How The Fat Cat Started

The Fat Cat History

The building currently known as The Fat Cat was completed in the year 1850 and began life as a public house called ‘The Alma’ which later became a hotel.

After many years under the ownership of the large brewery, The Alma was put up for auction in 1981. It was purchased on 29th July by Dave Wickett and Bruce Bentley and opened as The Fat Cat on 21st August 1981. The idea was to provide an alternative to the pubs owned by big breweries, which at the time dominated the City. A range of beers was introduced that were new to the area. Prominence was given to beer from small independent breweries, and a guest beer policy was introduced, the first ever in Sheffield. The Fat Cat became the first outlet in the city for beers such as Fullers, Boddingtons, Greene King, Marstons, Theakstons and Timothy Taylors. Traditional scrumpy and unusual bottled beers were also introduced.

Sheffield footballing icon Derek Dooley pulled the first pint on opening day with a no smoking room being introduced, the first in the area. Open fires were reintroduced for winter, and it was decided to have no music, fruit machines or other electronic games or machines in favour of a more traditional pub emphasising conversation. Home cooking was introduced with a menu that always has a choice for those wanting meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan or gluten free food.

Kelham Island Brewery was built in the beer garden of the pub in 1990 and brewed its first batch of beer in September of that year, going on to brew Pale Rider, 2004’s beer of Britain and other beloved ales such as Kelham Best and Easy Rider.

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