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Updated New Online Shop Now Live

We have updated our online shop again so that as well as selling our Brew Foundation bottles and cans, you can now buy beers from other breweries stocked at our tap houses The Ale Club. This means there are nearly 200 different beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks and snacks available for UK postage, local Sheffield home delivery or in-store collection from either of the Ale Club pubs.

As well as bottled beers we also sell draft beer available in 2 and 4 pint containers. So you can enjoy your favourite real ale or craft beer from cask or keg at home (you can even buy some Beer Pig pork scratchings to go with it to complete the “pub at home” experience. Haha). The only thing to point out is that we can’t post out the containers of draft beer unfortunately. They’re only available for local home delivery and in-store collection. Simply select “Local Home Delivery” or “In-store collection” at checkout.

Alternatively, both of our tap houses are open for walk-in takeout every day 3pm until 7pm: Ecclesall Ale Club is located at 429 Ecclesall Road, S11 8PG, and the Fulwood Ale Club is located at 4 Brooklands Avenue, S10 4GA.

Thank you so much for supporting local independent businesses like us during these difficult, restricted times. We hope you’re all safe and well.

By in Beer Home Delivery 0

Brew Foundation webshop now live

It’s now possible to buy your favourite Brew Foundation beers online! We have just launched our online shop here (or click “Store” from the top menu).

We are selling packs of 12 beers, either mixed or individual, for £39 with free postage and packaging. Our postal boxes are super tough- a padded box within a box so beers will arrive to you in one piece.

Order placed before 4pm will be dispatached the same day.

Enjoy!

By in Uncategorised 0

Craft Beer World Cup: The Favourites – Brazil

Brazil World CupAre you enjoying the football? You aren’t the only ones! News broke that there could be a beer shortage (a crisis in our minds!) as demand is so high. Harry Kane’s last minute winner might be held responsible for this. The World Cup isn’t just about the football, it brings the world together and what is the best way to share culture? Beer! With Brazil being tournament favourites we thought we’d check in to the Brazil craft beer scene.

Brazil might best be associated with diversity, colour, carnivals, cocktails and Latino culture but it’s climate and resources offer the opportunity to brew vibrant beers, best enjoyed cold on warm, humid days.

Brazil craft beer has had a growth spurt, these days it’s widely available throughout the country from supermarkets to ‘hipster bars’ (yep, there’s hipsters in Brazil too!) and restaurants, offering Brazilians many opportunities to grab a decent beer, brewed with skill.

Brazil Craft Beer OktoberfestThere’s several key breweries that are currently favoured in Brazil, inspired by Europe and America. The European influence can be traced back to the 1800s when German immigrants brought their beer craving with them. This continues today, Brazil’s Oktoberfest is one of the biggest in the world, lasting 18 days, attracting 730,000, proving Brazilians, love beer as much as their carnivals! There’s plenty of other beer festivals that happen in the country which are highly attended.

Although South American beers are yet to have a major impact on the craft beer market, that could be changing thanks to unique ingredients and palettes which have woken up interest from the likes of Brooklyn Brewery and Mikkeller.

Due to the hot weather, hops are hard to come-by and importing can be expensive making brewers think more creatively. Dia da Cerveja Imura is an event that produces some of the most diverse beers in the world as no yeast, hops or water are allowed! What makes the taste unique is that many breweries are ageing beers in barrels previously used for tropical spirits.

The wealth of natural ingredients can be found in many pints including Amazon Beer, who use passion fruits and coffee can be tasted in Cervejaria Colorado’s iconic Demoiselle.

2cabecas Brazil Craft Beer2cabecas are the brewery you’d hope for in Brazil, their passionfruit IPA and Funk IPA have that tropical taste, from one mouthful you are ready to party.

4 years might not seem long but in craft beer times it can be like a lifetime and Hocus Pocus have become well established in South America with Belgian golden ale, Magic Trap and their American pale ales.

Nina JeffreyJeffrey, from Rio de Janeiro are on of the most recognisable breweries in the country, two of their most popular beers are influenced by Europe, Nina, brewed like a Belgian white beer and their Pilsen has a familiarity to Germany. Three Monkeys, also from Rio offer something a little different with their popular Wit Vezpa, an Indian white beer.

Three Monkeys Brazil Craft BeerSao Paulo is Brazil’s most cosmopolitan city and the heart of craft beer scene. Cervejaria Nacionak are one of the front runners thanks to their citrus Mula IPA, guaranteed to bring the party to life, coming in at 7.5%. The high-rollers in Sao Paulo clearly love their stronger beers as Cervejaria Invicta’s popular imperial stout will leave you buzzing at 10.8%!

