography Trail – which is a multi-venue photography trail: https://sheffieldbeerweek.co.uk/the-peoples-photography-trail/
During the week and a few weeks before there’s hours that go on social media promotion – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and our website. Ask me about breathing post March 17th 😉
Photo taken by – Mark Newton
- Over the 5 years which has been the biggest highlight/s for you ?
So many! The first year it was great to have support from renowned beer writers Roger Protz and Adrian Tierney-Jones – they launched their new collaborative book at the Sheffield Tap (2015). 2016 was a special year as Steve Hindy one of the founders of Brooklyn Brewery ended up doing an event at the Hallamshire House and celebrating his birthday that evening around the pub’s fireside, which was very special for all the people who attended. The Buxton tap takeover and meet the brewer at Shakespeare’s that year (2016) was an absolute corker – I think everyone remembers the Yellow Belly pin; that didn’t last long! Last year’s collaboration beers were ace, that’s a really positive and exciting part each year for me. Thornbridge brewed with Abbeydale and that was a highlight, especially since they’re two fairly long-standing local breweries and this was their first time brewing together. The beer was aptly called Stepping Stones. Hop Hideout also joined in on a big multi-way collab at Lost Industry with Neepsend Brew Co and the Devonshire Cat which was close to my heart as it was a fruited pomelo kettle sour called Emmeline inspired by the women’s suffrage movement. Every-time I scroll through the events database on the beer week website, I have masses of good memories that just pop-up. This year I’m very much looking forward to two beer and food paired diners, one from the fab beer and food writer Melissa Cole at the Devonshire Cat and the second from a phenomenal brewery – Burning Sky up at The Stag’s Head. Also of course Hop Hideout’s Fem.Ale brewsters’ celebration at the brewery of Saint Mars of the Desert and seeing the talented Mark Newton and Nicci Peet’s photography work around the city.
- Indie Beer Fest is now into its 2nd year, what days are they on this year ? and any available spaces left ?, what does the event cover as in beer/food etc etc
It’s year two and it’s now two days, I’m actually typing this the day before official set-up and I’ve already been at the venue for five hours today sorting out glasses and the venue space – the iconic old cinema Abbeydale Picture House. Its hosted on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March with over 20 great independent breweries from around the UK – Neptune, Wild Card, Cloudwater, Magic Rock, Black Iris, Neepsend, North Brewing Co, Saint Mars of the Desert, Wander Beyond and loads, loads more – take a look online: http://www.indiebeerfeast.co.uk
- Friday – still tickets, Saturday is completely sold out. There’ll be tasty food from Little Bao Boy, Get Wurst (lots of delicious bratwursts), Doner Summer vegan kebabs and even charcuterie from The Cure, yum! There’s also a number of exclusive first pours at the beer festival around the ‘Seasonal Celebration’ theme I’m looking forward to trying them from the likes of Orbit, Turning Point, Neepsend and Lost Industry, Neptune, Black Jack Brewing and Torrside.
- Hop Hideout website
- Sheffield Beer Week on Twitter
- Sheffield Beer Week on Facebook
- Sheffield Beer Week website
- Indie Beer Feast on Twitter
- Indie Beer Feast on Facebook
- Indie Beer Feast website