April 2023.

Attendees at CAMRA’s Sheffield AGM raising some issues with the beer quality at the members bar would have been well advised to take a short walk out towards the town centre, where the University Arms and Bath Hotel offer high quality local cask.

Walk another 5 minutes past approx. 372 (excellent) Asian restaurants and you arrive at the bran’ new Vocation & Friends.

Yes ! Following in the footsteps of That Halifax and little Manchester, Sheffield has a branch of Hebden’s finest.

Quite exciting for some of us, even if their beers at Society have never been quite as cool and crisp as you’d hope.

But Sheffield have got it right in their first week of opening.

The bellwether Pride & Joy was cool and crisp and sherberty* (NBSS 3.5), the music eclectic and served at the right volume as well.

And the young staff were really cheery and welcoming. “Good choice, buddie“. Or is it buddy.

OK, it’s not bench seating but that’s my only mild gripe. It was so lovely I did the thing you must NEVER do on a Wednesday lunchtime and go for the 8.6% DIPA. At least it wasn’t the Banana Cookie Dough Cheesecake Stout; Blackpool Jane will want that.

Ooh, brave good choice” said the barman.

Across the room, young folk with laptops were still on their third sip of a half while I decanted the keg DIPA into the cask glass.

A sure sign you’ve just consumed an 8.6% DIPA too quickly is that you order a takeaway you don’t really want at an improbably early hour, and so it was that 25 minutes later I was striding confidently towards Noodle King, just off West Street. If you see this;

you’ve come too far.

It always feels oddly decadent taking your Chinese takeaway on the tram, rather than walking the calories off on the hill. Today I got the bonus of a view of the re-opened Hallamshire Hotel, newly shorn of the Bloo88 frontage.

Just show us the crispy beef and noodles already” says Dave.

It was really good.

* I know what I mean by that.


      1. You mentioned Singapore rice too. I never see that. Just noodles. You invent that too?


  1. Who is this S. Herbert, and why are we invited to compare our beer with his?

    Yes – re the street art – a man in Ireland once directed me to “turn right just before you see O’Reilly’s garage”…


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