New beer launches at Viking fire festival

Revellers at today’s Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival will be toasting with a new ale, which was specially crafted by northern neighbours at the Orkney Brewery.

Norseman Pale AleNorseman Pale Ale has been created by the Orkney Brewery for leading Shetland wholesale firm J. W. Gray & Co and will be widely available throughout the islands.

The Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival is a spectacular event that takes each year on Shetland and celebrates the island’s Viking heritage. Viking warriors, known as the Jarl Squad, make appearances throughout the day, which culminates in an evening fire procession and the burning of a Viking galley.

The Norseman Pale Ale’s official launch has been timed to coincide with the festival, which attracts visitors from around the world.

Norman Sinclair, managing director of the Orkney Brewery’s parent company, Sinclair Breweries Ltd, said: “We were delighted when J.W. Gray & Co approached us with the idea of producing an ale specially for the Shetland market. We wanted to craft an ale that was refreshing and drinkable, with a distinctive Shetland identity, and we’re very proud of the result.

Mr Sinclair said that whilst Norseman had been made primarily for distribution in Shetland, limited quantities of the ale would also be available at Orkney Brewery’s visitor centre.

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