My top 10 for September/October 2015
After 2 months of visiting a shortlist of 23 pubs and drinking 69 halves and marking the pubs out of the criteria I had which inlcuded various things all around ales, what types, if any empty pumps, notice boards of the ales, % strength, the list was endless.
On 10th October I completed my final visits and now it all over. So below is my top10 ale pumps in Sheffield for October.
Hallamshire House – Walkley
When I started doing my favourite ale pubs I never expected this to be no1, so why did it end up being no1, well, it has some of the most friendly staff in any pub and this was a big winner, serving only Thornbridge ales but you do get a very good range, I am one for trying the darker ales, and stouts.
This pub is also across the road from The Closed Shop.
Not many pubs have a snooker table as well, the pub has 3 rooms to sit in and each is different, also a large beer garden as well which is unusual and very comfy, you can hear music in the back ground.
Never once in my 3 visits did they have any empty pumps, which some pubs failed badly, and dont forget 10% discount during the day.
This was a 3 way tie,
All 3 are so different as well.
Devonshire Cat – the pub in town centre owned by Abbeydale Brewery, always serving fine ales, and I have noticed recently the guest ales have been very good, I am finding strong stouts in here, and you always find my favourite ale Absolution. This pub is always incredibly busy and recently they held a beer festival where I sampled a few ales.
Kelham Island Tavern – always a reliable ale pub in the heart of kelham Island and that area makes a good start to a pub run, this place always serving a stout and porter, although they tend to be the same, you do find some unusual ales here which I always like to try, again always a busy pub and very friendly staff serving with a smile, makes all the difference.
Shakespeare – another pub around the Kelham Island area and one which has grown on me over the year, serving some fine and unusual ales, the stouts are always interesting and not usually found in other pubs, loving the sandwiches which they do and tend to have a few. The pub has 4 seating areas, all different, and they have a dart board and also a great board with ales on, you can see what you are drinking in % styles, the beer garden outside at the back is also very large.
Harlequin – Kelham Island area.
I didnt initially put this into the short list, it was not until someone on Twitter mentioned this pub so I put it in and maybe I didnt realise how good this place is. Mainly have Exit33 ales on which isnt a bad thing as its their own and also very good, especially the stout, again the guest beers are also very good, and ones not often found in other pubs, the staff are very friendly, and enough seats to sit in> When I go on my weekend pub walks this is one I usually start in on the Kelham Island route.
This was a 4 way tie:
Sheaf View – Heeley
A great pub this is and again like the ones above a pub where you find the unusual ales, also they post on Twitter and Facebook a picture of their ales on and sometimes when I am out this gets me to their pub, I wish more pubs would do this it is a great advertising mechanism. Stouts always appear here and the unusual ones, friendly bar staff who know their stuff and plenty of seating area, the outside part is quite nice plus a few tables at the top of the grass bank.
University Arms – town centre
Of the 10 pubs which made my top10 I think this is the one which shocked me, again maybe against the criterias it is better than it is, the ales selection has drastically improved over the few months and they start to rotate them more, which is always a good sign, and starting to see more Thornbridge ales as well, always greeted with a smile from the bar staff. The beer garden is also quite large so you never have a problem sitting down and they have a function room upstairs as well. This pub is also not open on a Sunday.
Rutland Arms – town centre
I always find the unusual ales/stouts in here, they do have a few by Blue Bee as well, again they tend to have the stronger ones which is just fine by me. Another pub which seems very busy and they do have a beer garden and a upstairs function room. They do have a jukebox and has a list of what not to play which I find rather amusing.
Gardeners Rest – Neepsend Lane
If a pub should win the most querky beer garden this is the pub, it has every strange object you can find, I love it. This pub serves the Sheffield Brewery ales but they do have some fabulous guest ales, and the stouts are to die for. The staff are always friendly here, and the bonus of no music in the background. I always like to add this pub into my weekend walks as its a gem of a place.
Rising Sun – Fulwood
Another pub that is much better than I thought, again another Abbeydale Brewery pub and their guest ales are always interesting as well which I have started to try more often, they also have my favourite Absolution. Plenty of seats in this pub and on a Friday they have pizza place on site, and again friendly staff and has recently been taken over. Although it seems out of the way it has 2 good bus services (120 and 83a). This year they had a Sunfest beer festival and must say it was excellent and extremely busy.
Bath Hotel – town centre
This pub got off to a slow start marking wise but got much better on 2nd and was the highest scoring on the 3rd visit, another Thornbridge pub and also their guest ales are becoming quite interesting as well, they also do a discount for CAMRA members. The staff again (wins points) are very friendly and care that you are not just another paying customer.
There you go, thats my top10 ale pubs for September/October, and you havent counted wrongly there are 11 pubs in it.
Its been a challenge visiting all these pubs and marking them, in May I just picked 10 but this time it was down what the pub had, some were surprising and the amount of empty pumps was a shock in some pubs (I wont name them), some of the ale choices were also a little strange, but all in all its been interesting.
One thing I can say is Sheffield has some absolutely fantastic ale pubs and every one is a winner in my eyes.
|Pub||1st Visit||2nd Visit||3rd Visit||TOTAL|
|Kelham Island Tavern||9||11||10||30|
|Rising Sun (Fulwood)||8||10||9||27|