Archive for category North East

The Half Pint Marathon

Picture of half pint beer matA collaboration between Thornbridge Brewery and Forum Cafe Bars LTD will have you reaching for your (half) pint glass this spring.


Sheffield: The ‘Half Pint Marathon’ is a month long celebration of some of Sheffield’s best independent, beer venues, dreamt up by the people behind two of the city’s most popular companies to raise money for charity.


Following on from the newly rebranded Yorkshire Half in April, the Half Pint Marathon will give people the chance to explore the city, support their local independent venues and do something good for charity.


The Half Pint Marathon incorporates thirteen of Sheffield’s favourite pubs


  • The Greystones,
  • The Bath Hotel,
  • The Hallamshire House,
  • The Stags Head,
  • The Forum,
  • The Old House,
  • The York
  • The Broadfield,
  • The Shakespeare,
  • The Brothers Arms,
  • The University Arms,
  • Kelham Island
  • The Rutland



Each of the venues will be serving a specially created collaboration Thornbridge and FCBL beer ‘Stitch’ – a light, hoppy, 4% session ale!


FCBL Managing Director, Kane Yeardley says “The Half Pint Marathon will be a great opportunity for Sheffield to get out there and support their local, independent pubs and some great causes in one go!” And Thornbridge bosses say “This is a fantastic chance to make a tasty new beer, work with some great Sheffield pubs and make some money for good causes. We’re very excited for the month of May!”


Participants will have the month of May to visit all thirteen sites armed with their ‘Half Pint Marathon’ card. Once they have enjoyed a beer in each venue they will have the opportunity to submit their card into the prize draw to win fantastic prizes from across Sheffield, including brewery tours, tasting sessions, beer, and much, much more.


The Half Pint Marathon aims to raise £13,000 for some of Sheffield’s best loved charities – St Lukes, Roundabout, The Childrens Hospital and Bluebell Wood. Money will be raised through the sale of the beer and events in each of the participating venues.


Regular updates are available at and we’ll be encouraging people to get involved by using the #halfpintsheff across social media.


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Hogshead and Rudgate Breweries Atlantic collaboration

Denver based Hogshead Brewery and UK based brewery Rudgate have combined over a 100 years of brewing expertise and knowledge to create their US/ Anglo collaboration ale Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter which will be launched at the Craft Brewers Conference 14th -17th April . The collaboration is a first for both of the craft breweries and has been a couple of years in the planning !

The two breweries initially met at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver in 2013. As part of the conference Hogshead held its first cask festival along with sponsors UK Brewing supplies, Angram Ltd Beer Dispense and help from the BFBI ( Brewing Food & Beverage Industry UK). There were nine cask beers from the UK including Rudgate Brewery’s famous award winning Ruby Mild, four from bigger American brewers and eight from Hogshead.

Early 2015 Rudgate contacted Hogshead to discuss a potential collaboration – the rest is history!

“We’re like minded when it comes to producing quality beers – and felt that a collaboration ale would be a fantastic way to combine our talents and fuse our brewing styles” commented Craig Lee, Rudgate’s Managing Director.

“Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter brings together the passion of two world class breweries. It’s nutty, toffee, toasted malt character marries with a distinct earthiness from Hogshead’s house yeast.

Starting with a soft mouth-feel but finishing resinous and dry from the use of both England’s finest Challenger hops and the American Northwest’s prized Cascade hops, this ale pays homage to great bitters made on both sides of the pond!” says Cicerone Jake Gardener.

Both Breweries can be contacted for more information about the availability of Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter and will be present at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon. The beer with be available to try at the BFBI (Brewing Food and Beverage) and Brewers Supply Group (BSG) Beer Stations.

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Malton-brewed Brass Castle beer crowned UK Supreme Champion

Malton’s Brass Castle Brewery fought off strong competition from breweries across the UK to earn the Supreme National Champion Cask Beer accolade for its ‘Burnout’ beech-smoked porter at the BeerX National Beer Competition 2015, held by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Brass Castle also scooped a Gold medal for it’s Sunshine IPA bottled beer, and won a SIBA Business Award for ‘Best Community Support’.  Based in the centre of Yorkshire’s food capital – Malton – Brass Castle is a microbrewery producing vegetarian/vegan-friendly cask, keg and bottled ales and lagers.

