The best pub in city - and that’s science

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Five PhD students have come up with a maths formula to rate and rank best city pubs. After a year of ranking and rating Colin Drury found out what was officially best...

By day they can be found in laboratories researching subjects such as ecology, palaeontology and biomass gasification.

But by night, these five science PhD students have been tackling an entirely different - some would say far more important - study.

The quintet have been on a mission - using stats, facts and a touch of maths - to discover the best pub in Sheffield.

And now, three months after The Diary first revealed this most selfless of scientific projects, they have come up with their final results.

And *drum roll please* the best pub is...

Wait, though. Here’s a quick question: why did these boozy boffins - that’s Tom Young, Sam Slater, Pete Weston, James Craven and Steve Muddimer, all 25 - decided to undertake the hiccup-inducing research in the first place.

“Well...” ponders Tom for a second, as The Diary sits with the group in the garden of the winner. “Mainly because it’s given us an excuse to go to every pub in the city.”

They have done too.

The ale academics, who all live in Walkley and Crookes, came up with 13 scoring categories (including everything from scoring to seating), established a scoring index and devised a maths formula to weigh everything into one final percentage mark. Then they visited every pub and did the ranking.

Indeed, interest in their research has been such that, after The Diary spoke to them last time, plans for a phone app - called Rate Good Pub and which will allow individuals to have their own say - have gone into overdrive. It will be released in September.

But for now, this evening, the lads are giving out certificates to the three top venues according to their own research.

And *drum roll please* the best pub is...

Wait, though. When The Diary last spoke to the five midway through their research, Shakespeares - the real ale pub with a missing apostrophe in Gibralter Street - was leading the way. But no more. What changed?

“That was after a single visit to each pub,” explains Sam. “We’re scientists and you don’t conduct a science experiment just once. We felt, to be rigorous, we should go back to the top 20 a second time.”

So - what dedication! - they did.

And the winner is...well, see the exclusive list below. They are officially the best pubs in Sheffield.

“And you can’t argue with science,” says Tom. “If anyone wants to thank us for the research, they can definitely buy us a pint in any one of those.”


1. The Fat Cat, Kelham Island, 83.3%

2. Kelham Island Tavern, Kelham Island, 79.6%

3. Gardners Rest, Neepsend, 78.9%

4. The Sheffield Tap, city centre, 76.2%

5. The Blake, Walkley, 75.8%

6. Shakespeares, West Bar, 74.9%

7. The Rising Sun Inn, Fulwood, 74.3%

8. The Sheaf View, Heeley - 74.0%

9. The Rutland Arms, city centre, 72.7%

10. The Cremone, London Road, 70.3%

11. University Arms, Brook Hill, 69.3%

12. The Broadfield, Abbeydale, 68.5%

13. The Wellington, Shalesmoor, 67.8%

14. The Rose and Crown, Wadsley, 67.7%

15. The Harlequin, Kelham Island, 66.3%

16. Red Deer, city centre, 66.0%

17. Ranmoor Inn, Ranmoor, 64.3%

18. The Closed Shop, Crookesmoor, 64.0%

19. The Riverside, Kelham Island, 63.3%

20. The York, Broomhill, 60.4%