CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> Previous Beer Columns >> 3 Nether Edge Pubs
The Broadfield Alehouse, 452 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
The Union Hotel, 1 Union Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Earlier last year, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Andrew and I stopped in at an old pub with a new identity, the Broadfield. My previous visits to this pub were back in the days when I used to accompany my local's pool team to their away matches, and I remember the Broadfield as being a rough and ready expanse of pool tables and lager. Recently, however, the local pub group that owns the York, the Old House, the Common Room, and the Forum have taken it over and converted it to a pleasantly inviting cask ale emporium.
Dating from 1896, the pub was built by Albert Twigg on a dairy farm surrounded by meadows, pastures, and fruit orchards. Today the pub sits on the edge of Nether Edge on one of the main routes in and out of Sheffield. It's a large pub arranged around a central bar, and the huge back garden, which was packed on the sunny day we visited, is very inviting and sociable.
We ordered pints of Vespers (4.3% ABV, Abbeydale Brewery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire) and took them out to the back garden that was full of mostly university-aged people and a handful of older parent-type people. We sat at a table and chatted with a group of young men who were discussing their band. Our pints were good: a dark brown brew with a good hoppy bitterness with a slight but not overpowering taste of malt, making it another decent beer from the very local Abbeydale Brewery. I especially liked the pump clip art that featured a nun riding a Vespa. While we sipped and chatted I noticed a girl in a cat print, another in a swan print, and several tropical flower prints, and lots of sunburns. It was definitely a summer day.
The second time I stopped in was with my walking companion Trevor, when we took a long walk through the leafy neighbourhood of Nether Edge. This time I started with a pint of First Best (3.8% ABV, True North Brewery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire. This is a typical "best" but with shades of Pacific Northwest hops, and the hoppiness grows and grows on you. It's a proper Northern beer. We sat again in the rear garden which wasn't as populated as the previous time, but it gradually began to fill up with people eating pies. I followed up my pint with a magnificent half of Deception (4.1% ABV, Abbeydale Brewery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire). And I thought I had died and gone to heaven. When Deception is good it's the most wonderful brew in the world. Along with the Ranmoor Inn and Shakespeares in Shalesmoor, I now know I can count on the Broadfield for a glorious Deceptive experience.
Along with 8 cask ales the Broadfield also offers 4 cask ciders, 2 non-alcoholic wheat beers, and one non-alcoholic cider. I was surprised to discover the choice of 96 whiskies includes my rare Orkney favourite, Scapa! The pub also features lots of bottled beers including a number from America and Belgium, as well as wines, spirits and cocktails, including 9 different gins and no less than 3 different tonic waters. So there is definitely something to drink for every human on this planet.
The food menu features pies and sausages, although there are other items as well. Pies seem to be big these days, although I don't really understand why...
Hidden in the heart of Nether Edge is a classic pub called the Union Hotel. On the same walk in which Trevor and I ended at the Broadfield, we specifically sought out this pub. Located on the 22 bus route on a cool green corner intersecting with Machon Bank Road, the Union is an old-fashioned pub with old-fashioned decor: old-fashioned plates on the walls, nice stained glass above the bar, low beams in the bar room, curved arches inside and out, and a very obedient (porcelain) Dalmatian sitting in a tiny room with a fireplace. On this Sunday afternoon it was very quiet, with the only inhabitants being older male locals scattered about the various rooms. We felt as if we had walked into a vintage still life of a pub -- in fact we could feel the sienna washing over us as we ordered our pints. I learned that actors from the now-defunct Merlin Theatre used to frequent this pub. That image definitely fits in with the place.
There were 4 cask ales on, including Landlord Bitter and a couple of Abbeydale ales. We both had decently traditional pints of Black Sheep (3.8% ABV, Black Sheep Brewery, Ripon, North Yorkshire). We sat out front where a light warm misty rain was falling and admired the white shutters on the original etched windows. Trevor reminisced about his days at the Brentwood Tennis Club nearby, and I simply fantasied about reminiscing about such things. It was a perfect setting for reminiscing, fantasizing, mulling over, and anything other activities related to quiet contemplation.
(Last updated 6 May 2017)