11 May 2011

Ale celebration set to become annual tradition

L to r: Lord Mayor, Cllr Alan Law; Dave Wickett; Professor Rebec

Glasses were raised in celebration at the University of Sheffield on Wednesday 11 May, to mark the signing of an agreement to make Audit Feast, a celebration of ale and food, an annual event.

The special signing ceremony at the University´s Firth Court, has formalised the feast that used to be a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages and was revived in 2009 by the Kelham Island Brewery, in conjunction with the University.

Audit Ale used to be brewed by colleges within the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford from as long ago as the fourteenth century. The special ale was to be drunk at the Audit Feast, held in celebration when the college's accounts had been audited.

Real Ale boss Dave Wickett, the owner of the brewery and a graduate of the University of Sheffield thought it would be an excellent idea to revive the tradition and hold a special dinner to celebrate beer and how different beers can be used to accompany and complement food much in the same way wine does. All the food for Audit Feast is prepared by a local chef making use of the finest local ingredients and Kelham Island Beer.

The first feast was held at The Fat Cat pub in 2009 and was considered by all those that attended to have been a great success. It was requested that it should be held annually and, small though it was, become part of Sheffield's regular social scene.

Today´s signing officially cemented the event in Sheffield´s social calendar and brought together key figures from the city, including the Lord Mayor, Cllr Alan Law; Professor Bill Speirs, the Master Cutler; Pro Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs Professor Rebecca Hughes; and Dave Wickett from Kelham Island Brewery.

Future Audit Feasts will now alternate between the Cutlers' Hall, the Town Hall and Firth Court at the University of Sheffield. It is hoped the next Audit Feast will take place in October.