Burnout earned its place at the National Competition by winning the cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales and Strong Milds category in the regional heat at the York CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival, where it was also chosen as the Overall Champion of the Northeast Regional Competition.  It was one of just a handful of beers to represent the Northeast at SIBA BeerX and was judged against beers of the same style from another seven regions.  Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded in each category, as well as three Supreme Champion Awards – given to the beers judged to be the best cask, keg and bottled beers.

Aron McMahon of Brass Castle Brewery said, “We are very proud of our beers and over-the- moon to have them recognised on a national stage, against some of the finest beers from all over the UK.  Hopefully this fantastic Overall Champion award will help to introduce our beers to hundreds of drinkers who haven’t tried them before.  It’s also really gratifying to win recognition for Brass Castle’s role in the community.  It has always been important for us to be more than just a producer of beer and really engage locally.  Part of that is in donating a share of profits from our beers and events to local charities.  So the more of our beer that gets drunk, the more good we can do!

He added, “We’re grateful to everyone who has helped us to brew great beer, and to the many local pubs, shops and drinkers who have supported us.  We now have the opportunity to celebrate in our home town at our annual BEERTOWN event – the timing couldn’t be better!“


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Driffield’s Wold Top Brewery crowned Britain’s Best Growth Story in National Competition

Wold Top Brewery in Driffield has won the national Best Growth Story category in the GREAT Faces of British Business competition. The Business is GREAT Britain campaign launched the competition in November 2014, in association with BT Business, to find the most innovative and exciting UK businesses. It drew to a close today with an awards ceremony at the BT Tower in London.

Named Britain’s Best Growth Story, Wold Top Brewery impressed both the national judging panel and the public, with a high number of online votes cast in its favour. Winners were selected by a combination of the public vote and national judges’ scores. They received their award from Danny Longbottom, Managing Director of BT’s UK SME Business. A full list of national winners and the regional shortlist is available at:

Driffield-based Wold Top Brewery produces real ales from its own high quality home and Wolds-grown malting barley. In its first year, Wold Top Brewery converted a barn into its microbrewery and production was 300 gallons per week – at that time it had no paid staff. In 2014, production is up to 4,300 gallons per week and in the next year, the brewery will increase in size by 150%. The national judges commented that “the rate of production now has real momentum and is supported by a growing domestic and international customer base.”

Gill Mellor, Director of Wold Top Brewery said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been crowned a national winner of the GREAT Faces of British Business competition. Winning this award truly sets us apart from the competition in our field, and we hope we will inspire other small businesses everywhere to foster their success. We would strongly recommend any small business owner to visit to access the wealth of support and advice available from the Government to help your company grow.”

In total, four awards were presented at the GREAT Faces of British Business competition ceremony: Britain’s Best Exporter; Most Innovative Small Business; Best Growth Story, and the top Grand Prix prize. The Grand Prix prize winner will receive a bespoke creative advertising campaign worth £30,000, along with an iPad Air and complimentary unlimited BT Wi-Fi for 12 months, courtesy of BT Business. Each of the three national winners will also receive an iPad Air and complimentary unlimited BT Wi-Fi for 12 months.

In addition, the winner will also receive a package of export support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). UKTI works with UK businesses to help them succeed in international markets and supports the Business is GREAT Britain campaign, with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:
“We’re backing the entrepreneurs and the innovators who run the small firms driving our economic recovery. The GREAT Faces of British Business competition is all about celebrating their successes.

“Following the public vote, Wold Top Brewery in Yorkshire and Humber has been named Best Growth Story. They are an inspiration to other businesses across the country looking to grow, and are the living proof that there has never been a better time to start and grow a business in the UK”.

Steve Rathborne, Director of Sales, BT Business said:
“As an organisation, BT Business wants to help and support small businesses to succeed. Great Britain has a pedigree of producing innovative and successful businesses and leaders, and the national winners that have been selected accurately reflect the quality of British business and its excellence across industries.

“That’s why we’re supporting the Business is GREAT Britain campaign in order to discover and champion the entrepreneurial talent that’s out there and to give businesses an opportunity to boost their fortunes even further through a marketing package and business support from BT Business and UKTI.”

The Business is GREAT Britain campaign aims to celebrate and inspire small businesses and is run by BIS and UKTI. It provides relevant advice and information for small and medium sized enterprises looking to grow, hire, export, lead and access finance. There is a single place for all businesses to go for help:

BT provides communications services to around 900,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK and to over 6,500 corporate and public sector organisations in countries across the world.

