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British Hops

British Hops

British hops logoIt’s no secret that here at Abbeydale we don’t shy away from hops. Those of you who have seen my short video blog showing off our hop back in "Abbeydale Brewery We Love Hops" will see how we try our utmost to get all the essential hop oils and good stuff out of them.

I personally have always said "Wherever you can grow good wine grapes, you’ll grow good hops" and while I still think this is true we don’t want our drinkers to overlook the fabulous range of home-grown little green gems on our doorstep. Of course when I say doorstep, I really mean the UK in general. There are over 20 different varieties to choose from and with such a wide spectrum of beautiful flavours why wouldn’t you!? Achievable characteristics commonly found in our native hops include: Citrus (well what else!), spice, pepper, grapefruit, tangerine, marmalade, mint and in some cases apricot and blackcurrant.

It is with this in mind we have decided to jump on the Charles Faram Well Hopped Campaign and aid them in showcasing exactly what our English hops can do. We have decided to run with Dr. Morton’s Four Yorkshiremen of the Apocalypse and packed it with East Kent Goldings, Challenger and Bramling Cross hops and – in true Dr. Morton style – each in suitably large quantities! Since we are so proud, we will be flying the flag and showing off the British Hop Association’s logo on our pump clip publishing the fact that this beer has been brewed with love as standard but also with 100% British hops. This 5.0% ABV monster will be on sale from Monday the 4th November 2013 and for the pump clip collectors out there, it will be the first pump clip to date with a collaborative logo on it.

For further information on British hops (including some pretty pictures), log on to

Full tasting note: "An assertive English Pale Ale packed full of wonderful, juicy English hops. Mainly East Kent Goldings, Challenger and Bramling Cross and in abundant quantities. Flying the flag for our native hops. Offering sweet lavender, thyme and cedar- like aromas. Whilst berry fruit freshness like Loganberry and Blackcurrant come through, there is also a more-ish honey-like undertone. It’s also reit nice an that! "

Enjoy everyone and let us know what you think 🙂

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Tramlines Ale Launch Party

Tramlines Ale Launch Party


The "Tramlines" beer launch night started as you may expect any other Thursday to start in Sheffield; with intermittent downpours of Biblical proportion. We lucky few escaped the deluge and were pleasantly serenaded by a few of Sheffield’s sprites under the roof of one of the steel cities’ favourite institutions; The Harley. 

The launch began with an explanation to the uninitiated on how this years beer would be chosen. Simply; we would be given the choice to vote for one of two different beers and the favourite would be put into production for the attendees of Sheffield’s "Tramlines" festival to enjoy.   

After the excitable murmur of how retro the vinyl stamped pump-clips looked was brought to a simmer, it was time to get down to the beers themselves.   

It was a pleasure to witness the ignition of senses by our beers, as it’s praises were sung by those whose taste buds were tantalized. A spectacle that humbles any hard working brewer.   

The Golden "Tramlines 1" got my vote. The wonderfully subtle toffee flavour coming from the cara-malt seemed to be balanced beautifully with the US Cascade hops which both resonated harmoniously with my pallet.

However, it seemed that the paler, Galaxy hopped "Tramlines 2" made more of an impression in the Harley. With it’s tropical notes and citrus edge paraded around the place, I got the impression this may be crowned the victor. 

If this is true, it affirms Sheffield’s insatiable appetite for pale hoppy beers. Good news for us at Abbeydale!


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Call for Tramlines Tasters

Call for Tramlines Tasters


Tramlines, The UK’s biggest inner city festival, is calling on ale fans to help them choose the Tramlines 2013 official ale.

This year the official Tramlines Festival Ale comes from Abbeydale Brewery. The Sheffield based brewery has come up with two ales that will go head to head on Thursday 23 May.

The Harley on Glossop Road will be hosting the Tramlines Ale Launch Party from 7pm, giving punters a chance to enjoy some free music and take their pick of the contenders. Tramlines tipplers will be able to have their say on which of the two ales should be sold at the festival.
Both Tramlines Ale 1 and Tramlines Ale 2 will be available in venues across Sheffield on the run up to the festival but only one will be sold over the festival weekend.

