Pub Of The Week: The Fat Cat, Kelham Island, Sheffield

THINK Real Ale and Sheffield and the words Fat Cat swiftly follow.

Set in the city’s historic Kelham Island, The Fat Cat has been plying its trade under various guises since the 1830s so when the lads came home from the Crimea and the Boer War as well as both World Wars they supped a few pints there alongside the steel workers and miners of Sheffield. In 1981, its new owners renamed it The Fat Cat. Then, as now, its sole aim was to give beer lovers the taste of real ale produced by independent brewers. But we all know the best way to get a job done is to do it yourself, so by 1990 The Fat Cat was producing its own beer from a brewery built in the back yard. Since then, the accolades and the celebrities have rolled in and out. A bigger, better brewery – the new Kelham Island brewery – was built next door in 1999.

Owner Dave Wickett and landlord Duncan Shaw let customers enjoy a “glorious” pint, free from the invasion of music, fruit machines or electronic games. Certain beers are always available -– Pale Rider – the champion beer of Britain – and Kelham Island Best together with Timothy Taylor’s Landlord which has been on tap there for 30 years together with guest ales. The home cooked menu has been prepared for almost 30 years by Allison Cundy. She offers good-sized portions of meat, fish, vegetarian, vegan or gluten free food at £4 a time (£5 for Sunday roast). Quiz nights have crept into the mix – Happy Mondays. With an eight pint prize plus a home cooked curry with naan bread for £3.25 and a selected Kelham Island beer for £1.30 a pint, it is one of The Fat Cat’s many winners.

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Carmel Stewart

THE VERDICT

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