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Sheffield has always been one of the north's foremost brewing centres, and even though their historical heritage has been ripped out, there are plenty of newer breweries that have taken their place. One of these was the Port Mahon brewery. Based at the Cask & Cutler, that famous north Sheffield ale house, it started brewing in 2000 and stopped in 2006 with the sale of the Cask.

However brewing restarted in August 2008, at the same premises, but under the name of the Little Ale Cart brewery. Initially, the beer was only available at the Wellington, (as the Cask and Cutler had become), and the company's sister pub in Worcestershire but in the recent past due to some cask swaps their beers are appearing in some pub around our home town.

Little Ale Cart beers are easy to identify on a bar, they are the one's with the picture of railway engines on them and blokes standing in front arguing about where the picture was taken, or whether it is an A3 or A4, (foreign language to me as well !). But don't let that put you off, the beers are excellent. The vast majority I have drunk, and on trips to Sheffield I have had a few believe me, are light coloured hoppy beers. Most of the beer in the free trade are usually around 4% but I have come across plenty of weaker and stronger ones. The beers often use a combination of hops to give a result, rather than straight single hopped beers, and rarely have I found one that has not impressed me. (If you do get to the Wellington, they give details on their tasting notes of the hops used). The taste is usually rounded and balanced, rather than aggressive, and it seems that one pint is never enough !

The brewery has made the occasional darker beer, and their stout is equally as good as their lighter beer, but they don't seem to come outside the pub. Nor do their range of 'Harley's Dog Dinner' beers, which are reputed to be made from a combination of their brews.

The brew plant at Little Ale Cart never seems to be idle because along with their own massive range of beers, which rarely repeats a brew, Steel City and White Rose also use parts of the plant to brew their beer. I must admit, I am struggling to think of 3 other breweries, independent of each other, who use the same premises to brew.

Their beers can occasionally be found at the Sportsman, Rat & Ratchet, and the Star. There is one on the bar at the latter now should you fancy trying it, that is if you get there before me !

Apologies for the dodgy photo, seems I need to update my collection a tad !