Publicans move into brewing

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A father-and-son team behind two Sheffield pubs and an IT firm have added to their business interests by opening a brewery.

Mark and Matthew Steer have bought a unit on Parkwood Road, Neepsend Industrial Estate, to house Little Critters Brewery.

It is part of Lancar Ltd, a business which includes an IT firm as well as two highly-successful pubs, The Fox and Duck in Broomhill and The Doctor’s Orders on Glossop Road.

Mark began brewing his own beer to sell in the pubs just over a year ago.

He said: “We made a few different brews which were tested with my family and then we adapted recipes from there.

“Little Critters is looking to brew eight cask ales which are made up of five core ales and three bottled products.

“I think you are seeing a trend of people wanting to return to locally-produced products instead of mass market varieties.

“People want more choice and want to support local businesses which is part of the reason you are seeing more microbreweries like Little Critters.”

One new job has been created at the brewery and Mark plans to add to the workforce as it develops.

He borrowed money from NatWest and the bank’s asset finance partner Lombard.

Gavin Senior, of Natwest, said: “I was delighted to support Mark and Lancar on the purchase of a new site for the Little Critters Brewery.

“It’s a great business which continues to grow and I wish the business every success for the future.”

Established in 2012, Lancar Leisure’s first acquisition was the Fox and Duck in Broomhill.

Following a refit the student pub only sells drinks, but has a ‘bring your own food’ policy.

Now in its third year, it is “exceeding targets”.

The firm’s second boozer is The Doctor’s Orders on Glossop Road, formerly the West End Hotel.

Lancar also helped Abbeydale Brewery ‘reposition’ The Devonshire Cat, in Sheffield city centre, to boost trade and relaunch its flagship pub, The Rising Sun in Nether Green, Sheffielld.