May – Sheffield Hopcast

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.

May is the turn of Sheffield Hopcast so let’s find out a bit more about them.


1. Introduce yourselves and are you involved with the beer industry.


2. How did Sheffield Hopcast start? who`s idea was it ?

Adam and James got to know each other via James’ other Sheffield Wednesday podcast when Adam did some design work for them. Months later they met in the flesh at Beer X festival where they discovered they had a mutual love for Beer and Podcasts. This is where the idea started to create our own podcast with a focus on beer, are more specially the Sheffield beer scene.

We wanted to have a format where we would have a regular panel of beer around a table drinking a selection of beers on a certain theme so we recruited Sean and Laura and we’ve been the regular four hosts/panellists for the for the last 18 months or so.

During the first year we included interviews with different local breweries each month and had a focus on a particular Sheffield pub where we would record the episode.


3. How many Hopcast`s have you done so far and what do you have planned for the rest of the year ?

We started in January 2018 as a monthly podcast and around 8 months ago we started a second shorter monthly episode to bridge the gap between the main episodes. This is known as the Hopcast Halfpint and features just Adam and James talking about any beer news that is happening that month. These episodes are also recorded in video and can be found on YouTube.

After a year of focusing on Sheffield breweries and venues we have covered a lot of ground so this year we have slightly changed the format. Going forward we hope to have more guests from the beer industry joining us to record live. We’ve also started a ‘Hopcast Stories’ series where we have stand alone interviews/chats with people in the industry who have an interesting story to tell. Our first episode went out in January and features Dann and Martha who travelled the world looking to start a brewery and settled on Attercliffe in Sheffield where they formed St Mars of the Desert.

4. Where about can someone listen to your Hopcast`s ?

We are quite easy to find if you already listen to podcasts. You can search for us an all the usual podcast apps and services. If you don’t use these we are also on Spotify and YouTube.

Website link is here.


5. Which have been the best beers you have drank during the Hopcast`s and do any of you ever get drunk doing them ?

We’ve had some great beers along the way. Omnipollo Noa is a great beer and loved having that on the podcast. We also had fun doing the World cup episode were we played beers off against each other with a blind tasting. The finalists were Kaiju Aftermath DIPA and Struise Black Albert respectively from Australia and Belgium respectively. Both excellent!

We don’t really get drunk as such but have had some sore heads in the morning if we have had relatively strong beers in an episode.

6. Can you remember which was your first ale and where did you drink it ? Have you been ale fans for along time, when did it all start ?


Adam – not entirely sure of my first but was probably something like Greene King Abbot Ale or cask John Smiths bitter. I did like to get a selection of the 500ml real ales from supermarkets so remember beers like Springhead Roaring Meg, numerous local beers from Acorn Brewery and Wentworth Brewery. More stand out beers from the earlier days would be Jaipur and Kipling from Thornbridge and Moonshine and Deception from Abbeydale.

James – again not 100% but Jaipur and Moonshine would be beers that turned me to drinking good beer.

Sean – first real ale would probably have been John Smith’s Magnet

Laura – first beer was Derventio cleopatra a peach pale ale. Also the first beer I took to the first ever beer central bottle share


7. Which is your best brewery at the moment and why ?, what ales do you like from them ?

Adam – been really impressed with Wylam Brewery, Whiplash Brewery and North Brewing co this year. They are making some great stuff. I’d hate to have to pick a single beer from them… Maybe Midnight train to Byker from Wylam was a stand out.

Laura – For anyone who has listened to the podcast they will know the answer. Laura is number one Torrside Brewery fan girl.

James – favourite brewery would have to be Deya at the minute but fave beer at the minute comes from Cloudwater. A beer called Dance like everyone is watching.

Sean – Fave Brewery at minute North. Fave beer at minute is Ridgeside Bale Hopp.


8. Which are your favourite pubs in Sheffield and why ?

I think collectively we have 2 faves we can all agree on… Rutland Arms and Shakespeares. They both have excellent cask and keg offerings and have beers you are unlikely to find anywhere else.


9. What do you think will be big in 2019 for Sheffield regarding the ale scene ?

Sheffield has really made a big move into micropubs and they all seem to be doing great. You can find them all over the city. I think their success has turned a lot of heads and I think we will see more and more appearing in the coming year.


10. Have you done any collabs with any breweries ?, do you have any planned ? or do you dream of doing some with any particular breweries ?

We haven’t done any collabs but we are very interested in doing something and often talk about it. We haven’t approached anyone yet but I think we’d initially look locally to go with our Sheffield focus.

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