CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> Sentinel Brewhouse
Sentinel Brewhouse, 178 Shoreham Street, Cultural Industries Quarter, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
I’m always excited to hear about new breweries opening in Sheffield. So when I learned there was one that had opened not far from where I work I decided, against my better judgment, to go check it out one day after work. (I say that because a few days earlier I had been chatting with a friend who had been there and could not fathom why in the hell I wanted to go to the place.)
No, it’s not that bad at all. If you have plenty of money to spend, then the Sentinel Brewhouse is a great option in the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter for locally brewed real ale and craft beers. But for us mere hard-working mortals it’s a bit expensive for what it is.
I managed to find the place easily enough from Sheffield Hallam University, walking past the Site Gallery to Shoreham Street and heading toward the ring road past Matilda Street. I felt as if I were walking through my nostalgic past, passing the Sheffield Archives where I got my first British job working on the Sheffield Flood of 1864, and then BBC Radio Sheffield, where a few years ago on Rony Robinson’s show about tea I appeared as the resident coffee person.
Located in a site that used to be the showroom for Geoff Hall Carpets, Sentinel opened around three months ago. Besides the six Sentinel choices on the handpumps, which are all unpasteurized and unfiltered, there was a whole row of Sentinel craft beer taps. The place feels more like a tasting room than a pub, except that it also serves a variety of small plates as well as a range of mains and stone-baked pizzas. It definitely has an American industrial brewpub feel to it.
As I perused the handpumps, the most interesting sounding offering was an IPA, but at 6.5% ABV that was a bit strong for an after-work Tuesday pint. So I went for a pint of the much more reasonable Summer Gold (4.0% ABV.) At a whopping £3.90 a pint I reeled in pain, as if I’d been stabbed with a Samurai sword right in the wallet. But I managed to quickly dab my wounds, collect myself, and take my pint out to one of the picnic tables in the front car park. As I sat waiting for the always-late Mike (who’d taken a wrong turn on foot and ended up at Bramall Lane) and Andrew (whom I saw drive past a couple of times), I slowly sipped my pint and found it to be a gentle hoppy brew, pleasant enough, with a somewhat nonsweet caramel character.
Both Andrew and Mike managed to find their separate ways to the brewery, arriving at the same time. Andrew had the same as me whereas Mike, an American red ale fan, went for the American Red (5.2% ABV). Unfortunately it was quite disappointing and nothing like the red ales I remember (especially the fizzily hoppy Maritime Flagship Red which I used to drink regularly). It wasn’t bitter at all, but almost sweet. It was a real shame, especially as Mike had forked out a whopping £4.50 for it.
As we sipped our pints we noticed the sign on the front door advertising Brewvie Tuesdays, where they show classic films on a big screen in the back. (This particular Tuesday’s offering was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. They also feature regular Beer Academy courses and beer and cheese evenings. And if you can afford it, you can buy a couple more pints to take home in growlers, which I’ve always thought is a great idea, and I think more pubs who are proud of their cask ales should offer this option.
I can’t really think of much else to say about Sentinel. Hopefully I’ll see their beers around town eventually so I can explore further, as I can’t really justify going back to the brewery and paying a small fortune for pints that just weren’t quite that impressive. Sorry, guys.