12 March 2018

Booming Business - Sheffield Beer Week

Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Director of City and Culture, University of Sheffield) provides an introduction to Sheffield Beer Week, which runs from 12-18 March 2018.

Less than two years ago the University of Sheffield published Pete Brown’s remarkable report on the state of the beer industry in the Sheffield City Region. Notable headline facts included that Sheffield City Region can claim the title of birthplace of the UK craft beer revolution, the city has one brewery for every 23,991 people – 4.7 times more brewers per capita than Greater London and that on a typical day there are 400 different unique beers available in the city’s pubs.

Pete Brown found that the Sheffield City Region has a booming beer trade of 57 breweries, 31 of which have opened in the last five years alone, who turn out over 1,000 different beers each year. Among the many proposals was the call for a bottling and canning facility to help the city’s beers reach a wider audience and an urge for the city to shout about its beer brilliance.

Two years on from those recommendations the beer industry in the city is continuing to grow and although we don’t yet have a bottling and canning unit, at least four Sheffield breweries such as True North and Abbeydale are utilising mobile canning units and others possibly costing their own line. Sheffield Beer Week is now in year four and despite the loss of the Society of Independent Brewers’ conference is growing and accessing support and promotion from Welcome to Sheffield and the University of Sheffield via external funding.

We are shouting about the great beers we produce and welcoming beer writers from across the UK to Sheffield Beer Week to sample the wide range of wares, and then hopefully spread the word. Other ideas are coming to fruition with greater cross city collaboration between breweries (e.g. Neepsend x Steel City x Lost Industry, Abbeydale x Thornbridge), creating a cornucopia of new brews for your palate.

So heads up to all beer lovers, producers and supporters in the city that continue to support our local talent and their products.

Finally, let us all raise a glass to Jules of Hop Hideout and organiser of Sheffield Beer Week, her love and dedication to promoting and organising this special week goes without saying – thank you.

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