Growth in sales and the number of Brazilian craft breweries is growing 40% year-on-year. Who knew the Brazil craft beer scene was as vibrant as their party spirits? It’s probably the reason Neymar is always falling over! There’s plenty of football left, it’s best watched with a beer in the hand, our bottle shop at Ecclesall Ale Club is fully stocked with beers from around the world.

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Craft Beer World Cup: The Hosts – Russia

Russia World CupYou might have heard, there’s a football thing happening right now. Football is great but it’s much better with a nice pint in your hand. This years World Cup is being hosted in Russia, everybody’s favourite worst enemy. If they aren’t trying to poison people they are probably downing their finest vodka, but wait, there’s more to Russia than killing off spies or vodka, the Russia craft beer scene is booming right now.

If you are heading to the World Cup you don’t need to pack your suitcase with cans of your favourite beer on the 2,0000 mile trip, they have some great bars and breweries. Don’t fancy risking your life in planet Putin to taste what the Russian’s are brewing, they export too!

Unlike many, Russia’s craft beer scene revolves around the darker side of a pint, the stouts and the porters, which kind of suits the perception of the country. Tropical pales can get lost when drank in the countries cold weather and winter warming food.

The Russia craft beer inspirations can be traced back to London in the late 1600’s when Russian tsar, Peter the Great enjoyed stouts and porters drank by the dockworkers. Ever since, Russia brewers have continued to take influence from Britain but switching it up a level, as in, making the ABV higher, again this keeps in line with the stern Russian perception. The Russian Imperial Stout was born.

Soviet Russia (1922 – 1991) saw restraints on the availability of ingredients, making drink habits change. Vodka and mainstream lager became much more accessible but since the turn of this century the Russia craft beer was revived and their dark beers saw the light again!

Af Brew RussiaThe scene has grown fast, craft beer bars, shops and breweries have been popping up across the vast country. AF Brew from St Petersburg were the first to excite Russian’s with a pale ale whilst Rule Taproom and Craft RePUBlic in Moscow showcase the countries best breweries which are devise and unique. Jawsspot is one of the most successful breweries in Russia, their pale ale can be found all over.

Rule Taproom Russia Craft BeerSt Petersburg plays a key role in the Russia craft beer scene, it’s the home of Stepan Razin (no longer on operation) and Vena, Russia’s first breweries were founded here whilst tap rooms and microbreweries can be found throughout the city including Redrum and Bakunin Brewery.

Russia might not have the best reputation as a holiday destination but that can all change after the World Cup which seems to be going smoothly so far… It’s got an interesting history, great buildings and from the sounds, a vibrant and growing craft beer movement. It’s the third biggest producer of beer in the world.

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Barcelona Craft Beer is One to Watch

Barcelona is best known for tapas, wine, pick pocketers and art but the Barcelona craft beer scene is growing fast and it’s not hard to see why!

The city offers more than most as it’s not only a vibrant hub with an iconic past but also a creative future. What makes it unique is its surroundings, greenery and the sea. This, along with the climate gives the food and drink real authenticity as natural ingredients are readily available and seasonal. Those vineyards are gifted with its resources, the reason their wine tastes so good. They have started to use this to make exciting beers which are largely influenced by America but you can taste the Mediterranean twist.

Black Lab BarcelonaIn the last few years breweries have been appearing in Barcelona. Black Lab, the first tap room in the city is situated right by the sea, the perfect location for the freshest ingredients. It is a real gem for beer lovers, whether local or tourist. At Black Lab you’ll find a range of beers and beer infused cocktails, they brew and experiment onsite but they also collaborate with breweries from around the world. Barcelona is full of great food but if you’re enjoying the beer too much then eat in!

NaparBCN Barcelona Craft BeerBlack Lab is perfect for capturing tourists but if you’re looking for something a bit more ‘Barcelona’ then head to Eixample. You’ll be in beer heaven as local bars have embraced the craft beer trend whilst the area also has BrewDog and Mikkeller bars. NaparBCN is something special. It’s a classy place, not a dirty tap and their beers are just as good as the marbled interior. Initially, NaparBCN was going to be a restaurant, celebrating the city’s best ingredients, as the Barcelona craft beer scene developed the guys behind the food saw that they might as well make the beer if they are making the food.

Edge BrewingAway from the centre there’s Edge Brewing. Founded by two Americans, Edge have capitalised on the new craft trend, using their experience and local ingredients to produce wow-factor beer.

