The Blue Bee Brewery.

Wares to be found at the Rutland Arms, Brown Street.

This month Sheffield will have the great honour of hosting the Annual General Meeting of the lovely people of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale). Having been fully converted worshippers at the altar of ale over the past year, Now Then welcomes them with open arms.

It is widely believed that over the years and despite many Tory attempts to send the industry the way of the coal mines, CAMRA can largely be credited with the fact that we now have so many excellent independent breweries in our city. It is a wonderfully happy coincidence that their visit and 40th anniversary comes as Sheffield's newest brewery is born.

The Blue Bee Brewery is the realisation of the bold aspirations of two lovely blokes called Rich and Andy, both of whom are no strangers to the trade, so we popped along to get the skinny on their new range and to sample a few.

Their beers are as varied as they are multitudinous, from everyday standards to the frankly potty. Of particular note is the Blue Bee's flagship pale ale the Nectar Pale, a light and refreshing pint that goes down like silk, akin to their other spring/summer delight Light Blue, both an easy going 4%.

For the bitter drinker comes the Bees Knees, again a steady 4% ale with rich, hoppy character. For those with a taste for the black stuff we recommend Lustin' for Stout, a robust and complex ale with a strong and flavoursome finish. Then there are the mad ones. There's the Hoffleboffle Wifflewoffle - try saying that after a couple - a blonde ale with a distinctively Belgian flavour, then there's Blurred Vision, which we will leave to your imagination. Finally there's the simply named 999. Yep, at 9.99% you are well advised to take small sips of this six-month matured barley wine, preferably after at least one loaf of bread.

Alongside these mainstays, the brewery has created a couple of snooker-themed beers to mark the World Championships this month, called Brown Ball and Blue Ball, at 4% and 5% respectively. You will only find these specials at the wonderful Rutland Arms on Brown Street and the Crucible corner throughout the tournament.

The Blue Bee will become Sheffield's 10th independent brewery, testament to how well we do it in this city, and with the lads making it very clear that their beers are made solely with us Sheffielders in mind, you'll not be seeing any of their delightfully distinctive pump clips in a Wetherspoons either. Pop into the Rutland and see what we mean.

Evolution Print.

evolutionprint.co.uk


You may have noticed there has been a change here at Now Then. It may be hard to put your finger on. It's in the background textures of images, the fine details and nuances of colour. It's like switching your TV to high definition, only way better because it smells of ink.

Given it took us about two and a half years to sort out a website, you will likely have realised that we at Now Then are print whores. As such it takes a ruddy lot to impress us in a printer and Evolution Print has managed it without breaking a sweat. Their combination of technological innovation and traditional craftsmanship is a winner and we hope you're enjoying their work as much as we are. The lovely chaps at Evolution are totally committed to the beauty of print and it shows.

As if professionalism and passion weren't enough, they've also got some extremely shiny new machines. We had the pleasure of visiting to see them in action and believe us, they are rocket powered and the investment of £1.2m in new machinery like the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 and Ricoh C901 will no doubt have all you print geeks drooling.

Alongside managing such mammoth investment, Evolution Print have ensured the focus is always on the product and making it look as damned sexy as possible. Always friendly and helpful, this level of attention to detail is hard to match.

Want more? There's plenty. Evolution Print is an award-winning venture with an international reputation. They scooped the Innovative Printer of the Year award in 2009 and there will undoubtedly be more to come. Their client list reads like a who's who of Sheffield art and design, from Pete McKee to Designers Republic, and we're proud to be joining the ranks.

We have worked for three years to make this magazine the thing of beauty it is today and we're confident in placing our precious baby in the hands of Evolution Print.

Sheffield Students' Union Live.

The Doors Alive is the number one tribute band to the legendary Sixties rock gurus. They recreate the sound, the look, the presence and the feel of a real Doors concert, effortlessly transporting the audience back in time with classics like 'Light My Fire'. Catch them live at the Union on April 2nd.

Just two days later, the amazing The Sunshine Underground are back at the Union after their previous sold-out show.

Further into May, Kerrang Best Newcomers Francesqa play Fusion on the 11th and then John Cooper Clarke, the legendary performance poet considered a major figure in punk poetry and punk literature, performs live at the Union on the 26th. Having opened for acts such as Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, Buzzcocks and New Order, this is definitely not one to miss.

The Wick at Both Ends.

149-151 West Street.

As many of you will have noticed, the Wick at Both Ends has gone from strength to strength in the last six months. New menu, new drinks, new staff, new look. Of all the watering holes in the land of Sheffield this is one of our favourites, so we cajoled the powers that be to give our readers an exclusive offer this month. Just quote 'Now Then Magazine' at the bar and you'll receive any of their new starters or desserts on offer for free with your main meal (not on a Sunday though folks).

The new menu is looking pretty exhilarating and will be available from the beginning of this month. To give you some idea of what to look forward to, we'd recommend the monk fish wrapped in Serrano ham. If you're feeling a little crazy you could try the panfried squid grapefruit rocket and chilli with salsa verde dressing. Be brave for good times.

THE RIVERSIDE.

1 MOWBRAY ST.

It is very rare that you get the combination the Riverside has - great real ales from microbreweries all over the country, as well as an unbelievable selection of fruit beers, trappist beers and continental lagers.

The Riverside is a social enterprise owned by a charity and offers a vibrant atmosphere. Greeted with a smile and enthusiasm as you walk in, you really get the impression that the Riverside is more than just a pub to those who drink and work there. The music is always interesting, the menu is constantly changing and you can try a new beer nearly every time you walk in. If you want real ale in a genuinely fresh and lively atmosphere, pop down to the ever improving Riverside.

Club 60.

club60music.co.uk

There's a rumbling coming from the legendary Club 60. Famed throughout the past four decades as a place that produces great music and the current home of Sheffield's own Reverend and the Makers, it is also renowned for its old school production methods and idiosyncratic sound. With tracks laid down in the belly of the building then mixed upstairs on some of the most impressive kit Now Then has clapped eyes on, it's a pretty unique set up.

This month will see the studio develop yet another string to its bow in the form of its own in-house vinyl operation, with a view to creating what is to be known as Club 60 Singles Club. Far from a venue for speed dating, the Singles Club will be a brilliantly independent method of producing musician's work on the hallowed format without the need for a major label.

MISH MASH.

617 Ecclesall Road. 0114 268 4074.

mishmashsheffield.co.uk

It's easy to get nostalgic when birthdays come around, and we are grateful that many supporters have been with us from the start. One such place is the exquisite Mish Mash on Ecclesall Road, so we thought it appropriate to mention just how much we still love the place three years down the line.

Mish Mash is a relaxed and homely restaurant with a great choice of seasonal dishes and is run by one of the nicest chaps you're likely to meet. From 10am you can enjoy gourmet breakfasts and sandwiches, all freshly prepared using local produce. By night the menu switches to more traditional British recipes with a continental flare, again determined by the seasons and local supplier's yields. Everything is homemade, from the sauces to the blood orange jelly.

We can't do better justice to this delightful kitchen-comerestaurant than its excellent website, so get online.

The Great Poet and the Prodigal Son.

A Talk by Anne Fadiman. 3rd May, 7pm @ St. George's Church.

Anne Fadiman is an award-winning US non-fiction writer and professor at Yale University. On 3rd May she will come to Sheffield to talk about "the loving but heartbreakingly troubled" relationship between acclaimed Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his son Hartley (also a poet) by analysing letters sent between the two. It's free entry but be sure to register your interest here.

This event is the penultimate in a series entitled Seven Talks on Letter Writing organised by the University of Sheffield.