Celebrities backing beer initiative

SPANDAU Ballet star Tony Hadley, co-owner of the Red Rat Craft Brewery near Bury St Edmunds, has joined other celebrity brewers in supporting a new “Britons Backing Beer” campaign.

Launched by restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix and beer guru Rupert Ponsonby, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the quality and range of beer, and to forge closer links throughout the supply chain, from barley and hop growers to restaurants, and between the industry and politicians, celebrities and the media.

Tony Hadley, accompanied by supplies of his Hadley’s Gold and Red Hot Chilli beers, was among the guests at the launch event in London, alongside other celebrities including former Blur guitarist Alex James and TV chef Valentine Warner.

Other celebrity-brewed beers at the event included Stinger Nettle Beer from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Chalky’s Bark and Chalky’s Bite from Rick Stein, Laverstoke Park Farm Organic Ale from Jody Scheckter, and Mark Hix’s own HIX Oyster Ale and HIX India Pale Ale.

“Beer massively underplays its strengths,” said Rupert Ponsonby. “It is often left to speak for itself, but it won’t unless we work more closely together to encourage all Britons to embrace our national drink.”