Little Critters Brew won gold for their Nutty Ambassador at the 44th annual Beer and Cider festival at Kelham Island Museum.

Photo by Lucy Hubbard

The festival was hosted by Sheffield and District Campaign for Real Ale across the weekend and attracted more ale drinkers than ever before.

Over the past five years the number of breweries within the UK has risen by 64%, according to accountancy UHY Hacker Young.

John Mills, a local ale brewer, said why he thinks small breweries and independent beers are becoming more popular.

“People like to know where their food and drink comes from, less people now are buying from supermarkets or big named brands because they like to support their local economy.

With craft ales, the focus is really on the flavour and quality which makes it more enjoyable for people, they’re drinking ales that they’ve never tasted before.”

Brewers believe the key to a successful craft ale is making it different to everyone else’s. Mills said: “By producing it all ourselves and then selling it in only one pub, it makes it unique. Such as our 9.6% chocolate vanilla porter which is made with cocoa nibs and Madagascan vanilla-pods.”

More young people are drinking craft ales now especially in the big cities, but it’s happening all over.”

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