A collaboration between Celtic Connections and Glasgow's Drygate Brewing Company has produced the world's first beer infused with Celtic music.

The beer – named ‘Festival Brew’ – has been infused with live music throughout the brewing and maturation process and has been created to be paired with live performances at Celtic Connections 2016.

‘Festival Brew’ is a 5.3% Saison style beer brewed with French hops. The style of beer was inspired by the 10th anniversary of twinning the cities of Glasgow and Marseille; a partnership which has also informed aspects of the Celtic Connections 2016 programme.

A Celtic piper – John Mulhearn – and acoustic guitarist – Findlay Napier – played alongside the brewing team at Drygate. Speakers placed inside the fermentation tanks will ensure the beer continues to infuse with Celtic music throughout the two week conditioning process.

The Saison, incorporating the French hops Aramis and Strisselspalt, is a traditional Farmhouse Ale, originally brewed in the French countryside during the cooler, quieter months of the year. Destined to quench the thirst of farm workers during the hot summer months, historically the beer is a light, refreshing pale ale with a slightly spicy yeast characteristic.

Matt Corden – Operations Director at Drygate – spoke more about the collaboration: “Festival Brew has been a truly innovative and collaborative project; the first time a beer has been brewed to the sounds of Celtic music.

“Beer is traditionally brewed with just four ingredients. In this instance, we’re adding a fifth – music – and can’t wait to taste the finished result.

“What’s more, the Saison beer style has its roots firmly in farmhouse and folk tradition, making it a fitting accompaniment to the Celtic music being showcased at this year’s Festival.”

Donald Shaw – Celtic Connections Artistic Director – shared his excitement ahead of 2016’s festival:

“The Celtic Connections 2016 programme is shaping up to be a festival of firsts. Not only do we have exciting new strands like “The Shape of Folk to Come” but an incredible ‘Festival Brew’ to enjoy them with which, like the Festival, has Celtic music at its heart.”

Established in 1994, Celtic Connections is the largest roots music festival in Europe. Running 14th to 31st January 2016, the festival blends music, workshops and events at various venues across Glasgow including a programme of events taking place at Drygate Brewery.

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