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Sheffield Beer Week

Sheffield Beer Week returns from 14-20 March for another seven days of showcasing our most delicious local bottles, pints and tankards. We had a chat with Jules Gray from Hop Hideout, who is coordinating SBW, about what's going to be popping up over the city to satisfy our thirst this month. Tell us a little bit about Sheffield Beer Week. The first Sheffield Beer Week was coordinated last year and was inspired by the 1,000s of visitors attending the SIBA [Society of Independent Brewers] conference and BeerX Festival up at iceSheffield in March. The idea was to showcase Sheffield's wonderful beer scene and venues to all those visitors, ensuring people travelled around and explored the city while they were here. This year we have beer-focused events, from 'meet the brewers' to tap takeovers, beer and food pairing events, brewery open days and more. We've also talked to local chefs, breweries and beer enthusiasts to collate a selection of recipes which we're publishing and sharing on our website. How many venues have you got involved? There are over 25 venues - breweries, pubs, bars and beer shops - involved in this year's Sheffield Beer Week. We've put together a beautifully polished and designed map with the help of Sheffield-based Eleven Design, called A Sheffield Beery Map. How has the event evolved from its debut last year? The event has evolved to encompass more new beer launches from breweries this year and collaborations which we're incredibly excited about. Collaboration is a key element and it's great to see this happen in action. True North Brew Co are hosting a couple - one with Sheffield brewery North Union and a Manchester brew day at their new brewhouse with Blackjack and Runaway. Abbeydale have a twist on a stout launching too and I'm looking forward to sampling Thornbridge's new Irish-style dry stout at their first pour event on St Patrick's Day at The Bath Hotel. New for 2016 are our Twitter Hours, where we ask people to get involved on social networking sites to discuss topics such as beer cocktails. These hours will be hosted with partners alongside @SheffBeerWeek and the aim is to engage people both online and in person in talking about beer. We've also international breweries hosting events - Brooklyn and Founders Brewing at Hop Hideout, and more Yorkshire breweries too, including Exit 33, Stancill and Brass Castle. Are there any other events for the beer enthusiasts in the meantime? There are a number of pre-Sheffield Beer Week events going on in the run-up to the official week. The best thing to do is to check our website. What are your top picks of the festival? The launch party at True North Brew Co's new brewhouse behind the Forum on Saturday 12 March is a top pick. The venue is currently being refurbished and they've allowed us in early doors to celebrate, so it'll be exciting to see the first phase of development of this new brewhouse and tap room venture. My second top pick is the Buxton Brewery event at Shakespeares on Friday 18 March from 5pm, a tap takeover and meet the brewer from this highly rated brewery. Thirdly, our closing events at new brewhouse and tap room Sentinel on Shoreham Street and Picture House Social for the final after party. Should we expect a Sheffield Beer Week 2017? The plan is to keep it as a yearly event in the second week of March, sitting alongside SIBA's conference and festival. We're not affiliated in any way with SIBA, we're an independent beer-focused events-led group, but I think the two work really naturally together, bolstering and creating an additional buzz round the city. sheffieldbeerweek.co.uk )

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