Organisers of the Rotherham Real & Music Festival have teamed up with one of South Yorkshire’s newest microbreweries to give beer lovers across the region a chance to take part in a unique virtual beer tasting event as part of this year’s celebrations.

Taking place on Friday 19th March, the virtual tasting will feature five different varieties which have been produced by Sheffield’s Little Mesters Brewery. Hosted from the Brewery’s tap, founders Simon, Ian and Ben will offer an insight into the brewery they founded during lockdown as well as a tutored tasting, all from the comfort of your own home.

The tasting event will showcase the Brewery’s core range of traditional brews including its popular Little Mesters Originals range of beers, which includes its 4% Little Mesters Original Lager, its popular 3.9% original bitter which is brewed using golden syrup as well as seasonal specials including a spiced rum and raisin stout and a double dry hopped IPA. The fifth beer in the range remains closely under wraps, but promises to offer something a little different for beer lovers to enjoy from the comfort of their own home.

Each tasting box will include eight beers and five varieties and can be ordered from the festival website:

To mark the launch of the first virtual festival, organisers have partnered with Rotherham’s Chantry Brewery, to produce a limited edition festival beer, which was has been produced by a recipe developed by festival organiser Steve Burns.

Brewed in the style of a traditional Yorkshire session bitter featuring all-english malts and hops the special beer and commemorative 2021 glass can now be purchased from the Chantry Brewery website, or by visiting the brewery in person.

The 2021 virtual festival will take place on 20th March, featuring live performances which will be streamed behind closed doors from Magna and will feature performances by festival favourites Bloodlines, the G-Men and At the Arcade.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support Rotherham Cancer Care Centre which provides support to people who have cancer or been affected by the disease, by providing a range of therapies and counselling sessions designed to improve quality of life.

Steve Burns, Festival Organiser said: “Over the years, the festival has acted as a platform for many new breweri es to showcase their beers, some of which, including the Black Sheep Brewery have gone on to become household names and loved all over the world. We wanted to continue that tradition this year and teamed up with Little Mesters Brewery to give ale enthusiasts a chance to sample a beers from a brewery which opened their doors during lockdown, meaning they have not been widely available in pubs.

“Last year’s festival was one of the last major events in South Yorkshire to take place before Britain entered into the national lockdown. We didn’t want to cancel this year’s event, so hit on the idea of creating a virtual festival, offering regular festival visitors a chance to recapture some of the magic of the festival from the comfort of their own living rooms, whilst doing their bit to support live music, real ale and of course raising funds to support the work of our chosen charity, Rotherham Cancer Care Centre.

“For many the Rotherham Real Ale and Music festival is a highlight of the year and to ensure the event goes ahead we decided to host it virtually for the very first time. The process is a new journey for most of us and we excited and confident we can successfully get people up on their feet in their living rooms, whilst enjoying our beers, specially brewed for the festival itself.

The Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival has been hosted annually since 1992. Originally taking place at Oakwood Comprehensive School and conceived as a fundraiser by the school’s PTA, the festival relocated to the Magna Science Adventure Centre in 2010, and since then the volunteer-led event has continued to raise thousands of pounds each year to support local good causes.

A special commemorative glass and the specially produced festival beer can be ordered from Chantry Brewery:

Both the virtual tasting and festival beer include free local delivery and nationwide delivery is also available – see websites for more details.