Former Sheffield pub landlord to judge real ale contest

Brian Morrisey
Brian Morrisey
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A self-confessed ale lover is delighted after winning a place on the judging panel of a national beer competition.

Former Sheffield publican Brian Morrisey will join around 80 judges at The Society of Independent Brewers’ BeerX Festival this week.

Brian, of High Green, has been in the pub industry since childhood, working in his uncle’s High Green pub part-time throughout sixth form, before purchasing East House at Spital Hill, where he championed real ales.

Brian, aged 62, said: “I love real ales and I’m really looking forward to tasting some new beers.

“There weren’t many pubs serving real ales when I took over at East House 25 years ago, but I was inspired by the work the late Dave Wickett was doing at Kelham Island’s Fat Cat.

“We also had a big focus on live music and subsequently bought the Riverside on Mowbray Street where we had live gigs on upstairs. I was part of the vanguard of the real ale movement in Sheffield, I suppose.”

After leaving East House, Brian took on the Wortley Arms and still uses the Arms and neighbouring Wortley Club as his locals. He left the pub industry in 2005.

“18 hour days and working Sundays finally became too much,” he explained.

Brian won the judging honour after his wife entered him in a recent competition and he will join the rest of the panel at IceSheffield tomorrow for the festival, which runs until Saturday.

Brian said: “I must confess it was my wife who entered me in the competition, knowing I’d love to take part - and I have to say, she was right!”

Tickets are available on the door.