Sheffield’s oldest independent brewery has been saved from closure.
Kelham Island Brewery announced on Thursday that their doors will be staying open, despite being forced to close back in May due to the rising fuel and utility costs.
The Instagram announcement post read: “With huge excitement and a real sense of responsibility, we’re delighted to announce that a group of likeminded Sheffield individuals have joined together to ensure that the beers of Kelham Island Brewery will live on.
“When we first heard the news about the closure in May we were as shocked and saddened as everyone that such a key part of Sheffield’s brewing heritage was to disappear. We couldn’t imagine a time when we wouldn’t be able to pop into the Fat Cat in Kelham Island for a pint of Pale Rider.”
The like minded individuals that pulled together to save the iconic brewery, include James O’Hara, venue owner and Tramlines co-founder and Simon Webster and Jim Harrison from the pub chain Thornbridge Brewery, amongst others.
When the brewery opened it was the first independent brewery to open in the city in over a hundred years, revolutionising the beer industry into what we see today.
Talking about his decision to save the brewery, Tramlines co-founder James O’Hara said: “It’s generally really tough out there for businesses at the moment. It seems that a week doesn’t go by without another brilliant small brewery announcing their closure. We were all gutted when we heard about Kelham Island going the same way. I was drinking a pint of Pale Rider in the Fat Cat within an hour of hearing about it.
“I was driven by being a fan of their beer, particularly Pale Rider, which is such a classic beer. It’s a hugely important part of Sheffield’s brewing history and we all felt it was too vital to lose. I feel humbled, it’s been a huge team effort and to be doing this with such a great bunch of people is the right way to do it. A group of people from Sheffield doing it for the right reasons.”
The brewery’s most popular beer, Pale Rider, even won a Champion Beer of Britain award in 2004. It will return to the Fat Cat, the Brewery’s neighbouring pub, by no later than 19 October.