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Bellowhead brew again | 'Revival' ale in the works... | Aftershow pub sessions on Nov tour | FESTIVALPHOTO

Bellowhead brew again | 'Revival' ale in the works... | Aftershow pub sessions on Nov tour

Britain biggest traditional folk act Bellowhead have joined with prestigious Sussex independent brewers Harveys to produce a new real ale: Revival Ale. Their latest, critically acclaimed album, also titled Revival was released in June on Island Records.
The new beer completes an interesting circle for the band. Back in 2010, they were the first musical act to brew their own Ale, Hedonism, in conjunction with the Potbelly microbrewery. At that time, folk music and real ale was still seen more as the punchline to a joke, and the idea of the beer was a typically tongue-in-cheek response. Four short years later, during which the band watched in amazement as acts as diverse as Elbow, Madness and even Iron Maiden released their own beers, Bellowhead return to raise the stakes.

This time they are linking with one of, if not the very best brewers of real ale - Harveys in Lewes. Harveys beer is renowned - their flagship ‘Sussex Best’ was recently voted Champion Best Bitter of Britain for two consecutive years, whilst ‘Prince of Denmark’ was voted the world’s best beer at the International Beer Challenge in 2012. Meanwhile the man behind these beers, Head Brewer Miles Jenner, with whom the band are collaborating, was voted Brewer of the Year in 2009.

This time, it’s not just about the beer. Not only will Revival Ale be available on tap throughout the Harveys own pub estate and their wider distribution, the band are also encouraging fans to get involved around their November tour - the band’s biggest yet. With a background firmly rooted in the traditional folk world, they are very aware of the importance of pub music sessions as a way of introducing and developing musicians. Many of the band first met in pub sessions themselves, years before Bellowhead became a reality.

Around their November tour, members of Bellowhead will be playing after-show sessions in local pubs with Revival Ale on tap! Fans and local musicians will be encouraged to participate via social media by nominating local pubs and coming along after the show. Band member Paul Sartin said ‘Pub sessions are the lifeblood of the English traditional scene, they are both a breeding ground for new talent and part of vibrant community culture. They are also a great way of encouraging landlords to lock you in! Send us your suggestions for pubs that should stock the beer either via using the Twitter hashtag #RevivalAle or via Facebook:
And if you’ve a suggestion for a pub suitable for a folk session close to one of our November shows, contact us on our Facebook page.’

The whole venture is to be announced live on the Mark Radcliffe Folk Show on BBC Radio 2 at 7pm on 15th Wednesday and, in addition, the band will be playing a taster session in a local pub after the show. The day before, 14th October they will be participating in the first brew of the new ‘Revival Ale’ at the 200 year old Harveys Brewery in Lewes, Sussex. The beer will be ready for delivery at the start of November. It will also be available in bottles via the Harveys webshop. Harveys Sales & Marketing Manager Bob Trimm commented: ‘There is a long and established connection between beer and folk music and specifically with Harveys in the Sussex area. We’re delighted to be able to link up with Bellowhead to provide not just great beer, but a fantastic reason to go to pubs’.

Writer: Anthony May
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