A short hop to a brewery dream

Brewer David Steeple at his Mosborough premises.
Brewer David Steeple at his Mosborough premises.

Another brewery is up and running in Sheffield.

A couple have realised a long-held ambition in launching Fuggle Bunny Brew House between Halfway and Killamarsh in the south east of the city.

David and Wendy Steeple, who live nearby in Sothall, aim to establish a foothold in an increasingly competitive market.

“There are quite a few breweries in Sheffield, but not at this end,” says Wendy.

David, aged 58, is an experienced brewer, having worked for other companies.

Now he is striking out on his own at Meadowbrook Park, off Station Road, with help from Wendy, in a project they are funding themselves.

“My husband has been in brewing for 37 years and he has won awards,” she says.

“He has got all the experience, and this is something he has always wanted to do. He is passionate about brewing and real ale and he has always wanted to run his own brewery.

“It’s a big decision, and we decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. We think the market is big enough.”

Appropriately, the Steeples’ bunny is on the hop in time for Easter. Fuggle is a type of hop.

David is producing four brews - an amber bitter, a pale ale, an Indian pale ale and a golden ale - initially in casks, carry-outs and cartons. Bottles are planned later. The brewery has the capacity for around 3,000 pints a week.

For the moment, it is a case of trying to find pubs and wholesalers to set the ball rolling. Fuggle Bunny will be available at the Doncaster Beer Festival from April 24 to 26 and Barrow Hill Festival from May 15 to 17.

“David is really excited,” says Wendy. “A lot of thought has gone into this. We know he is capable. He is the one with the knowledge, passion and skills in this industry I am just giving him a helping hand and pointing him in the right directions and backing him all the way.”

Artwork and illustrations have come from graphic designer Faye Mallender.

Most of Sheffield breweries are to the north of the city centre, especially around Kelham Island and Neepsend, which has become known as the Valley of Beer, also because of the real ale pubs. Stancill Brewery at Neepsend is a recent arrival, producing Barnsley Bitter with equipment from the old Oakwell Brewery.