It’s time to raise a glass to the Itchy Pig Alehouse – Sheffield’s newest micropub.
The venue officially opens on Saturday in the unit formerly occupied by the Knowles Emporium gift shop on Glossop Road, Broomhill.
It is the latest small pub of its kind to spring up in the city, following on from the Beer House and the Portland House on Ecclesall Road, and the Walkley Beer Company on South Road, Walkley.
The Itchy Pig has been set up by Ted Finley, a former joiner from Faversham in Kent who moved to Sheffield two years ago to be with his partner.
“Although I found work,the opportunity arose to open this, and I just really fancied giving it a go – so that’s what I’ve done,” said Ted. “I’m just very excited about the whole thing now.”
Nearly all of the work to create the pub has been done by Ted alone – he has built a large bar with a top made of two-pence pieces, brought in two old church pews from Wakefield Cathedral and scattered stools around made from tractor seats.
“It’s the same with every project, it’s a bigger job than I imagined but I’m near the finishing line,” he added. “It’s worth every minute I’ve put into it.”
On Saturday drinks on offer will include an ale from Faversham, a cider, two craft beers and a lager made in Tenterden, near Ashford, Kent.
Ted accepted that the Itchy Pig will have a flavour of his home county. “I kind of wanted to bring a bit of Kent to Sheffield, but keep as much of Sheffield in here as we can.”
He said: “Micropubs are just something very different. The main focus of this one is the bar, it’s quite an imposing feature when you walk in, and there’s no music, which really does force you to talk to whoever is around. It brings it back to how pubs used to be.”
Ted said his new venture chimes well with the city’s claim to be the world’s real ale capital, which was backed up by a detailed report from Sheffield University in April.
“Most of the pubs are drinking pubs which makes a massive change from what I’m used to down south, where it’s more about food too. The selection of beers up here is just fantastic, there’s so much choice. You can rotate them more frequently.”
And the name?
“It’s a spin-off from pork scratchings which is my favourite pub snack!”