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Kiss that blog! City’s royal ale sparks global media frenzy
This article is by Erik Petersen, published Friday 25 February 2011, in the Nottingham Post.

The beer, set to be brewed by Nottingham’s Castle Rock Brewery for the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, has sparked media interest across the world.

Castle Rock originally planned to brew a relatively small amount of Kiss Me Kate as a one-off, but has had to rethink its plans in the face of heavy orders.

A major national pub chain has requested the beer and a large supermarket chain wants 70,000 bottles.

Kiss Me Kate bottles – ‘ladies’ in waiting.

Brewery commercial director Colin Wilde reckons the orders total about 120,000 pints of Kiss Me Kate.

“We had no plans to put it into bottles until we realised how many people want to try it,” Mr Wilde said.

Nottingham’s largest brewery can crank out more than 300 barrels a week since output-tripling building work last year. But it’s still a lot more Kiss Me Kate than they’d anticipated.

International exposure probably hasn’t hurt matters: Time magazine has mentioned it, as has People. CNN Mexico reported on la nueva cerveza en honor a la futura princesa, while the Washington Post mentioned the ale on its dedicated Royal Wedding Watch blog.

The Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, Vancouver Sun and Christian Science Monitor are among other media outlets that have given it a mention.

Sarky Hollywood gossip Perez Hilton has even got in on the act. The blogger, usually more concerned with the latest from Lindsay Lohan or Lady Gaga, developed a sudden taste for real ale in a blog post filed under categories “Royals Royce,” “Wacky, Tacky & True” and “Kate Middleton”.

And, according to Mr Wilde, The Ellen DeGeneres Show have even been in touch about getting a bottle or two sent to Los Angeles.

US comedian and television host Ellen has been making a public running joke about trying to wrangle a royal invite, and a future episode might have her sampling some Kiss Me Kate, possibly as a way to ingratiate herself to the happy couple.

It’s a lot of attention for an ale that hasn’t even been brewed yet. Castle Rock bosses plan to brew the beer towards the end of March and have it in pubs the month before the wedding.

Head brewer Adrian Redgrove has decided on the ingredients. The beer will be made with two home grown hops – English Fuggles and First Gold. “We can’t wait to have our first taste of this beer,” Mr Wilde said.

They also can’t wait to meet the lucky couple who will help them brew it. The brewery is holding a competition to find a couple getting married – like William and Kate – on April 29. The winning couple will come to the brewery to help brew Kiss Me Kate before being taken to lunch at a Castle Rock pub. And crucially, they’ll get some of the beer for their reception.

To see Erik’s article in full click here.