Breweries grow as Sheffield becomes major real ale city

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A SHEFFIELD brewery is expanding production as the demand for real ale soars.

Abbeydale Brewery, off Aizlewood Road, is now producing 124 barrels a week compared with 104 at the same time last year and it can now be increased to 150 after acquiring two adjacent units.

Abbeydale co-owner Sue Morton said Sheffield was now ‘a significant real ale city’.

She said: “In general, people are looking for a high quality product with some provenance as opposed to the anonymity of the national brewers.

“In Sheffield, there has been a massive uptake among young people, especially the 20-somethings. They are sampling all sorts of drinks and real ale is on their agenda. When we had our recent real ale festival there were a lot of young people.”

Abbeydale, which was started six years ago and now has 13 employees, including co-owner Patrick Morton, is one of Sheffield’s bigger breweries, alongside Kelham Island, which is largely credited with setting the trend for the local real ale revolution.

Bradfield, Blue Bee and the Sheffield Brewery Company are also helping to put Sheffield on the real ale map.

Wood Street Brewery has opened in the The Hillsborough and a craft brewery called On The Edge has been launched in Nether Edge.

And in the Peak District, Thornbridge Brewery’s turnover has gone up from £2.8m to £3.5m and next year’s target is £5m. It exports 15 per cent of its beers and is looking for 25 per cent next year.