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The world of beer is an exciting one and in Sheffield we are blessed with plenty of great breweries, shops, pubs and bars. Even if you aren't generally a beer drinker, there will be one out there for you. Just get tasting, guided by the advice of your friendly bartender or bottle shop.

To get more expertise on everything ale related, we spoke to Laura from Sheffield institution Abbeydale Brewery and Dann and Martha from the new kid on the block, Saint Mars of the Desert.

Ros Ayres

@Nibbly_Pig

Dann & Martha, Saint Mars of the Desert

Tell us about you and the brewery.

We are Martha and Dann. We're a married couple and we formerly ran a brewing company in Boston, USA. Dann has been a professional brewer since 1992 and Martha has been working in breweries for nearly a decade. We searched all over and chose Sheffield as the home for our new brewing project, the Brewery of Saint Mars of the Desert in Attercliffe.

For anyone new to beer, what would you recommend?

It's probably best to begin your beer love affair with beers made from only the traditional ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water. There's a whole world to explore in the subtleties of these ingredients.

Yeast character can range from fruity to tart, with an amazing range of flavour and aroma. When you've learned a bit about the delicate aromas you get from the addition of different hop varieties, then you're ready to explore the wider world of beer, in which sugars, fruits, wood-ageing and even smoke can become subtle - or less subtle! - natural components of the beer. Sheffield is a great place to taste a diversity of beer flavours.

We have a licensed taproom in Attercliffe

What have you been brewing recently?

We've recently done a dry, hazy grapefruit pale ale at 4% and another more simple beer that was given time to ferment to just over 7%. We brewed a Belgian-inspired beer for Easter.

Drinking in or take out - where can we find your beer?

We're just starting to get our beer out there. We have a licensed taproom in Attercliffe, where you can always find all our current beers on draught and to take home. We've delivered our beer to Walkley Beer Co, Jabeerwocky, Pour, The Devonshire, The Devonshire Cat, Booze Hound in Cutlery Works, Beer Central in the Moor Market. Soon you'll see us in the Treehouse, Bar Stewards, The Old Workshop, The Tramshed, Shakespeare's and Hop Hideout at Kommune.

What's your latest news?

Our taproom will be open longer hours and more days in the summer. We also have two very exciting pieces of equipment arriving in the next two to three months: a foeder (a 1,200 litre wooden tank used to ferment beer) and a canning line. Both of those things should lead to some great beers that we can send out to the big wide world. We hope you enjoy them.

beerofsmod.co.uk

Laura, Abbeydale Brewery

Tell us about you and the brewery.

Abbeydale Brewery was founded in 1996 by Pat Morton, soon joined by his wife Sue, who are still very much at the helm here. We've grown steadily throughout that time and have become one of the largest and most well recognised breweries in the county.

Our roots are really important to us and our reputation as a producer of consistently good quality cask ale is a huge part of this. But alongside that we've got a few beery tricks up our sleeve, like our Funk Dungeon barrel ageing and souring project, all of which allows our fantastic team of brewers to continually experiment and learn. We've been able to blend our heritage and traditions with plenty of innovation and just a dash of eccentricity.

For anyone new to beer, what would you recommend?

Don't be afraid to give things a try. Most bars will happily offer a taster and bottle shops will generally be pleased to give recommendations.

For an introduction to a straightforward beer, I'd definitely recommend our Moonshine. It's our bestseller, a 4.3% pale ale which is just downright drinkable. And if you're currently a cider drinker or even perhaps a white wine fan, I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on some of our new sour beers.

Don't be afraid to give things a try

Can you tell us more about the can designs?

We're lucky enough to work with some fantastic artists who really understand what we're all about and I think this shows in the artwork they produce.

We've recently released a Farmhouse IPA brewed in collaboration with Siren, which is the first of a two part series. The second beer, to be released late summer, will be a barrel-aged and fruited version of the original release. The labels have been designed by Barnsley-based artist Lewis Ryan to reflect the passage of time between the beers.

Drinking in or take out - where can we find your beer?

We own the Devonshire Cat in the city centre and the Rising Sun in Fulwood, so there's always a great range of our beers available in there. Moonshine is the most seen beer in Sheffield according to last year's CAMRA census, so can be found in a whole plethora of pubs. And our cans are available from independent retailers all over the city or from our online shop.

What's your latest news?

We moved into adjoining units to our existing premises in November and we've made oodles of progress already. We've got some enormous grain silos installed, new tanks and a larger storage area for our casks and cans, plus a dedicated events space which I am really excited to start using.

We've also invested in a hop cannon and have started trialling the use of cryo-hops in our beers. Try the new version of Voyager IPA with Citra, Ekuanot and Mosaic to sample the results.

abbeydalebrewery.co.uk

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Next article in issue 134

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