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17th May 2012


Leading independent brewery recreates 19th century beer for The Big Session

  A historic ale first brewed in the 1860s is being recreated especially for The Big Session’s Real Ale and Cider Festival, which takes place from 15-17 June 2012 at Catton Hall, South Derbyshire.

Ragged Kingdom is a light tawny harvest ale originally designed to satisfy thirsty Victorian field and factory workers, and has been revived by Phipps NBC, who specialise in authentic recipes and traditional brewing methods.

Phipps, who are based at the Grainstore Brewery in Oakham, have launched Ragged Kingdom in honour of Big Session founders, Oysterband, whose acclaimed collaboration with signer June Tabor, also entitled Ragged Kingdom, won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Album 2012 title.
Phipps NBC’s Alaric Neville, said: “Ragged Kingdom is a light amber 3.7% with a strong hop content to keep it sound in the sunlight, and was the thirst quenching ale of choice from times when the harvest was gathered in by hand.”
The three-day real ale and cider festival, which is part of a larger music and arts festival, features a variety of artisan tipples from such independent East Midlands brewers as Blue Monkey, Magpie, Castle Rock, Thornbridge and Derby Brewery.

On tap will be over 20 selections including Blue Monkey’s award-winning 99 Red Baboons, Nottingham Brewery’s Rock Bitter, first brewed in the 1800s and a forerunner of the modern India Pale Ale, and Phipps IPA, a golden beer brewed to an authentic 1930s recipe. Visitors will be able to find out more at a special free Meet The Brewer and tasting sessions.

The Big Session is a family-friendly music and arts festival created by Oysterband in 2005. With a strong line-up of acoustic and folk inspired acts, 2012’s bill features former Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader, West Country acoustic roots duo Show Of Hands, tubthumping folk/punksters Chumbawamba, the much lauded Leisure Society, and Oysterband.

Taking place in the picturesque grounds of Catton Hall, in South Derbyshire, from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 June 2012, the event also boasts an onsite Sculpture Village (complete with a working forge and chain-saw wood carving), impromptu music and singing sessions, morning yoga, on-site luxury camping and a rolling programme of family activities.

Three-day/weekend tickets begin at £92.95, one day tickets from £32.95 per day (including all fees). Child tickets begin at £10 per day, with under 5s free. Camping is also available.

For more information, including tickets, see: www. or call 023 8071 1818.



What to know more about the challenges of reviving a lost ale?

Alaric from Phipps NBC is available for select interviews.

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For more details on the Real Ale and Cider Festival, including Tasting Notes, see: