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CAMRA Lunesdale

Birthday brewery’s Halo effect

Photo shows (from l to r) Nick Taylor, Gemma Taylor, Danny Matthews (from The Bay) Becky Sewell, Arthur Livesley, Jamie Fawcett, Bill Taylor and Liam Bell at Cross Bay's first birthday bash.

An independent Lancashire brewery has marked its first birthday by launching a brand new beer at one of the area’s most prominent real ale venues. Morecambe’s Cross Bay brewery, which went into production in August 2011, held its birthday celebration at The White Cross pub in Lancaster where drinkers were able to try Halo, a 3.6% English pale ale for the first time.

The White Cross, Pub of the Year of the local branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), was packed for the occasion, which in addition to Halo featured the other four core beers in Cross Bay’s varied portfolio. MC for the evening was Danny Matthews, DJ on local radio station The Bay, and there was live music from Molly and the Shady Days.

It was an opportunity for people to chat with Cross Bay staff about the beers and future plans while enjoying the fruits of their labours — Sunset, Dusk, Nightfall, Zenith and Halo. Proceeds from a raffle will be shared by the local RNLI and cancer care. A delighted Sam McKnight was winner of the top raffle prize — brewing for a day with the Cross Bay brewers.

Speaking at the event, Marketing Manager Rebecca Sewell referred to the company’s growing success over the past year, with an ever-expanding team and the forthcoming launch of a bottled beer range. Head Brewer Nick Taylor revealed that Halo had been brewed in response to requests from pubs and customers. “Drinkers want a lowish strength session ale, but one that doesn’t compromise on flavour,” he said.

Comments from people on the night suggested he had fulfilled his commission. Jenny Greenhalgh of Lunesdale CAMRA described Halo as “very refreshing,” a beer that “drinks above its gravity.” Others described it as “generously hopped,” “clean tasting,” “a great session beer”, “rich and creamy” and “exceptionally easy drinking but full of flavour.”

The new ale proved so popular that the organisers were compelled to “ration” it at the pumps to ensure it did not run out within the first hour. A total of 770 pints of Cross Bay beers were drunk on the evening.