Beer fans can meet the brewers behind the ales at Sheffield festival

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‘The brewing business is all about people’, said brewing chief Nick Stafford ahead of Sheffield festival Beer X.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a weekend of beer, food, music, Six Nations rugby and entertainment at the fourth BeerX, the flagship event of the Society of Independent Brewers.

The event at iceSheffield from March 16 to 19 is growing in popularity - unsurprising in the UK’s capital of beer - and last year people from as far away as Scotland visited.

This year it will again inlucde Brewer’s Yard, where fans can come face to face with the brewers that make their favourite ales, to ask questions and share tips.

Nick, commercial director for SIBA, told The Star’s sister magazine Profile: “The brewing business is all about people, and at all these brewers - we have nearly 1,400 in the UK - it is a lifestyle and they are not doing it just to make money.

“It is an incredibly diverse scene, these brewers have been teachers and nurses, all kinds of different careers and they are now brewing all kinds of beer.

“The key thing about Brewers’ Yard is that it is all about brewers getting face to face with consumers which they don’t often get to do.

“I hope that people do take advantage of it and realise what a diverse and exciting craft brewing environment that we have in the UK.

“We are getting people coming to BeerX from the four corners of the country, last year we had people from Scotland in their camper van.”

Brewers’ Yard will feature 20 small brewery bars, out of 50 which applied.

One of the successful entries was Derbyshire-based Thornbridge Brewery.

Alex Buchanah, from the brewery, said: “We are delighted to see BeerX coming back to the city and cementing Sheffield’s position as a great place to come and celebrate our national drink.

“The BeerX programme of conference, exhibition and festival of beer gets stronger each year as the independent brewing industry in the UK gets bigger, better and more exciting.

“We were delighted to be allocated a bar at the Brewers’ Yard a new and exciting development for BeerX 2016.

“It gives us an opportunity to showcase our beers and share our knowledge and passion for great beer with those customers coming to the festival from across the UK.”

The March edition of Profile is out now.