Sheffield is a city that's built on industrial heritage, with Sheffield steel being a world-leading material for decades during the industrial revolution. Those steel workers? They would have drank this. Probably.
A traditional English bitter brewed using classic English bitter barleys like Maris Otter, Crystal and Tipple; along with some more modern and fruity American hops to balance the palette.
As a Sheffielder myself I have a vested interest in this one and can vouch for the reputation Kelham Island has as a centre of both Sheffield culture and brewing quality.
The aroma is malty but quite sweet with a touch of hops, which is a little unusual for a bitter as hoppiness doesn't generally come out in the nose. The pour too is unusual, coming out more like a dark amber colour rather than the deep, coppery red that is normally associated with the style.
The taste is a little bittersweet but then the malt combinations bring out a very pleasant malt flavour that combines with a slight fruitiness that is very much hedgerow fruits like berries, very much in line with the traditional bitter.
It is very smooth with little carbonation which makes it morish, the hoppy aftertaste working to balance the malt throughout the flavour profile.
The bottle is definitely a reference to something, but i'm not sure what. It could be related to Sheffield's rock music history with bands like Def Leppard hailing from here.
There's also a steel connection with the crossed-cutlery backplate on the guy's outfit and the hammer and spanner he is holding. Whatever it is, I love it.
The beer name adorns the front of the label in quite a unique font, with 'The Taste of Steel City' underneath. There's a latin motif 'deo adjuvante labor proficit' which is on Sheffield's coat of arms and translates as 'With God's, our labour is successful'.
It's a very funky label, with lots going on and lots to like. It's definitely busy, but eye-catching and would stand out on shelves of plainer labels.
Most Sheffield supermarkets will carry this in their beer aisles, but i'm not sure how far-reaching it is around the rest of the country.
You'll probably be able too find it in bottleshops or online at Craft n Berry where it's just £2.60, although it is currently sold out.