July & August 2016 food bites

Quo launch tipples

Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt have teamed up with Hobsons Brewery to create the Dog of Two Head ale. The ale, along with Down Down cider produced with Herefordshire’s Celtic Marches, is being made available, bottled through the Spar chain, and will also be on draught at selected outlets from July. Hobson’s will donate 5% of the profits to the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, the Dogs Trust.

Francis Rossi says, “We know what we like. And we know what our fans like. And I think we can all agree that we like these!” while Rick Parfitt adds, “It’s no secret that over the years the band has enjoyed a drink or three. Finally, we’re actually seeing a return on those wasted hours by creating something useful!”

Local ales score wins

Bridgnorth brewer Hop and Stagger picked up a silver award for their Bridgnorth Porter at this year’s SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) event in May. The beer came second in the ‘porters, stouts, old ales, strong milds and strong brown ales’ category. Hop and Stagger was started by ale enthusiasts Sam and Bob Hayes in a space at the back of their pub, the White Lion, but they moved to a premises at the Apley Farm Shop in Ditton Priors earlier this year as business outgrew the set-up.

Shrewsbury’s Salopian Brewery also won in a range of categories, picking up awards for their Kashmir and Lemon Dream ales amongst others.

Red Rescue gets off the ground

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has unveiled a new beer that will help boost its funds. Red Rescue is the brainchild of Edward Wood of Wood’s Brewery, with the Wistanstow-based brewer set to donate 5p for every bottle or pint of the pale ale sold.

Edward has a special reason for choosing Air Ambulance as the brewery’s charity. The service helped save the life of his son Jonathan some years ago following a freak cricketing accident. Jonathan was flown to Stoke for emergency brain surgery and made a full recovery, partly thanks to the swift helicopter journey.

“It’s not until you’re in these situations that you realise the real value of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity,” says Edward (pictured, with Jonathan). “We’re delighted to be donating to the service again this year.”

Newport focuses on food

This year’s Newport Show on July 9 shines a spotlight on regional fare. The Festival of Food will include chef demonstrations along with hands-on workshops for children and adults, while a pop-up street food area offers dishes from around the world. Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain will give two demonstrations, with former Le Manoir Aux Quats Saisons chef Steve Lyons cooking up seasonal treats.

Nadiya says, “I’m very excited to be coming to Newport Show and Shropshire for the first time. I’ll be demonstrating[L1] recipes from my book and I’m looking forward to meeting Bake Off fans.”

Show president Martin Hall adds, “We’re over the moon to have enticed Nadiya to Shropshire for the first time for the Newport Show.”

Last year saw a record-breaking 13,000 visitors, and organisers believe the Festival of Food will complement other activities including equine, livestock and horticulture competitions, craft fair, dog show and family entertainment.
To buy tickets, go to newportshow.co.uk.

Wenlock gets foodie

Much Wenlock Town Council will be celebrating food and drink at its monthly food fair on Saturday 13 August. Between 9am and 4.30pm, the medieval market town will be full of market stalls offering locally cooked and sourced produce. The spread will range from chutneys, pickles and cheeses to handmade pies and cakes, local meats and honey. Visitors will also be able to pick up new ideas and enjoy complimentary samples.

Ludlow scoops award

Ludlow Food Centre has celebrated its ninth birthday in style after being crowned as Food Hall of the Year at this year’s Farm Shop and Deli Awards at the NEC. The awards recognise the best in the specialist independent retail market, celebrating the highest levels of service, product innovation and community involvement.

Ludlow Food Centre MD Jon Edwards says, “It’s a fantastic birthday present to be taking back to south Shropshire for our brilliant team. Many of our employees have been with the business since the day we opened our doors for the first time in 2007, so this is extra special for them.”

CAMRA events

The Bridgnorth sub branch of the Campaign for Real Ale is hosting a social evening at the White Lion in West Castle Street on Friday 15 July. The group meets at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.

CAMRA is also seeking volunteers for July’s Festival at the Edge in Much Wenlock. Social secretary Dave Haddon says, “We desperately need volunteers from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 July. If you want to volunteer for the whole weekend, camping and caravanning is then free. Tickets cost £96, so helping in The Storytellers Arms is very attractive proposition!”
Call 07809 887159 for details.

Delectable festivals

The inaugural Telfood Feastival, organised by the same team as the Shrewsbury Food Festival, takes place at Southwater QEII Arena on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July. Featuring demonstrations from the region’s chefs, live music, talks, tastings and crafts, the event also offers children the chance to get mucky in the hands-on cookery area.

Organiser Beth Heath says, “There’s a green and charitable angle too; everything possible will be recycled, and leftover food will be donated to the Telford Food Bank.” Visit the Telfood Feastival page on Facebook to find out what’s in store.

Another extravaganza taking place in July is Cosford Food Festival, which runs across the weekend of 23-24 July and features Great British Bake Off finalist Beca Lyne-Pirkis on the demo stage. Exhibitors include Beans and Leaves of Wolverhampton, showcasing their freshly ground coffee and speciality teas, and Forest Pig Charcuterie, offering award-winning charcuterie from their own woodland-reared rare breed pigs. The festival will also feature hot food to tuck into, including Indian, Italian and French cuisine, a taste of the Caribbean, and Cuban and Mexican food. Visit rafmuseum.org/cosford or type Cosford Food Festival into Facebook.



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