Landlords raise a glass to new beers

Chris Walwyn-James, Ian Linsley and David Ainsley at the trade launch for Hotspur Scotch Ales and Fair Comment.
Chris Walwyn-James, Ian Linsley and David Ainsley at the trade launch for Hotspur Scotch Ales and Fair Comment.

IT was cheers to Northumberland’s newest beers when a coastal pub played host to the launch of a pair of local ales.

The unveiling of Hotspur Scotch Ale and Alnwick Fair Comment was greeted by a host of hoteliers, brewery chiefs and landlords at the Grey’s Inn at Embleton last Friday, who were among the first to sample the latest fare from Spirit of Northumberland.

Back in January, the Gazette reported how Ian Linsley, who resurrected Alnwick IPA and Alnwick Rum, had teamed up with new business partners Chris Walwyn-James and David Ainsley.

They set up Spirit of Northumberland as a new operating company to encompass Ian’s core firms, Alnwick Brewery Company Ltd and Alnwick Rum Company Ltd.

Hotspur Scotch is based on a very old Edinburgh recipe, first used by the original Alnwick Brewery in the form of Hotspur Export.

It consists of roasted barley, giving colour and a roasted taste, Maris Otter pale malt, crystal malt and traditional English hops.

Fair Comment is a blonde ale.

Speaking at the launch, Ian said: “It’s very exciting to launch two new products and there are more to follow.

“The reaction from the local hospitality trade has been very encouraging.”

One of those there to sample the goods was Mark Dean, landlord of the Horseshoes at Rennington.

“Hotspur Scotch is full of flavour, a good session beer, and I will be ordering it next week for my own pub.

“I did the same thing when Alnwick IPA was released in cask and that was very well-received.

“It’s great to see Northumberland back on the map.”

Spirit of Northumberland plans to release a third new beer, Malcolm’s Cross Mild, to tie in with the Campaign for Real Ale’s Mild Month in May.