My 2017 Monthly Specials continue in April with the local brewery called Little Critters.
I have been following this brewery closely and they just burst onto the Sheffield al scene from nowhere, they also have the advantage of 2 pubs where you will find a range of their ales ; Fox and Duck and Broomhill which I visit regularly and Doctors Orders just down the road to University Arms.
To say I am a fan of their ales is an understatement, and yet to find a bad one from them, my fav being c-monster, hazelnut stout, coffee porter. If you haven’t been to their 2 pubs you should pay a visit.
1. How did you come to choose the name Little Critters and is there a theme with animals ?
We’re the Steer family, and as local folks know, Steer’s Beers is taken. We’ve always intended to open a brewery and with our first pub being the Fox and Duck and the commonality of animals with pub names, we thought that going down this route would be a good way to have a theme to work to that’s easy to understand, we can tie in the beer’s taste, colour, nationality with an animal that sort of fits, give each beer a bit of a reinforcing character.
2. What was your first even ale you produced ? what is the favourite one you have done ? what is the strangest one you have made ?
When we first got the equipment we spent a few months brewing tiny batches that only ever went to our pubs for testing and feedback before we were happy to send stuff out to market, a couple of these very first ones ended up being tweaked into our existing products, I think the very first beer that I did on the equipment was a 7.2 cocoa nib infused porter, which came out quite rum and raisin, was a good first beer for a shot in the dark.
3. I have noticed you have done a few collabs recently, is this something you will be doing more in the future ?
It’s definitely something we’re looking at, demand for our beer has been fantastic so far this year so our next big mission is to find a way to increase our production capability to keep up with demand, but we’d definitely like to work with some other local breweries on more projects in the future.
4. Have you any planned “Meet the Breweries” popping up in 2017 ? I can remember going to the one you had at Fox and Duck a good pub to hold these more often.
We hold at least two MTB each month, but we are now selling ale across the region and so more often than not these are taking place outside of Sheffield, we do plan to do at least two MTB events later this year at both our pubs.
5. Do you think you will ever go down the route of producing your ales in a “can” ?
Interesting one this eh, we want to make the very best beer that we can, and a fundamental part of why we do what we do is that we love pubs. Could I see our product in cans, maybe yes, but we want to make the best cask ales that we can right now, get them into the best publicans’ hands and show how good a proper pint of real ale from a well kept pub cellar is.
However, there are undoubtedly styles of beer that we would like to make in the future which would be better suited to keg, possibly our chameleon series as they use the most rare hops and as such would probably suit being served with some co2 which would help enhance the hops in this style.
So in short, we’re working to get more of our product available in bottles, we might put some beer in cans if it’s the right choice for that product, but given that we are big fans of the dark stuff I think we’ll probably be looking at bottles for a while at least and we’re not going to can for the sake of being trendy
6. What is your favourite brewery and why ? (not including yours) and also what is your fav drink when doing out ?
I think that Verdant are probably my favourite at the minute, if I was going to have a local pint that wasn’t ours, I’d probably have a Sentinel on keg or a Hopjacker on cask
7. Do you have any exciting ales coming soon ? any unusual ingredients ?
We’ve come out of the first year of the brewery a lot wiser and a lot more able to get the hops that we’ve been really wanting, so there are some exciting plans in place for the next series of our Chameleon beers, particularly with some amazing Australian hops that we’ve managed to get our hands on.
8. What do you think will be the next big thing in the beer world ?, I know we don’t have a crystal ball but pretend you do ?
The NEIPA is obviously ripping up trees at the moment, fruits seem to be a pretty hot trend and I think we might see some moves in the <2.8% market (but not from us!)
9. Have you and your ales won any awards?, have you gone down the ale/food paring evening ?
Our C Monster IPA which is made from all American C hop varieties with citrus peel added during fermentation, won silver at last year’s Champion Beer of Sheffield and earlier this year our American Pale Ale White Wolf won Gold at the Champion Beer of Yorkshire Strong Bitter category and Bronze for the overall category, just getting pipped by Saltaire and Timmy Taylors, so we can accept that 😉
We’re in the process of doing a slight refurb with the Fox and Duck at the minute to install a kitchen and improve the beer garden, so we’ll definitely be looking at our options
Little Critters on Twitter – @LittleCritsBrew
Fox and Duck pub on Twitter- @broomhillfox
Doctors Orders pub on Twitter – @DocsOrdersSheff
Little Critters website is here
Little Critters on Facebook