Which side of the tracks are you on?

Punters can vote on their favourite Ale via a ballot box at the Harley or by using the hashtags #TRAMLINESALE1 or #TRAMLINESALE2. All the votes cast on the night will be counted and the winning ale will be sold across the festival weekend.

Sarah Nulty, Festival Director at Tramlines said: “Sheffield has a fantastic real ale community and some brilliant breweries and we need to celebrate that. The Blues Stage and Ale Trail are key parts of the festival and real ale is something that our punters love. A Tramlines Ale has become a staple part of the festival now. We are selling both Tramlines ales at only £1.50 for one night only while stock last and at that price you can afford to try both.
“We’ve got great ale, great music and lots to entertain. It should be a fantastic night, and what better way of starting the bank holiday weekend. Come on down and have your say on which ale should win.”

Live bands and DJs will be playing from 8pm including Ham Pocket,? 50 Sniffs and The Grand Old Ukes Of Yorkshire.
Tramlines, returns to Sheffield for its fifth year on Friday 19 July to Sunday 21 July with a bigger and better music programme than ever before.

Regular line-up announcements will be made over the coming weeks. Confirmations already include Lianne La Havas, David Rodigan MBE, Toddla T Sound, Maurice Fulton, Theo Parrish, New Young Pony Club, Shangaan Electro, Fenech Soler, Slow Club, Jim Jones Revue, The Invisible, 2.54, Friends, Duke Dumont and Dutch Uncles

A limited number of weekend tickets (priced at £15 plus booking fee) are available at

Last year’s Tramlines saw over 150,000 people turn Sheffield into one massive festival over three days, creating the feel and atmosphere that rivals any green field festival site.

Find out more about the artists playing Tramlines 2013 at

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Now Then Magazine Celebrate Their 5th Birthday

Now Then Magazine Celebrate Their 5th Birthday

Happy Birthday to the guys at Now Then magazine Sheffield (and now Manchester).

To celebrate, they asked us to do a beer for them…again.

When you start serving this beer OR purchase a pint of it, please tweet @AbbeydaleBeers or @NowThenMag using the hashtag #nowthen5, or email [email protected]. Any stories you wish to share – let us know where you are, who you are and most importantly what you think cos we think it’s right good. Cheers!

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The Return of the Angel Beers

The Return of the Angel Beers

Back in February 1999 the Angel beers made their first appearance. They were conceived as a pair of beers. Patrick, always the scientist, always the experimenter was interested to see just what difference adding roast barley made to the flavours in a beer with the same hops. So Archangel and Dark Angel came about. Each has the same hops in the same quantities but a different malt grist. Archangel is a classic Abbeydale pale ale with 100% low colour malts while Dark Angel has a grist which includes good dose of roast barley (an ingredient often associated with Guinness).

And the results? Well Patrick’s curiosity was satisfied by the experiment and the beers have made an appearance every few years and sold well every time. So try them and tell us what the differences in flavour are. Start or further your education in beer flavours and the amazing difference just a portion of one ingredient can make.

Archangel Dark Angel

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Dr Morton’s Amazing Pumpclips

Dr Morton's Amazing Pumpclips

The Dr Morton’s range of beers and pumpclips are produced for Abbeydale Brewery by artist and designer Ivan Bradley. The clips are a real success, every beer sells out with ease and the beers are now brewed two or three times in the month if there is capacity available. The clips have a very distinctive and coherent branding whilst retaining the ability to surprise and amuse. The clips provide a talking point on the bar and are popular with Publicans and have become collectors items. For Abbeydale Brewery they have provided a source of easy additional sales.

Abbeydale Brewery has always put out beers under the Beerworks name and logo; originally this was an alternate name for the brewery and has always been used for occasional beers.

Some years ago Ivan Bradley, artist and designer for Abbeydale, came up with the idea for a range of pumpclips initially based on a medicine-show theme with names such as Snake Oil and Horse Tonic. He called these the Dr Morton’s series. Ivan, being in charge of the website at the time, put the few images he had up on the site and from time to time mentioned how well he thought the clips would do to sell beer.

