I am a freelance writer living based in Sheffield. Check out my blog of the Berlin music scene at fourquartersofberlinmusic.blogspot.co.uk.
Published September 21st 2012
Located inside a former Budgen's supermarket at the heart of West One, The Hop combines a traditional real ale house with a contemporary, live music venue. This ambitious project was the brainchild of Ossett Brewery.
Opened in 2011 The Hop has quickly made a name for itself winning Best New Bar at the 2012 Exposed Awards. It provides a welcomed alternative from the trendy cocktail bars on West Street and the free live music on weekends keeps punters flocking through the door.
A wall ordained with vintage rock posters, graffiti art and images of Sheffield's indie elite divides the venue inside. On one side, a spacious dance floor overlooks Devonshire Green through enormous bay windows.
Friday and Saturday nights see live cover bands take to the low stage to perform intimate sets to the eager audience. You can be screaming your lungs out to Bon Jovi classics one minute and then dancing to the latest Killers track the next. It is free entry all night with acts starting around 9.30pm and continuing well into the night.
The bar itself contrasts with the bright and lively dance floor. Exposed brickwork, tall archways and stained glass mirrors transform this vast space into a cosy, cellar bar. The gothic gargoyles recreate the atmosphere of a dimly lit tavern.
Here you can sit around the antique beer barrels and sample the ales on offer. Ossett brewery has gone out its way to provide quality ales at reasonable prices with most pints costing under £3. There are four permanent Ossett favourites, including the Excelsior, and four guest beers consisting of two local ales.
For those who prefer something lighter there is also a selection of continental lagers, draught cider and an array of spirits available.
Arrive before the music starts and order from a selection of award winning pies served with mushy peas and mash potatoes for £5. Just the sustenance you need for the night ahead.