Hail to the Ale! Exposed chats to new brewery Little Mesters
Far from it being a perfect time to start a business, in Sheffield there are still new and unique places opening up each month. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Little Mesters Brewery.
Can you tell us a little bit about Little Mesters and how you came to launch the brewery?
Like most people who start breweries, we have a mutual love of beer; making it but mostly drinking it.
The idea to open and run a brewery is something we’ve talked about for a while. But like most pipe dreams, something that never really materialised with the other commitments we had. The opportunity to take on the brewery came around in April time last year. It probably sounds quite cliché but 2020 allowed us the time we needed to look at it in more detail and gave us a realisation that it was probably now or never.
We moved into the brewery in July/August last year, with absolutely no idea what expectations to place on ourselves. The brewery is next door to Mitchells Wines at Meadowhead (was formally Mitchells Hop House). John, and his team, have been incredibly supportive from the get go. It’s fair to say it took a while to get everything in place, with regards to licenses and the actual working of the kit. But as a team (the three of us) we have in excess of 30 years of experience within the beer & drinks industry. So we were quite well positioned to get things off the ground quite quickly.
We’re still learning the ropes, as such, and trying to improve all the time. But we’re really pleased with the progress so far and the position the brewery is now in.
And you have a tap room coming soon, right? Any news on this?
We do! We’re very fortunate to have a fantastic little space above the brewery that we will be using for tasting nights and events. At this stage, we find ourselves in the same situation as everyone else as we aren’t able to open it at present. We have loads of ideas and plans for the tap room so when the time is right, and it’s safe to do so, we’re confident in putting on some great events for people to enjoy.
You do original lagers and bitters but there’s caramocha porter and black forest porter on the webshop, safe to say Little Mesters’ beer is wide ranging?
Absolutely. From day one we were keen to brew a wide range of beers. When we launched we made the decision not to start off with just one beer and opted to have a few options for people to try. It wasn’t easy walking past pallets of beer every day but looking back we think it was the right decision.
The Little Mesters Originals Range (Lager & Bitter) is our core range of beers that will be ever present. We have a Pale Ale launching in the coming weeks that will also be part of this. The Originals are all traditional recipes, very sessionable beers, great tasting and easy drinking.
The timing of us coming onto the market fell hand in hand with the Christmas period so we were keen to put a few festive beers out (3 Wise Mesters and Christmas Pudding Stout). The feedback on these has been excellent. We are still getting orders for them, although, we don’t have many left at all.
Our aim is to always have as much of a selection as possible for people right across the board. We think beer should be accessible for everyone so having a variety of beers styles is really important to us.
What’s your favourite Little Mesters beer to date?
We’ve been really pleased with them all so far. We can’t single one out as being the best as we all have a different favourite. We spent a lot of time on the recipes for the originals range. We toyed with different flavour profiles but the end result is something we’re very proud of.
Keep up to date with Little Mesters Brewing on their website, Instagram or Facebook page. The brewery is currently offering 10% off all items on its online shop and free local delivery on orders over £20.