Doctor Morton's Snake Oil Doctor Morton's Goat Flush

Patrick Morton, owner of Abbeydale was not impressed. To be fair one of Ivan’s original names was Goat Flush (the "jewel in the crown" according to Ivan). Patrick, who had no intention of ever producing bottled beer, said he thought they would do better as bottle labels and there the matter rested until late 2007.

In 2007, Mark Hill of Brewers Wholesale, contacted Abbeydale with a view to taking their beers and said how much he wanted to try the Dr Morton’s beers because he loved the pumpclips. So Patrick bowed to commercial pressure and a deal was struck where a single brew of each of the Beerworks beers would be produced each month with Brewer’s Wholesale committing to take the majority of the brew and Abbeydale undertaking to sell the rest to their regular customers. The first Dr Morton’s, Snake Oil, was launched in March 2008. Initially Dr Morton’s were bi-monthly.

Despite Patrick’s misgivings, these new beers with their weird pumpclips sold well for Brewer’s Wholesale who would often make additional orders and regular Abbeydale customers began to get quite cross when they "missed out" on getting a nine of the new Dr Morton’s. The pumpclips also quickly became collectors items. On a Meet-the-Brewer night at the Temple Hotel in Matlock almost all of the questions were about the Dr Morton’s range. So, given their success and Ivan’s continued inventiveness, it was decided to make just about all of the Beerworks specials Dr Morton’s.

Now, the Dr Morton’s beers are brewed two or even three times in the month (brew length approx 12bbls initially, rising to up to 35bbls currently, less for higher ABVs of course), if there is the brewing capacity to do so, and always sell out with ease. For the brewers they provide a chance to try something new and different and much fun is had formulating new beers. For the customers they provide entertaining pumpclips – people often ask for them to be taken off the pump so they can read them properly. So, for the Publican they provide a talking point on the bar.

The design of the pumpclips – there are about 23 in the set so far – is characterised by the background which is nearly always green and with an emphasis on typography rather than imagery, through many of them have images too. Ivan continues to generate names and designs with no end in sight. He says that to check he has a design which fits the overall scheme he imagines an old fashioned village shop which sells everything with an little old shopkeeper who buys his vast range of remedies from the travelling medicine man, Dr Morton and asks himself if it would fit. Dr Morton, of course, is a compound mythical, charismatic, salesman, barker, showman and representative to general stores, agricultural merchants and veterinary supply houses. If the design works as a Dr Morton’s product on the shop shelf, it will work on the bar. The shop of course is timeless – maybe a wild west general store or a 1940s grocers or ironmongers. Such is the mind of an artist.

We do revisit these beers from time to time and over the course of a few years expect to cycle through all the beers again. Some have already had more than one outing.

The pumpclips are also humorous, often with a left field take on the name and an apparent misspelling which adds to this. Some are incredibly wordy, some are a simple name and image. Apparently Ivan understands how all this fits together. The sales are the proof of the pudding. In November 2008 the Dr Morton’s special was Goat Flush. Apart from the odd double take when selling the beer on the phone, there was no outcry and the beer sold well, by then people had got the joke, understood there was always a good beer behind the weird green pumpclips and were happy to drink Dr Morton’s Goat Flush, although it did make an appearance on the bad taste policing website Pumpclip Parade. The only one of ours to do so as far as we know.

As a set we think these pumpclips are interesting, entertaining, sometimes provocative and extremely coherent as a brand. They are instantly recognisable and yet their diversity is such that the brand is unlikely to run out of steam anytime soon, so long as Ivan and his sense of humour remain intact. Coming up this year have gems such as Moose Abuse Juice and Insane Root.


  • About Us

    A true Sheffield institution founded in 1996, Abbeydale Brewery blends heritage and tradition with creativity and innovation, showcasing these values across an unparalleled range of beers.

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    Abbeydale Brewery Ltd
    Unit 8, Aizlewood Road
    S8 0YX
    Telephone: 0114 281 2712
    Email: [email protected]


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