Other cool places offering the best in Barcelona craft beer include Olgod in Raval and the wonderfully named Bollocks Bar in the Gothic Quarter.

As cities go, Barcelona is relatively cheap, like most, craft beers can get pricey but you will be pleasantly surprised when the bill comes. You don’t really need an excuse to visit but if you do, make it a tasting trip. There’s more to Barcelona beer than Estrella.

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Sheffield Food Festival

Sheffield Food Festival logoSheffield Food Festival 2018.

Bank Holiday Weekends come in thick and fast in Spring and it seems like we’ve struck lucky two times running with the weather. Sheffielders love a festival, there’s always something going on, and Bank Holiday Weekends make another excuse to indulge. The Sheffield Food Festival is taking over the city centre for the eighth year running.

We are proud ‘makers’ here. We always have been and we are particularly good when it comes to food and drink (read about our breweries here and here). We have everything from independent restaurants from all cultures to highly skilled butchers and artisan bakers. The Sheffield Food Festival takes over the Peace Gardens and continues down Fargate with stalls offering the best of Sheffield, all in one place.

Ice Cream Sheffield Food FestivalFor the first time the festival kicked off on Friday, unfortunately that was the day the sun decided to have a break so it was a bit of a wash out but that wasn’t the case for Saturday which brought out thousands of people to the city centre. There was an upbeat atmosphere, queues on almost every stall, entertainment, music and bars, everything local. Why go for your typical big name brands when we can do better ourselves? The bars included beer from Kelham Island Brewery, Stancill Brewery & Sentinel Brewery whilst True North provided the gin.

Beetle Juice Sheffield Food FestivalThere’s street food traders offering burgers (Cow Boys), poutine (Gravy Train), brat wurst (Get Wurst) and much more. The ice creams sellers were particularly popular thanks to the decent weather.

If you want to do something interesting over the Bank Holiday Weekend, fill your stomach at the Sheffield Food Festival, it’s on until Monday and the Eats, Treats and Beats Village on Fargate stays open until 11pm on Saturday and Sunday.

By in Brewing 0

Guest Brewery #5 Cloudwater

CloudwaterHow much is too much for a pint? It wasn’t that long ago when us northerners would avoid London beer prices. £3? Na, I’m happy up hear, thanks. What about £13? Last year Cloudwater, possibly the most hyped craft beer brewery around hit the headlines with their £13 pint in London. Sadly it’s not only London where you’re paying more than a tenner. Is this Cloudwater’s fault? Is there more to the story than the headline and, most importantly, would you pay it?

No. Yes. The third question needs to be rephrased. Are the short answers. Let’s dig a little deeper…

You are reading this because you have an interest in good beer. You don’t need to be sold to but there’s more reasons behind the price than just hype or a label but the hype doesn’t help, especially for the likes of Cloudwater. The Manchester brewery have only been going for a few years, they are relatively small but they’ve had to grow up fast and that, in itself doesn’t come cheap. They are also small in terms of the amount of beer they can brew and when you’re making headlines, whether for good or bad, you are going to be in demand. They have had to hike prices up to keep to high standards and to slow down the demand.

Breweries don’t get into it to make lots of money, they want to make beer they love and that’s why people like what we do, we want to be proud about the product. A hand brewed beer, made with love, care and the best ingredients is incomparable to a pint of lager made on mass, by machines with low quality ingredients. You can find yourself paying a fiver for that anyway. With some craft beers, like the famed 9% double IPA we’ve got to change our mindset and think of it like you would a good bottle of decent wine, then the price doesn’t seem that bad. You wouldn’t buy a pint of wine and you probably shouldn’t buy a pint of this either, you’d be steaming. You get what you pay for.

Who are Cloudwater and why should you give a shit? The name might be kind of new (established 2015) but the brewers certainly aren’t. They’ve been making (and drinking) beers for years now so it’s not just some amateurs, jumping in on the bandwagon Nathan Barely style. They pride themselves on using seasonal ingredients which not only ensures that they have the ability to make beers in their prime but they can continually change their range. They are always tweaking their recipes as they look for improvements. Cloudwater’s signature Double IPA has evolved over the last two years as the brewers have gained new inspirations, it’s currently at v3.1. They are the Heston Blumenthal of beer; adventurous, innovative, sometimes daring but it’s the end result that really matters.