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Blistered Feet Charity Ale – Little Heroes – Children’s Cancer Charity

Photo of Kath Thornton – Director of Haworth Beer Festival & Ian Cowling - Head Brewer - Bridgehouse Brewery Limited

Kath Thornton – Director of Haworth Beer Festival & Ian Cowling - Head Brewer - Bridgehouse Brewery Limited

A new beer being sold in aid of chronically-ill babies has been sale in the House of Commons.

Blistered Feet ale is being produced by the Bridgehouse brewery in Keighley and has been made to help fundraise for Shipley-based Little Heroes – a charity which helps babies with cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

Little Heroes already organises sponsored firewalk events where the brave and big-hearted march over burning embers in pub car parks and elsewhere in aid of the charity.

And Blistered Feet, a crisp 4% abv beer, will now be sold to refresh the parts the burning embers have not reached.

Kath Thornton, director of the Haworth Beer Festival was approached for help by Little Heroes and she is now promoting the new ale, brewed for a good cause.

“It’s all voluntary, but I’ve done the branding and promotion and it’s going really well,” Miss Thornton.

“We launched it at Haworth’s sausage and cider festival back in October and it was very popular.

“Since then we’ve been selling bottles and keg beer to local and regional public houses.

“And it’s now even made its way to perhaps the most important house – the House of Commons – where it’s on sale in the strangers bar,” Miss Thornton said.

She is now also preparing for the Haworth Beer Festival which takes place in the Old School rooms on April, 10, 11 and 12.

“If you don’t manage to hunt out any Blistered Feet before them, there’ll be plenty on sale at our festival,” she said.

Colin Nesbitt, chief executive of Little Heroes explained how it was hoped the new beer would boost the charity’s income.

“We did about 210 fire-walking events called Unite And Ignite last year up and down the country and this year we hope to do more than 300,” Mr Nesbitt said.

“The idea is that pubs or wherever will pre-order kegs or bottles of Blistered Feet to sell in tandem with their fire-walking events.

“A donation will go to the charity from each sale, which will be a nice, happy way of raising money.

“And it really is a wonderful beer.

“I’m a fan of real ale and its a real quaffer,” Mr Nesbitt said.

Simon Lamb, Director of Bridgehouse Brewery said:

“ We were delighted to be approached to help such a worthwhile cause. The challenge from our point of view was to come up with an ale that was a real thirst quencher and in Blistered Feet we believe that’s what we have created. It’s a full flavoured Blonde ale with citrus and fruit aromas”.


Enquiries – Little Heroes Charity Firewalks – 01274 288188 – Becky

Bridgehouse Brewery – Sales enquiries – 01535 601222

Available on SIBA


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Robinsons Visitors Centre – Visitengland’s Gold Standard

Photo of The Brewing Process in Action at Robinsons Brewery Visitors CentreRobinsons Visitors Centre has been named one of just eleven attractions across England to receive a ‘Gold’ accolade for outstanding quality as part of VisitEngland’s Visitors Attraction Quality Scheme.


VisitEngland presented accolades to just fifty seven attractions across the country including the Welcome accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Café and the Gold accolade for top-scoring attractions; of which Robinsons Visitors Centre was amongst the highest scores.


James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland said: “Our attractions are some of our great assets, creating appeal for visitors at home and from abroad. These accolades recognise the wonderful and innovative ways attractions in England are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure people enjoy their visit, from a friendly and warm welcome, to high-quality food and drink on offer, or capturing the imagination with creative experiences. Our latest round of accolades continues to reflect the wide variety of attractions on offer in England and provide more reasons for Brits to take a day trip or short break this half term.”

This latest recognition from VisitEngland continues what has been a ‘Gold’ run for Robinsons Visitors Centre who were recently named the best ‘Small Visitors Attraction 2014’ at the annual Marketing Cheshire awards and are also shortlisted for the forthcoming national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2015.



Logo The VisitEngland Gold AccoladeWilliam Robinson, Managing Director (Pubs Division) said: “We couldn’t be prouder to represent Stockport and the North West as one of only a handful of attractions to receive this recognition from VisitEngland. Since opening in March 2013, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing our beers, history and unique story with thousands of families, businesses and beer enthusiasts from across the world. The Gold award is the continued confirmation of our dedication to providing an


excellent customer experience within a truly unique setting.”


Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant MP said: “England has a huge number of world-class attractions to be enjoyed as part of a day trip, short weekend break or longer family holiday. This is a great way to showcase attractions going the extra mile to deliver a high-quality and unique visitor experience. Many congratulations to all those receiving the latest accolades.”

Robinsons Visitors Centre opened its doors at the end of March 2013 in honour of the brewery’s 175th birthday. Over the last 12 months, the Apsley Street attraction has welcomed over forty thousand visitors from across the world, accommodated over three thousand conferences from local businesses, and hosted over one hundred bespoke events at its unique venue.


To cope with the phenomenal demand for its facilities, from both consumers and businesses alike, Robinsons’ launched an additional conference suite called ‘The Frederic’s Room’ in March 2014 and increased the attractions opening hours  to 7 days a week.


Focused on training excellence, Robinsons have also recently announced that their Visitors Centre will host a series of forthcoming free training courses to local publicans, existing hospitality staff and anyone looking to enter the hospitality industry.

For tours, bookings, conferencing and enquiries please contact or call 0161 612 4100. To keep up to date with upcoming events at the Visitors Centre visit: or follow them on Facebook:


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International Brewing Awards Hat Trick for Saltaire

Yorkshire based Saltaire Brewery has just won its third consecutive Gold Medal at the biennial International Brewing Awards, the industry’s most prestigious competition, for its multi-award winning speciality stout, Triple Chocoholic (4.8% abc).

This is the second time that Triple Chocoholic has been awarded Gold in the Speciality, Special Feature Beer category; its first award in this competition was in 2011. In 2013, Saltaire’s first kegged beer Saltaire Gold (4.0%) won Gold as Best Kegged Beer under 4.4%.

Managing Director, Ewen Gordon said, “The International Brewing Awards attracts more than 1000 entries from 50 countries. For our beers to be judged amongst the best in the world by fellow brewers is a fantastic endorsement of our brewing team – especially as this is our third Gold Medal in the competition in a row.”

He added, “We’re a small Yorkshire brewery that prides itself on producing consistently high quality beers in cask, keg and bottle. We are absolutely delighted that our beers hold their own with some of the world’s best beers, produced by much larger, more famous breweries.”

Triple Chocoholic Stout is a 4.8% abv speciality stout. Chocolate malts and chocolate essence combine to provide a strong chocolate bouquet and a rich chocolate flavour. Good hopping provides a balancing bitterness.

It is available in bottles from selected Booths, Waitrose and Co-operative Food stores regionally as well as independent and online beer shops.

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Elland brewery’s 1872 Porter crowned ‘Champion Winter Beer of Britain’

A Calderdale beer has received a prestigious award for a third time.

Elland 1872 Porter has today been crowned CAMRA’s Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2015 by a panel of judges at the National Winter Ales Festival in Derby, which begins today (Wednesday).

To read the full story, please visit:

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Cumbrian Brewery’s business grows nearly 30 per cent

Eden Brewery photoA CUMBRIAN brewery is looking forward to another successful year after growing nearly 30 per cent in 2014.


Eden Brewery, which is based in the 14th century Brougham Hall, near Penrith, has also seen its profit margin more than double.


Head brewer Jason Hill said he believed the 28 per cent growth in turnover was down to a combination of the quality of its products and shrewd collaborations with key local businesses.


As well as producing a special 100th anniversary beer for high quality butchery and deli Cranstons in 2014, Eden Brewery also began making a range of three beers especially for the Westmorland Group to sell at its award winning Tebay Services and other outlets.


Eden Brewery, which is based in the former kitchens of Brougham Hall, began production in March 2012.


Last year it continued to see increased demand for its range of experimental craft beers named after characters, events and props from the film Withnail and I.


In 2015 Eden Brewery will produce a special beer for Eden District Council to help promote the area’s food and drink industry during English Tourism Week.


Mr Hill said: “Eden Brewery has been a very exciting place to work in the over the past year. Demand for our beer has been huge and it is extremely satisfying to see all the hard work we have put into promoting and developing our products paying off.


“There are so many breweries in Cumbria that we needed to think carefully about the best way to market our products in a highly competitive environment. We have designed our range of products so that we have something to appeal to all tastes. This year we will continue producing the experimental, and often strong, Withnail range which uses ingredients such as chilli and Seville oranges, as well as our traditional English ales and our ‘hop forward’ range of highly hopped and deeply flavoursome brews.


“We are looking forward to staying on track into 2016 and seeing the brewery grow even more in that time.”


To find out more about Eden Brewery and its beers go


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