My Monthly Specials 2017 continues with another in May, showcasing the best and up and coming exciting things in Sheffield, we have pubs, bottle shops, micropubs, breweries, beer bloggers, its got everything.
Beer Central, we have all heard of this wonderful place situated in the Moor Market near the front entrance in a small area with loads of bottles, cans from around the world, if you haven’t heard of this place …. Where have you been?
You can follow them on Facebook here
You can follow them on Twitter ; @BeerCentralLtd
So let’s get down to the questions
- How did Beer Central start?, was your plan when you started what you envisaged now ?
What we have now is exactly as we planned, perhaps a little bit busier than we ever imagined but we love that of course! haha. I used to be a teacher in Barnsley and Deborah had been made redundant from the travel industry. I used to moan about the lack of really good beer in Sheffield’s bottle shops and then, over a pint in Sheffield Tap, decided to go for it ourselves!
- Tell us a bit about what you sell ? styles, abv, cans, bottle, what flies off the shelves ?
We sell every type of style we can. From a traditional Best Bitter to an out there super strong Stout or Sour Beer. We love the fact that we have so many different types of customers. We literally have customers who buy a bottle of stout for a beef pie & then customers who’ll pay £30 for a rare bottle of something special. We love that contrast and it keeps us on our toes. In terms of popular styles, IPAs tend to sell the quickest – very popular.
- You have done a few collabs with breweries and food/beer pairing, so tell us what have you done so far and any plans for the coming year ?
Yes, we’ve done three so far. A Mango IPA with Dave at Steel City, an Imperial Brown with Yorkshire Parkin & Ginger with the clever folk at Lost Industry. Late last summer we went across to Scarborough to brew a Raspberry Ripple Pale at North Riding Brewery. Every beer was fantastic, we’ve been very lucky. No immediate plans for our next collab, but we’ll get organised with something soon. Perhaps it’s time to ‘go home’ and brew something with a Barnsley brewery!
- You have won many awards so tell everyone what you have won ? (I have seen the Exposed trophy)
Actually, we’ve been short-listed for a fair few awards but we’ve only won one! The good news is that the people of Sheffield voted us as Sheffield’s Best Indie Business as the recent Exposed Magazine Awards. We’ve got the trophy in the shop and we’re proud to have won such an accolade. It was an exciting night at the O2 Academy.
- I am currently drinking a can of Northern Monk – Black Forest Strannik purchased from your shop, so what do you like to drink ? also what is your fav brewery and why ?
I honestly don’t have a favourite brewery! I’m the same with music, no favourite band, I prefer to have favourite tracks from dozens of different bands. Just the same with beer, I have favourite beers across various different styles from all sorts of different breweries. If I was hard pushed to make a specific choice, I’d have to say Omnipollo (Sweden) – Noa Pecan Mud. An 11% Imperial Stout with creamy chocolate and pecan nut flavours. Like drinking a luxurious pudding!
- With you being so successful do you have any plans to move into a shop, somewhere bigger ? is it not the right time ? what does the future hold for you ?
We’re very happy where we are in The Moor Market. It’s a real community of independent businesses in there and we love the atmosphere. Despite having a small shop we continue to sell more and more beer, it never stops and our ‘click and collect’ and mail order services via social media mean that we’ve expanded massively without needing a bigger shop. We do keep taking more and more warehouses though, got to have somewhere to store it all! haha
- At the moment a few bottle shops are now doing keg lines and drinking bottles/cans in their shop, is this something you want to expand to in the future ?
Not really in our plans. We focus totally on bottles, cans, mini-kegs and keep it simple. More and more people are drinking at home too, so it works well. As a bottle shop, the minute you add keg lines the bottles/cans sell less quickly and many beers need drinking fresh, we don’t like the amazing hoppy beers we sell to hang around!
- What do you think will be the new big thing in Sheffield ale wise ?
Well, Little Critters have really upped their game recently their Hazelnut Milk Stout is superb. Other breweries that constantly innovate are Steel City, Lost Industry, Abbeydale and of course Sentinel are pushing the flavour boundaries too. Perhaps the ‘new big thing’ will revolve around pubs. More micro-pubs are opening soon and of course pubs like The Rutland, Shakespeare’s and The Beer Engine get more and more exciting each and every week!
- I am just looking at your reviews on Facebook from customers and they are very glowing comments and think you are just fantastic, what is important in running a good shop like yours ? do you take great pride in what you do ? (I am sure you do)
We adore what we do, love it when our customers are full of smiles and drinking great beers. We keep it simple – stock great beers, become friends with our customers, price things fairly and make sure we let people know what we’ve got available. Other than that, we just make sure we’re having a good time!
- The question I have always wanted to ask you, will you ever go into the pub/brewery side ?
No plans to do that at all – that doesn’t mean we’re not ambitious though. We just think we can continue to improve Beer Central over the next few years and that will take up all of our time. We also (secretly) like to go on holiday as often as we can, always looking to try new beers, make new contacts and enjoy a happy life
- You have a whopping nearly 6000 followers on Twitter and a few thousand on Facebook, must be a full time job looking at all the comments and messages, so with the spare time left … what does Sean do in his spare time?
Our social media commitments do take up a lot of our time, but we enjoy engaging with everyone. The great thing about online communication is that we can do it from wherever we are in the world. Messaging & posting from Filey, New York or Jersey is just as easy as being at home or in the shop! Thank goodness for the Internet! haha
Me and Deborah also love tennis and go to a few tournaments when we can. I’m also a fan of Yorkshire’s No.1 football team…………….. Barnsley – of course! 😉
- The UK has great ale cities/towns so besides Sheffield which other place/s do you like and which would you recommend to the public to visit?
We both used to work in the tourism industry, so we like to travel whenever we can! Sheffield is a wonderful city and we get loads of beer tourists in our shop. As far as our own trips, we love cities – London is great and has a fantastic range of pubs and bars, Edinburgh too. Leeds is a top beer destination and grudgingly I suppose I should also mention Manchester! haha
We also fancy a trip to Bristol – some brilliant breweries there, expect us to visit there soon!