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Previous Pint Pleasures - February 22, 2015

guinness eileen

The Brothers Arms, 106 Well Road, Heeley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Last year I was excited to learn from my former manager that a new cask ale venue had opened in Heeley, just up the hill from the Sheaf View. Formerly Ye Old Shakespeare, the pub has been taken over by four-fifths of the Everly Pregnant Brothers, Sheffield's treasured ukulele parody band, and the name has been changed to the Brothers Arms.

As Heeley is on the other side of town from us, we finally got around to making a special trip across the city centre valley to check out the pub. It's a small pub made up of several rooms and an L-shaped bar. There is a smoking area outside as well as a separate beer garden with a great view of the Madina Masjid mosque and the city centre skyline, as well as a Chinese Christian church just across the road.

It was an early Sunday afternoon and the place was decently populated with what appeared to be regulars. As we stood at the bar deciding between the eight hand pumps we chatted with the barman who knew Sheffield's cask ale pubs well, especially over on our side of town. I opted for a pint of Polaris (4.5% ABV, Pictish Brewing Company, Rochdale, Lancashire), which featured pleasingly zoomy hops producing a speed-of-light zip along the tongue. Andrew had a pint of Raspberry Blonde (4.0% ABV, Saltaire Brewing Company, Shipley, West Yorkshire), with a subtle raspberry essence emanating from a lightly hoppy pale ale. Andrew thoroughly enjoyed it, even though he thought it was a bit of a girly beer.

We sat in the front left room surrounded by pictures of Yorkshire seaside towns -- Bridlington, Whitby, Scarborough -- as well as the usual vintage Sheffield photos. As we sipped our pints an old dog stood and stared at us, an unfinished bag of crisps on the floor in front of him. We were obviously the most fascinating thing he had seen for awhile. Perhaps it was Andrew's pork pie which he was bravely battling through forkless that intrigued the dog. Just before we left we perused the custom-made jukebox stocked with one of the Brothers' CD collections. With selections including Pulp, Richard Hawley, Amy Winehouse, the Specials, and Etta James. I could have happily parted with some pound coins if we'd had more time.

Our second visit was on a very quiet Monday of a long weekend I had off work. We were served by a different but again very friendly barman. This time I had a pint of Sladek (4.4% ABV, Pictish Brewing Company, Rochdale, Lancashire). With an unsurprising first taste, this gradually gets quite interesting, tasting of citrus with perhaps a touch of guava. It proved that perseverance definitely pays. Andrew had a pint of Growler Bitter (3.9% ABV, Nethergate Brewery, Clare, Suffolk), which is a good traditional bitter. "A spot-on session bitter" is the precise way that Andrew described it.

This time we sat in the front right room amid graphic signs displaying Everly Pregnant Brothers songs. As we had come for a light lunch we both had pies this time. Andrew's was a pork pie with chilli and coriander, and mine was a homity pie, both made with a water crust. Both were again a bit bland in flavour but of very high quality, and they were made so much tastier with the addition of a little English mustard. Our pints and pies came to a little over £7.00, so this was a cheap date. And as we enjoyed our pints and pies we were serenaded by the dulcet tones of Led Zeppelin, the Pretenders, and the Sex Pistols.

The Brothers Arms offers live music on Monday nights and an occasional folk session elsewhere during the week. Word is getting around quickly about this great little pub, so you should stop in while you can, before the masses of cask ale drinkers all find out about it.

Brothers Arms Updates
(Last updated 24 March 2019)