Head brewers collaborate in celebration of Celts

Brewers from across the Celtic regions and nations have descended on Cornwall to visit St Austell Brewery to create a unique new beer to celebrate the shared history and identity of these regions.

The new Celtic Cross beer was the brainchild of St Austell’s head brewer, Roger Ryman, who enlisted the help of fellow head brewers from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Brittany to help him create the new beer which will be launched at this year’s Celtic Beer Festival.

Roger was joined in the St Austell brewhouse by Fergus Clark, head brewer of The Inveralmond Brewery in Perthshire, Scotland; Flo Vialan from Brittany, head brewer for the Purity Brewing Company; Daire Harlin, head brewer of the Brú Brewery in Cork and Buster Grant, one of Wales’ best known brewers and head brewer at Brecon Brewing.

The day before brewing, the brewers gathered at the Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown – 31 October, the last day of the Celtic calendar – to concoct the recipe.  A formula for a Celtic Red IPA was created, including roasted malts and generous additions of flavoursome hops to complete the Celtic theme.

Each brewer brought with them a handful of ingredients that best represented their region. Flying the flag for Cornwall, Roger incorporated saffron, whilst Fergus brought Rowan berries from Scotland. Daire added shamrock, Flo contributed wild garlic, and Wales was symbolised with the inclusion of Welsh apples.

Roger Ryman, head brewer at St Austell Brewery, said: “It was a great honour to be joined by such respected brewers to help me brew this new Celtic Cross beer. We have all added an ingredient to give the beer a unique provenance so it is a real celebration of our Celtic heritage, and it is especially poignant that we will be able to launch the finished product at this year’s Celtic Beer Festival.” St Austell Brewery has initially brewed 80 brewers barrels of the new 4.5% beer, which will be on sale in selected venues throughout the south west and in each Celtic region. The beer will be launched at the Celtic Beer Festival on Saturday 22nd November.

Beer enthusiasts from across the country will descend upon St Austell for the all-day festival, which will showcase more than 130 different ales, stouts and lagers.

Held in the ancient cellars of the Victorian brewery, guests will be able to sample beers from Cornwall and the Celtic regions, as well as further afield.

Up to 3,000 people are expected to pack out the wine cellars and vaults of St Austell Brewery, with four bars serving from 11am until 11pm, and live music and entertainment on offer throughout the day. Bands playing will include local favourites The Bell Jars, The Strutts, Thomas Ford and the Diehards and the Motown Pirates.

Alongside St Austell Brewery’s own award winning beers including Tribute, Proper Job and Korev Lager, there will be up to 20 new and limited edition ales brewed by the St Austell team just for the festival.

Supporting the Cornwall Brewers’ Alliance, the Cornish Beer Bar will be back for the second year, showcasing guest ales from   its members from across the county, and demonstrating why Cornwall is a brewing force to be reckoned with.

There will also be a wide selection of other beers, ales, stouts, lagers and cider to sample, with beer tokens on sale and a printed programme to guide customers through the expansive range of beer styles and flavours on offer, plus hot food on sale including pasties from the Posh Pasty Company.

Roger Ryman continued: “The Celtic Beer Festival is one of the highlights of the year for beer lovers, and for all of the team here at the Brewery. We love having the chance to come up with new and one-off ales for the festival and try out new recipes which might become successful brands of the future. So make sure you don’t miss the chance to try them.

“The festival is now in its 16th year and it just keeps getting bigger and better. I’m looking forward to welcoming thousands of ale enthusiasts to sample the great beers on offer and soak up the unique atmosphere of the event, which is unrivalled anywhere in the South West. It’s also the biggest fundraising event of the year for the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust, which has raised over £400,000 for South West charities and good causes over the years.”

Tickets are available on the door on the festival day only, and cost £10 per person with all profits donated to the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust. This includes entry to the festival, a commemorative pint glass, festival programme, and two half-pint beer tokens.

The festival is only open to over 18s and will operate a strict Challenge 25 policy so if you look younger than 25, you will be asked to provide photographic ID such as a driving licence or passport.

Beer tokens are on sale costing £1.75 per half pint, £3.50 per pint or £10 for three pints.

For more information, visit www.staustellbrewery.co.uk

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