Brewing up a storm – Northumberland Lightning Ale!

The Lightning players at Acton Ales

The Lightning players at Acton Ales – photo credit to Stephen Czopinski

As our post this weekend gave away, there’s been more than just a storm brewing in Northumberland recently.

Lightning Head Coach Mal Ditcham, Team Captain Jack Johnson and Running Back Gary Cooper were up bright and early this past Saturday for a 7am visit to local microbrewery Acton Ales to begin the exciting task of brewing “Northumberland Lightning Ale”!

After completing their first season in the National Leagues representing Northumberland, the players recently approached local company Acton Ales with the vision of creating their own beer and the concept quickly gained momentum with owner Paul Johnson only happy to help support a local team.

Paul has over 12 years experience in beer production, with Acton Ales already producing a number of great real ales such as American Dark Knight and Golden Cocker, as well as supplying 70 outlets in Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumberland, including The Portland in Ashington and The Office in Morpeth.

Paul, along with apprentice Dave Moffatt shared his wealth of experience with the players this past Saturday – who just so happen to be beer enthusiasts themselves, over a tour of the microbrewery and following an explanation of the process, the lads got stuck in and the brewing process began.

Speaking at the end of the day, Paul said making the beer; “helps support a local team, because as a local business it’s important to help out the local community, as both real ale and American Football have lots of followers”.

HC Mal Ditcham added; “it was a great opportunity to combine two of our hobbies and also help support a local business. Paul and Dave were excellent hosts and it was brilliant to see the hard work that goes into brewing”.

For those who want to be one of the first to grab a pint of Northumberland Lightning Ale, head over to The Office in Morpeth that Paul runs with his wife Andrea. The micro pub on Castle Square is one of the select venues that will be stocking the ale from this Tuesday 25th August.. but don’t wait too long, the whole team is heading to Morpeth this coming bank holiday weekend for an end of season party and stock is limited!


Acton Ales are live on Facebook and Twitter, so head on over and show them some support or better yet, get down and get tasting!

Check out some of the below behind the scenes pictures (courtesy of Dave Moffatt) below – we’ll be posting a full album and link of the photos when they go live in the near future!

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