Seasonal sensation as historic ale wins US television following

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IT MIGHT not necessarily be the drink of choice for many of Tinseltown’s glitterati – but a Christmas ale said to be produced by a Yorkshire brewery has captured the attention of festive drinkers across the Atlantic after it featured on a leading US TV crime drama set in Los Angeles.

A festive tipple from Masham-based T&R Theakston’s was shown in the Christmas special of the hit TV show NCIS: Los Angeles which was screened in the USA this week.

At the end of the episode Hire Power – which will not be seen in the UK until next year– the NCIS’s operations manager Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, played by Linda Hunt, is seen knocking a tap into an end of a wooden cask.

As she pours a glass of beer, she says: “This is Theakston’s Christmas Ale, flown all the way from Yorkshire in England, and brewed like it was in Charles Dickens’s time.”

The high-profile plug for the ale has led to a series of email requests from fans of the crime drama eager to sample the Yorkshire brewery’s wares.

T&R Theakston Ltd’s executive director, Simon Theakston, said: “The programme was correct in almost every detail expect one. Whilst we have been brewing beer the same way since Charles Dickins’s time, we don’t have one called Christmas Ale. However, we are prepared to excuse them that little slip.”

In addition to five permanent ales, including the famous Old Peculier, the brewery has a dozen seasonal ales, and the current one, The Famous Theakston’s Masham Ale, is available until January.

For the last eight years, the brewery has been sponsoring the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which brings the world’s leading crime writers to Harrogate each July. Mr Theakston added: “Appearing in a crime series is very fitting indeed. This really was wonderful advertising for both Theakston’s and Yorkshire alike, and I’m sure it will lead to us gaining a new army of real ale admirers.”

NCIS: Los Angeles – which stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service – stars Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J. The show is a spin-off from the original NCIS series, based in Washington DC.