Food group raises a festive glass!

Christmas Brew in Northampton

Northamptonshire’s food and drink group has found the perfect way to toast another successful year – with a limited-edition beer made just for the county!

Some 50 members of ‘Made In Northamptonshire’ (MIN), the network set up to support producers, stockists and eateries, gathered at the home of Carlsberg UK in Northampton earlier this month to be treated to a glass of ‘Christmas Brew’ – the brewery’s first ever festive ale.

But sampling the seasonal snifter wasn’t simply an excuse for daytime drinking! It was the perfect way to illustrate the meeting’s theme of ‘innovation’, with Carlsberg’s Master Brewer Jon Elks giving an insight into how he had carefully blended the flavours of clementine, cinnamon and nutmeg to create the timely tipple.

The beer is currently on sale in some 30 local pubs and venues and is helping to raise money for the Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

Meanwhile for those taking inspiration from the Danish drinks firm and looking to increase their range, Rachel Goff from the Food and Drink Forum was also on hand to offer top tips on new product development – with advice on everything from market research to branding to price point.

For MIN’s founder, Rachel Mallows MBE DL, the meeting was the perfect way to round off what has been another momentous 12 months for an ever-expanding food and drink sector: “Given the number of start-up companies which have launched this year, and the exciting plans from some our more established businesses, we really wanted to offer some helpful words of wisdom as they look to grow through greater sales and wider product ranges” explained Rachel.

“We also know that the new year is traditionally a time for creativity so our hope is that our wonderful producers went away with not only a warm glow from Carlsberg’s delicious beer but also some inspirational ideas to help get 2018 off to the best possible start!” she added.

‘Made In Northamptonshire’ is a networking group aimed at bringing like-minded businesses from the county’s food and drink sector together to help promote quality on the doorstep and to forge new working partnerships. It is aimed at:

  • producers wishing to find new markets and to work collaboratively
  • retail outlets wanting to sell the ‘best of Northamptonshire’
  • chefs and eateries looking to source good local produce
  • county food and drink businesses which support local business
  • people who love the ‘buy local’ philosophy

The group meets quarterly (hosted by a MIN member), membership is FREE and it is open to anyone from the food and drink sector who would like to join. For more details, including to become a member, please call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email [email protected] You can also follow the group on facebook.

Meanwhile for more details on the Christmas Brew, including a list of local stockists, please visit