Thursday, 29 November 2012

New faces in Sheffield


     despite the title, regrettably I haven't managed to snare a fresh faced buoyantly optimistic newly arrived student to write this post. It would no doubt be an interesting idea, but I find that even had I not used the word "snare", approaching persons 20 years my junior and asking them to look at my prose/help me out with a blog could be misconstrued, especially in a loud bar. Not that I particularly frequent such places, but...

Anyhoo, this is just a little bit of news really, and the first info surrounds a new pub, or rather a pub reopening, in the city centre. For years there seems to have been no life in the Sanctuary on St James Street, between Vicar Lane and the Cathedral. I rarely recall seeing it open, and before that its name escapes me, but I know I never visited it. So the fact that its reopening tomorrow as The Church House means I may be setting foot inside, finally, for the first time.

Details are, to say the least, sketchy. I photographed the pub walking past but I can't read the Facebook address on the sign, although I did find a page which might relate to the pub (but I won't share it in case it transpires to be some dreadful religious organisation). Oh, and there is nothing on it but a photo. And it aint of a pub. I also could only find one reference on the Twatter, so have had to make do with dieing of boredom reading the planning application.

In short the application relates only to some external signage and entrance lights, and that the proposer is Scottish and Newcastle (pre Sanctuary, in the mid nineties, it was Sherwood Inns). Add to this some rather overly technical architectural details I found on the British listed buildings website, and that the sign proclaims real ales and free Wi-Fi (plus irrelevances such as coffee and "food", whatever that is) and you now know as much as I do.

So, erm. Wooh! Yeah! A new pub run by Heineken in disguise is to open in Sheffield. Oh, and by the way sign writers, announcing that the pub will open on Friday the 29th November does not fill me with confidence. Just saying....

In other news, Harrisons 1854 has staged a bit of a coup by getting hold of some of Bradfield Brewery's perennial winter favourite Belgian Blue. Despite its gimmicky colour its actually a very pleasing and suitably seasonal offering and a Bradfield brew that I usually look out for. Barkeep extraordinaire Barraharri tells me (and, erm, Facebook) that it will be on the bar this weekend. So get thi sens darn theer and try it.

Meanwhile DAda, who are people, have news of some Thornbridge Yule coming on soon, and also a couple of casks of the excellent Fullers Bengal Lancer. Fullers Past Masters and seasonals don't seem to make it oop North, not to Sheffield at least, so in addition to this being a very competent exploration of the brewing styles of the past this is also a quite unusual beer for the area. No specific dates for its appearance, but you could always go in and sup the absolutely excellent Thornbridge Evenlode Brown Porter whilst waiting for the Fullers to appear.

Finally, Black Lurcher, a beer brewed for the Three Stags Heads at Wardlow Mires by Abbeydale brewery, has appeared in bottles, and everything. Intrepid explorer Wee Keefy returned from a recent visit with a bottle for us to sup. Some confusion surrounds its antecedence since I have a sneaking suspicion that its bottled at the pub, although, am not sure how long it would last if that was the case.

I know from my days working at Archer Road Beer Stop that Abbeydale weren't keen on bottling of any kind so I'd be interested to know the story behind this bottle, but to be fair, I haven't got round to asking them yet!

So, that's all for now, hopefully with payday arriving in a couple of hours I will have a bit more news to bring you over the coming week.


Wee Beefy


  1. Went in Church House a couple of weeks ago, quite liked it, good tange of beers, average priced food nice staff clean pub

    1. I have absolutely nothing against the pub. I may even pop in next time am out and about, they had a very nice stout on a week or two ago (tend to have larger orders). And it is clean, yes - no beermats on the floor or crisp packets lying around. No customers messing up the scene either usually though...