Barrow: Spandau Ballet star Tony Hadley moves beer north

THE Suffolk brewery owned by rock star Tony Hadley is moving north – just as he has struck Gold Down Under with his beer named after his greatest hit.

Tony has been invited to the world’s biggest beer, wine and food festival held in Australia – as an expert on real ale.

The former Spandau Ballet frontman, whose Red Rat Brewery produces a range traditionally-made beers, will be a VIP guest at Tasting Australia, a huge eight-day gourmet festival in Adeleide.

With him will be Mark Hix, top London chef and restaurateur, and a host of international producers and writers.

Meanwhile, the Red Rat business, which is run on a day-to-day basis by Kevin McHenry, is in the process of relocating from its base on a farm at Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, to the north of England.

The brewery had until last year been operating from buildings on the Denham estate, but difficulties caused by producing real ale in a cereal farming environment meant problems with some of the beers.

Now as production switches to Pickering, in Yorkshire, it is hoped to resume normal supplies of all the popular draught and bottled beers.

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Tony, 51, confesses he has been a real ale fan all his life, and is famous for joining fans after a gig for a few pints. It was four years ago he bought into a small craft brewery near Bury which launched a special beer that people could buy for homecoming troops.

Head brewer Mr McHenry, an ex-soldier himself, also made a donation from every bottle sold to a military charity. Tony revealed last week that the brewery’s best-seller – Hadley’s Gold – is proving a big hit with drinkers Down Under.