A SADDLEWORTH microbrewery has launched a new range of its beers in time for the Christmas market.
And there will be plenty of opportunity for drinkers to sample the latest arrivals including at the inaugural Donkeystone Christmas weekend on December 14-16.
Two stouts, including the festive only Little Donkey, Cotton Clouds lager and a keg version of its popular Donkey Pale Ale are now on the market.
The additions bring the Greenfield-based company’s range up to 11 ales and stouts.
“The brewery is going really well,” enthuses director Stephen James.
“I was expecting it to die down between September and November. Instead, every month we have increased sales.
“We are now selling all around the country through various different wholesalers so that’s helped ramp up production.”
Stephen is also delighted by the newcomers to the family.
“Little Donkey is full of Christmas flavours, quite intense, and just a beautiful drink,” he explained during the business’s Christmas Fair on Sunday, November 25.
“Then there’s our plain stout, the Cotton Clouds lager and a DPA on keg, which is a slightly different recipe to the cask version.
“As it gets colder you tend to find people go for the darker ales rather than the lighter, hoppy ones. “
Donkeystone’s own pub, the Brewery Tap, at Boarshurst Business Park, is also doing brisk business.
Open Friday from 6-10pm; Saturday from 2-10pm and Sunday, from 2-6pm, the Brewery Tap was a hive of activity for its Christmas fair which included craft and food stalls plus live entertainment.
On December 14, it will host a Christmas ‘do’ for Saddleworth’s self-employed with live music and bar.
The following day there is an afternoon of free activities for the kids, including face painting and a visit from Father Christmas before the adults have their fun from 6pm with festive music and carols from a brass quartet.
To round off the weekend, on Sunday, December 16 the venue will host the re-launch of Manns Wharf catering company, now in the hands of Helen Stevenson and Kristi Fuller.
Donkeystone is also collecting for Oldham Foodbank, particularly tinned fruit, tea bags, dried pasta, rice and UHT milk. Items can be dropped off during Brewery Tap opening hours.