CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> Previous Beer Columns >> 2 Division Street Pubs

Previous Pint Pleasures - June 10, 2015

guinness eileen

The Tap and Tankard, 24 Cambridge Street, City Centre, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

guinness eileen

The Old House, 113-117 Devonshire Street, Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

A few months ago after work I arranged to meet Andrew and Mike for a pint at a brand new city centre pub. Formerly the Sportsman Rock Bar, the Tap & Tankard, was opened in December 2014 by Sheffield's own Kelham Island Brewery. The pub is located just down from Barkers Pool and directly adjacent to Wetherspoon's Benjamin Huntsman pub, so it's a perfect central location.

Inside we found a traditional pub updated with an urban feel and a friendly staff, and there were no TVs and no jukebox, which was refreshing for me as I'd just spent the afternoon with my ears bombarded by the constant chatter of university students. The hand pumps featured mostly Kelham Island beers, so we all went for pints of Elderberry Blonde (3.8% ABV, Kelham Island). This was a pleasant little drop, with a dry character and gently hoppy and restorative after my boring day at work. We took our pints out into the little hidden beer garden brightened with pleasing Sheffield-themed graphics and fairy lights. This was a most relaxing start to our mid-week mini pub crawl.

Since our visit the number of hand pumps has increased, featuring both Kelham Island brews and several guest ales, and they also have a selection of bottled beers. I really need to stop in again to see how things are going.

When we finished our pints we headed up to Barkers Pool and down Division Street to the Old House, which is owned by the Forum Bars group. Coincidentally the Old House is just down the road from two of its sister pubs, the Common Room and the Forum. Apparently the Old House started life in the 19th Century as the original town house of the Duke of Devonshire. Years ago I had stopped in with my friend Trevor, but the seating was mostly for the foodies who were always raving about the meals. This time there were a few tables in the bar, so we managed to find a comfortable pints-only table.

We first had a taste of Navigator (3.9% ABV, Great Heck Brewery, Goole, South Yorkshire) which was a bit too sweet for all of our tastes. A second taster was of Stancill Porter (4.4% ABV, Stancill Brewery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire) which was a bit too smooth; and finally we had a taste of Rooster's YPA (4.3% ABV, Roosters Brewery, Harrogate, West Yorkshire), which I've enjoyed in the past but was a bit too unhoppy this time. In our Goldilocks frustration we all ordered pints of the ABV-dangerous Belgian Blue, but Mike ended up getting the last pint, which was blue for a change and not purple like it's been recently -- which is fortunate, as "Belgian Purple" doesn't really scan. So Andrew and I went for Ilkley Gold (3.9% ABV, Ilkley Brewery, Ilkley, West Yorkshire), which was a pleasant brew, not overly hopped but very drinkable.

As the three of us sipped our pints and held the distinction of being the only non-diners in the pub, Andrew and Mike talked about cooking and recipes while I admired the decor which featured film posters and a print of Gin Lane by Hogarth, with a drunk woman sprawled on steps while her baby performed calisthenics. The stairway wall is covered with LPs and is directly next to a wall covered with cymbals. The theme is distinctly round which pleased me, as I am quite partial to circular things.

Along with food and cask ale the Old House features special gin nights, both educational and inebriating, making it an obvious stop on a Division Street pub crawl.

Tap & Tankard Updates
(Last updated 3 February 2018)