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Beer Central: Notes from a local beer shop

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Well, it's been a wild and windy few weeks. Hope everyone has managed to hang onto their hats! These stormy nights always make us reach for the warming dark beers, and they're cheaper than putting on the central heating.

Anyway, it's an exciting time of the year for beer in Sheffield, probably as big as it gets, although the October Beer Festival down at Kelham Island Museum comes close. We're talking of course about Sheffield Beer Week. It runs from the 9-15 March and includes dozens of beery events across the city and surrounding areas. Go and find your drinking boots - you'll be needing them.

Beer

From Abbeydale Brewery's Funk Dungeon comes Heavy Nettle. Deborah had this a few days ago and really loved it. It's a collaboration brew with Church - Temple of Fun, a 6.66% Spicy Saison brewed with locally foraged nettles that's been aged in American Oak Barrels for six months. Patience is duly rewarded. The result is a delicious beer that's well worth seeking out from your local beer shop or pub.

Brewery

You know, we were a little unsure about Brew York when they first came on the scene. We saw them brewing up lots of beers over in York but their occasional funny beer names like Goose Willis and Rhubarbra Streisand, made us a bit suspicious that the beer might not be so good. How wrong could we be?

The brewery has gone from strength to strength, offering up a wide range of styles, retaining strong local links with all things York, and now they've opened a superb Beer Hall & Brewery Bar with around 50 beers available at any one time. We've been across two or three times now and love what they've done with the place. As for the beers, the hoppy stuff is great, the sour stuff has hundreds of fans, but their big dark stouts, particularly when they use their beloved Tonka Beans, are becoming modern day legends. This is a brewery on the up. Keep an eye out for more crazy named brews in 2020.

Event

This month's festival recommendation is Indie Beer Feast. Now in its third year, it's the unofficial start of Sheffield Beer Week and is held at the fabulous Abbeydale Picture House. It's a two-day event on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 March, drawing together an excellent list of UK-based and international breweries. Jules and Will from Hop Hideout are the clever folks behind this festival and they've persuaded the likes of Cloudwater, Donzoko, Mikkeller and Torrside to pitch up with some amazing beers. They've done a great job with the food and entertainment too. It's already become a Sheffield institution for many people, a real annual highlight. It's strictly ticket only and split into various sessions.

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