Based in the centre of Manchester, underneath Piccadilly train station arches (their tap room is worth a visit), Alphabet Brewery and Chorlton Brewery are their neighbours. Sheffield might be the beer capital but Manchester is becoming a strong competitor!

What’s your budget for a good pint? Or half? Or a third? What about a glass of wine with your meal? Probably about the same. And, five quid for a pint of shitty lager or a third of something decent? Think of it like a treat, rather than a session drink, there’s plenty of other great beers to choose from after your tastebuds have been tantalised by Cloudwater anyway.

They aren’t in the worlds top 15 breweries in the world for the sake of it.

For more information on Cloudwater, visit their website. Want to taste what all the fuss is about? Pop into the Ale Club, if it’s not on tap, you’ll find some cans in the fridge to drink in or take home.

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Will Arctic Monkeys bring the Kings of Music crown back to the Steel City?

Arctic Monkeys 2018The Steel City gets overlooked as a city of importance compared to many in the UK. London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin and Glasgow are celebrated more than Sheffield and it seems a bit unfair. We’ve always produced quality, our steel was the best in the world, our beer is and our music scene has had defining moments for generations.

Over the decades our musicians have impacted the sound of pop culture from Def Leppard’s stadium rock anthems in the 1970’s to the electro shift in the 80’s thanks to the Human League. Pulp’s arty take on guitar music coined a different direction for Brit Pop in the 90’s. These bands weren’t the only ones in the city, they were just the ones who broke through to the mainstream but underneath the genre leaders was a vibrant scene that made life up north not so grim.

Music scenes come-and-go. After the heady days of Brit Pop, there was a lull in guitar music as dance music and raves became the phenomena and again, Sheffield offered a helping hand with influential club nights at Gatecrasher. Whilst this was offering an outlet for many, there was a new group of boys in bands, inspired by The Strokes, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon and The Libertines.

Sheffield Steel City isn’t a pretentious city, it’s not overly cool or try hard and the bands who were bringing indie back looked more like they’d come straight from a pluming job or they were off to a football match, but they weren’t ‘lads’. A new scene was forming, The Leadmill, The Boardwalk, The Fuzz Club, The Harley, The Fez Club all played an important role in this new sound that was spearheaded by Milburn who were more influenced by Oasis than The Strokes.

Arctic Monkeys 2003After a couple of years of gigging throughout Sheffield Milburn weren’t the only one picking up guitars in Sheffield. There was 1984, The Dodgems, Little Man Tate, The Long Blondes and of course, High Green’s finest, Arctic Monkeys. This quartet, friends with Milburn nailed their sound relatively quickly. Their first gig took place at The Grapes in the Steel City in June 2003 where they covered Hotel Yorba by The White Stripes.

Over the following 18 months they built up a fan base through gigging, supporting the likes of The Ordinary Boys and Tom Vek but their fans didn’t exclusively come from the Steel City. This was a unique time in music where the internet was building music scenes on web forums. Arctic Monkeys often get labelled the first band of the internet but it was actually The Libertines who took advantage of breaking the fourth wall and using forums to interact with fans. It wasn’t just a platform to do this though, it gave likeminded people to talk to each other, make friends and share music. Arctic Monkeys gave out demos at their gigs and fans uploaded and shared these songs on forums such as the libertines.org and MySpace. It was a natural and authentic move that took the media and the band by surprise.

Arctic Monkeys debut albumAt the time the NME was the indie kid bible and they started taking notice in early 2005. The band were selling out The Boardwalk (whilst working on the bar), with a crowd singing their songs, word-for-word without any official release. By the end of the year the Arctic Monkeys had become the hottest band in the country, they had number one singles, sell out tours and so much hype that helped elevate the whole Sheffield music scene. Bands like Milburn, who had been around much longer than the Monkeys were benefitting.

Arctic Monkeys AMWhatever People Say I Am was released in January 2006 and it remains the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK. 12 years on and the band haven’t looked back, their sound has evolved as they have grown from teenagers to global rock stars. This Friday (11th May), the band release their sixth album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. This is the long-await follow-up to the flawless AM (released in 2013) and expectations are high. People always say that following up a successful debut is the hardest but there wasn’t any signs of that when they released Favourite Worst Nightmare.

Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base HotelThe bands forthcoming arena tour (including 4 nights at the Sheffield Arena) sold out immediately. There’s going to be ‘pop-up shops’ this weekend across the world (including Barkers Pool in the city centre) and a petition for Alex to shave of his beard (it does look a bit daft). After 5 consistently good albums and 5 years since the highly regarded AM, is this going to be the difficult sixth album or will they put the Steel City back on the map?

