The Bessemer, No.1 pub in Sheffield (on What Pub)

Tonight’s bonus blog post is about search engine terms.

I always wonder how some folk reach my blog through Google. Do they type in “Great pub blogging“, or DIY tips“, orunlistenable modern music suggestions” ?

Apparently not. These are the four largest discrete search terms on retiredmartin this month;

I like the idea of someone just typing on “oooooh” and reaching my blog and would like it on my gravestone.

Meanwhile, type “Sheffield” in to What Pub and you get a similarly odd listing of pubs, none of them your expected beery classics.

Which I guess is a reminder that Sheffield may have 30 GBG entries, and as many again that would make the cut in Guildford or Grimsby, the vast majority of the city’s pubs aren’t that beer driven.

My in-laws let slip that they’d been to the Bessemer, No.1 on that list, after Mass at the Catholic Cathedral. Without me. I was, frankly, ashamed my father-in-law had been to a pub I hadn’t, and set out on Monday to rectify that omission.

I took the route through Kelham so I could capture some more of that street art you love.

The actual beating heart of Sheffield, which houses the Bessemer, the British Coal Staff Scheme and Humpit* Vegan Restaurant, the Bess is not, perhaps, the best advert for the “Beer Capital of Britain” (ugh).


But I won’t have a word said about Stonegate. Not since they started giving the CAMRAs 50p off a pint. Not that I’ve felt able to use those vouchers to save pubs since April 12th. How could you, in a world of Apps and overworked staff.

The Bessemer is a quarter full at 15:15 on Monday, Scotland v the Czechs somehow failing to fill the bench seats.

I take the high road seats, the better to enjoy the atmosphere created by the bangin’ soundtrack;

Yes, it’s the Stonegate “Fun Pub“, the one for mature customers with glitter balls and big screens and puns on Lionel Richie and Bowie and a soundtrack of Marvin and The Beatles. A pub for the not-quite-yet gentlefolk.

No-one seems to be watching the Scots game attempts to win set pieces, and with the volume set to mute so you don’t sing “Flower of Scotland” (though you can sing along to Hanson) it’s a sterile atmosphere.

I’m encouraged to use the Stonegate App, which delivers me a pint of Bombardier at Spoons prices, expertly held by the rim and served in a Landlord glass.

It’s also about 13 degrees, I reckon, and tastes like the first one pulled, even at 15:30. NBSS 2, I note.

But after a while during which nothing happened, I started to wonder if the menthol and eucalyptus sweet I’d crunched an hour earlier might have influenced my Sommelier-like judgement, and if I’d claimed that 10% discount it might have scraped a 3. I should have asked my father-in-law what he scored it, but he seemed more impressed by the chips.

And then they play Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold”, and I make it my Pub of the Day.

*Houmous & Pitta, Russ

11 thoughts on “The Bessemer, No.1 pub in Sheffield (on What Pub)

  1. Ah yes, football in pubs – our first pint in the beer garden yesterday came in a proper glass, but an hour later the next arrived in plastic ones “because the football will soon be on” – so we clung limpet-like tom our empties so as to transfer.

    But here’s a thing – I couldn’t fit it all in. On inspection the plastic glass had a line, a rim near the top and it appears that a pint is to this but it was brim full. It’s perhaps to avoid spills as the flimsy stuff flexes, but oversized they definitely are.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some plastic glasses have half litre as that line below the rim so beware.
      We might all agree on here that plastic glasses are an abomination.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s simply a case that the WhatPub search algorithm identifies a particular spot as the centre of each town or city, and lists pubs in order of distance from that. It’s not making any kind of value judgment. In Stockport, #1 on the list is Se7en (the former Stockport Arms), which is No Real Ale.

    Is the Bessemer a former Spoons?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I know it’s just postcode driven, and of course the very heart of a town is rarely the best place in town. In Stockport you get Se7en as your first search result. Ever been there ?

      Don’t think Bessemer is former Spoons, there’s two very similar looking Spoons side-by-side just round the corner. Very Smith & Jones !


      1. Incidentally, I wonder how many tourists DO use What Pub to select their pubs and take the first on the list. In Manchester it would be Town Hall Tavern on Tib Lane, which I confess I can’t remember ever seeing !


      2. Not in its current incarnation, although I did when it was the Stockport Arms. If started off as a café/coffee shop type of place and only later metamorphosed into more of a bar.


      3. The Swim Inn at 217-231 Glossop Road is the only Sheffield venue I know Tim to have disposed of.
        Known locally as The Drowned Rat ?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s