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3rd May 2022

Theakston continues proud 19-year association with Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with the announcement of the 2022 programme

Denise Mina and Simon Theakston (centre)

Harrogate International Festivals has announced the full programme for the 2022 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, held in conjunction with T&R Theakston.

It is the 19th year that the iconic Yorkshire Brewery has sponsored the Crime Writing Festival, which is the world’s largest celebration of crime fiction and thriller writing and will run from 21 – 24 July at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel.

In anticipation of the crime writing festival, the brewery repackaged its bottled Old Peculier to include a bloody thumbprint and the festival logo. These limited-edition bottles are currently available in all shops, bars and restaurants stocking the 5.6% ruby red ale.

Curated by this year’s Festival Chair, award-winning novelist Denise Mina, the 2022 programme will see some of the most exciting names in crime fiction take to the stage, with speakers including: broadcaster and crime fiction debut author Rev. Richard Coles; comedian and writer Frankie Boyle and bestselling creator of the Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn book series, Ann Cleeves.

Theakston Old Peculier is the perfect partner for the festival, having long been associated with crime, taking its name from Masham’s historic Court of the Peculier, which in medieval times allowed the parish to govern its own affairs when dealing with civil law. In addition to the specially branded bottles, Theakston ales, including Old Peculier, will also be readily available throughout the festival, including in the bar at the Old Swan.

The release of the 2022 full programme follows the earlier announcement of the special guests headlining the festival, which includes crime fiction icons Lynda La Plante, Paula Hawkins, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly, Lucy Foley, Charlie Higson, John Connolly, CL Taylor and Kathy Reichs.

A number of festival favourite events will return this year, including Val McDermid’s New Blood panel, celebrating four debut crime writers, and the popular late-night crime fiction quiz, hosted by McDermid and Mark Billingham.

Simon Theakston, joint managing director at Theakston Brewery, said: “The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has a phenomenal reputation for attracting the very best names in crime fiction, and Denise has continued that proud tradition with this year’s impressive programme. We look forward to hearing some of these fantastic names speaking at the festival in July, not just as headline sponsors, but as fans of all things crime fiction.”

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the programme for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, and to be once more working with Theakston to put on this fantastic festival. We can’t wait to hear all these brilliant speakers take to the stage and share their insights, stories and predictions of what lies ahead for crime fiction and thriller writing!”

For more information on the festival  and to book tickets, please call +44 (0)1423 562 303, email or visit:


About Theakston Brewery

Established in Masham, North Yorkshire in 1827, Theakston Brewery, with nearly 200 years of brewing expertise, is one of the UK’s oldest and most highly regarded cask ale brewers. Operating as an independent brewer, it is the second largest of its kind under family control in the UK.

Theakston is one of just two breweries in the country to still employ a craft brewery cooper committed to making and repairing traditional oak casks.

There are eight permanent brands in the Theakston range: Theakston Best Bitter, Theakston XB, Theakston Old Peculier, Theakston Summit Cold Pale Ale, Theakston Lightfoot, Theakston Barista Stout, Theakston Pale and Theakston Mild, along with a range of well-established seasonal ales. The Theakston Visitor Centre in Masham is open all year round, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

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Press release from Theakston Brewery

For more information, please contact Beth Chaplow or Rebecca Farnsworth at Aberfield Communications on /, or call 0113 880 0444.