By in Events 0

Smo Fo Pit Stop May Bank Holiday

Smo Fo Pit Stop May Bank HolidayDon’t you just love this time of year, we’re seeing glimpses of summer and the weeks get shorter as we are bombarded with Bank Holidays. Great, isn’t? When the two combine you really need to embrace it as it’s pretty rare. The Easter weekend was a bit of a write off which was unfortunate for Smo Fo Smoked Food who launched their first BBQ event Smo Fo Pit Stop in the Summit House car park in town. It wasn’t BBQ weather, it was bloody freezing!

If Carol from BBC Breakfast is telling the truth then they have nothing to worry about as the sun will be shining for the second Smo Fo Pit Stop on May Day Bank Holiday. That’s right, a full weekend packed with sunshine! Smo Fo Smoked Food have been supplying the city with smoked bar snacks, designed to partner craft beers for over 3 years now, the Pit Stop takes them into new areas. The business started out as a butcher, supplying Sheffield’s pubs with pies and scotch eggs and the growth has been a natural course of events. If you haven’t tried their smoked pork scratchings you don’t know what you are missing out on!

Smo Fo Pit Stop Meat MenuYou might not think a BBQ in a car park in the middle of the Sheffield is the perfect combo. Usually you can enjoy the risk of cooking burgers and sausages in your garden. Smo Fo takes things up a level with a taste of the Deep South without having to fly 10 hours to enjoy what Texas has to offer (it’s worth a visit though!) just across the road from the Plug from Friday through to Sunday.

It’s not glamorous but it doesn’t need to be. They haven’t settled for some pulled pork and beef brisket, their menu is extensive, covering the best off Texas and beyond with Asian Baus and steak burgers, obviously their pub snacks are available too.

Sm Fo Pit Stop Closed Shop MenuIf you aren’t a meat eater don’t worry, The Closed Shop have put together an equally delicious sounding menu. The Vegan friendly BBQ includes burgers, koftas and soya Mac and cheese.

And the best part?

What goes perfectly with meat? BEER! They’ve gone and pulled the double with picking some of Sheffield’s best breweries to quench the thirst including Sentinel Brewery, Abbeydale Brewery and us!

There’s live music and DJs across the weekend too.

If you want to enjoy the sun, eat good grub, some great beer and music over the Bank Holiday weekend then Smo Fo Pit Stop ticks the boxes! Children and dogs are welcome for this free event.

More info on the Facebook event page.

P.S. Save money on an Uber and burn off those calories with a Olo yellow bike

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Guest Brewery #4 Magic Rock

Magic Rock BreweryHave you looked in the fridge at your favourite beer stop and been blinded by brightly coloured cans? It’s probably one by Huddersfield breweries Magic Rock who became national favourites almost immediately.

Magic Rock CansThey started as a trio back in 2011 and the team has grown to 30, helping to supply the increasing demands and run their tap room, open 6 days a week.

Inspired by the American craft beer scene the 3 beer fans wanted to create something similar, to sell locally, which, back in early 2011 wasn’t easy to find. These days their beers are bold, unique but delicious. They like to be creative with ingredients but priorities taste over experiment and they’re available in cask, keg, bottle and can. Magic Rock haven’t reinvented the wheel, they have just improved the performance with their proactive attitude.

High Wire Magic RockHigh Wire is their ‘go-to’ beer, popular on tap or in cans, you’ll have seen it in the Ale Club. This West Coast Pale tastes of what Magic Rock were first inspired by, American pales. It’s full flavoured, hoppy and 5.5%, memorable, unless you have a few too many. The term ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ isn’t one that Magic Rock live by as they have reinvented their classic with a second version of the best seller, High Wire Grapefruit, perfect for those who love a punch of tart pink grapefruit infused in their beer.Magic Rock Grapefruit High Wire

Inhaler is a new favourite to the Magic Rock pale family, this session comes in at 4.5% and it’s tropical fruits make it easily drinkable for a sesh.

Magic Rock sours Salty KissSours aren’t for everybody but Salty Kiss is a great introduction for newbies, sharp on the first taste but the gooseberries settle down into something refreshing.

Their adventurous side comes out with the triple coffee porter, Common Grounds whilst they cater for the lager louts with Dancing Bear which will embarrass the corporate brewers.

Their tap room is based on the outskirts of Huddersfield city centre and opens Tuesdays to Sundays. At weekends they host events, food and brewery tours. For more information about Magic Rock visit their website.