Revellers at this year’s Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival in Shetland will be toasting their traditional longship burning ceremony with a new ale specially crafted by the Orkney Brewery for its northern neighbours.
Norseman 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.
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.”
The ale’s official launch has been timed to coincide with Up Helly Aa – Europe’s largest fire festival – which takes place in the Shetland capital of Lerwick tomorrow (Tuesday, 29 January).
Crisp and golden, the 4.4 per cent bottled Norseman is light on the palate and will particularly appeal to lager drinkers, as well as lovers of traditional, high-quality real ales.
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.