A small group of Sheffield CAMRA members recently visited the Little Critters brewery at Neepsend. Head Brewer, Will Inman, currently brews three times/week on their 10 bbl plant.
As well as selling beer to the free trade, they supply their own two pubs. The widest range is available at the Fox & Duck in Broomhill where the beer is available at very reasonable prices and is popular with both students and older locals, with the top selling beer being Blonde Bear (4.2% ABV) of which the Fox & Duck gets through more than 55 gallons a week! Their other pub is the Doctors Orders, located between the University of Sheffield and Royal Hallamshire Hospital, the food service at this pub is busy with both students and hospital visitors. Note the beers here are renamed to fit the pub theme.
Little Critters also have a reputation for quality and have already won awards, for example their C Monster, a 6.5% Citrus IPA was Silver Champion at Steel City Beer Festival 42 last year.
Contract bottling, on an external site, has been utilised. However, quality control, has meant that the brewery currently hand-bottles small batches.
Little Critters are currently finding that demand is outstripping supply. Hence, despite been open for less than a year, the brewery is currently looking for a new home. They intend to stay in the same area as the water supply suits their beers.
With the popularity of their regular beers, a lot of brewing time is taken up simply keeping up with demand, however as they have just celebrated their 100th brew they did manage to get in a few specials with a Hazlenut Milk Stout recently hitting the bars and a collaboration with Hopjacker coming up ready for Sheffield Beer Week which will be lemon citrus all the way!
Thanks to Will for an interesting, and useful, visit.
Dave Pickersgill & Andrew Cullen