After a series of pop-ups in vacant shops in Crookes and Walkley, Kit Challis established a permanent home for his Walkley Beer Company in the old florist’s shop on South Road. An off licence-cum-sit-down venue, Walkley Beer Company initially started to compliment Kit’s freelance game development work and has quickly taken on a life of its own.
As Kit says, “I just tried to set up somewhere that I’d like to go” – and that shines through, making it a comfortable, easy space to relax in, with a great selection of beers to drink in or take home.
Currently, WBCo. is open on Fridays and Saturdays, offering three casks and a wide range of bottled beers from the likes of Siren, Kernel, Wild Beer and a rotating cast of Belgian imports. On the horizon, it hopes to create a hub for local home brewers to share recipes and tips by stocking homebrew equipment and ingredients. Maybe we’ll see the first original beers from Walkley Beer Company itself before too long.
You'll find Walkley Beer Co. in our top 3 list of Sheffield bottle shops. And here's Kit, on his favourite drops:
Top 3 local breweries/beers?
On The Edge. I don’t buy anywhere near what I’d like to from these guys. Their beers are super tasty but very limited in production. There’s no point picking an individual beer as they probably won’t make it again. Exit 33 – all of their beers that I’ve tried have been good. Attention to detail goes a long way. As much as I love a super hoppy IPA, their well balanced malty New England Best bitter is great. Blue Bee – I’ve been really impressed by their beers recently. Helps that they’re very nice people too!
Favourite ‘special’ beer?
Just the one? Magic Rock is always up there (Ringmaster, Highwire, Salty Kiss). Yeastie Boys was great, an IPA with green tea (I think, it all got a bit fuzzy in Leeds that day). Is it wrong to mention a beer I’ve not tasted yet? Look out for Cloudwater.
Favourite Sheffield pub?
It varies based on my mood and the tides, but it’s between the Sheffield Tap and The Blake.
Favourite thing about Sheffield?
It’s a cliche, but the people. I’ve met a lot more of them since opening the shop and they’ve genuinely all been really nice.
- Words by
- Greg Povey
- Images by
- Gemma Thorpe