7th May 2009


A new Yorkshire real ale has been launched to celebrate the Penistone Line, one of the country’s most famous railway lines. The 37 mile long Penistone Line runs through picturesque scenery between Huddersfield and Sheffield.

The Penistone Line Rail Ale is brewed by the independent Summer Wine Brewery, based in Honley, Yorkshire, on behalf of the Penistone Line Partnership (PLP), one of 18 community rail partnerships that work closely with Northern across our extensive network.

The beer can be enjoyed on the very popular ‘Music Trains’ that Northern and PLP regularly organise on the Penistone Line, and it will also be available in hostelries along the route.

The Rail Ale made its inaugural journey from the brewery to the launch event at The Head of Steam pub/restaurant, at Huddersfield Station, on Tuesday 5 May entirely by public transport. Metro’s Connect Route 911 bus delivered the first barrels of the beer to Brockholes station where they joined Northern Rail’s 11.36 service to Huddersfield.

Arriving in Huddersfield, the train was met by representatives from Northern, local celebrity chef and Yorkshire’s Professional Chef of the Year Timothy Bilton, representatives from PLP and CAMRA, with music provided by local jazz band ‘The Train Gang.’ The new ale was then delivered to The Head of Steam for a celebration launch that, of course, included tasting sessions.

Speaking for Northern, area director, Steve Butcher said: “As the local train operator for the North of England, working closely with the communities we serve is very important to us. The Penistone Line Partnership is a great example of how communities can get involved and really make a difference to their local railway. We’re particularly pleased to support this latest initiative in which the beer pump clip will feature one of our trains travelling across Penistone Viaduct.”

Timothy Bilton said: “Yorkshire has so many quality local suppliers and it is incredibly important to support them through sourcing regional produce, like the ‘Rail Ale’.”

Neil Bentley, chairman of PLP, said: “The Penistone Line Partnership is keen to enhance and restore a true sense of local community around the Penistone Line. We wanted to produce a bespoke ale that could be enjoyed on our Music Trains, by local people and beyond, and we couldn’t think of a better place to conjure up such a beer than the Summer Wine Brewery which is located on the Penistone line.”

Andy Baker, co-owner of the Summer Wine Brewery, said: “Our beers have proved to be hugely popular on the Music Trains, so we were delighted at the opportunity to work with the PLP to develop this new beer. We’re dedicated to producing real ale and are very happy to be part of a great community venture.”

The popular Music Trains are held approximately once monthly, with the next event – ‘Spring Jazz Train’ – organised for Monday 18th May at 19.18, from Huddersfield Station. For a full list of Music Train events and further details, please see: