Ale and hearty

This year’s Hereford River Carnival goers will have much to thank Peter Hill and Liz Harvey for, as they slake their thirst with a pint (or two!) of ‘Sink or Swim’ on the day.  Peter with a friend, spent a day last year creating a special, limited edition 4.0% ABV Pale Amber ale that will be on sale in the run up to the Carnival and on the day itself.

When asked about their idea for the beer name, Peter said: “Liz and I thought of a dozen names and sent them all in and luckily for us the judges liked the sound of Sink or Swim.  The brewing day has been absolutely superb – unfortunately Liz couldn’t make it, so another friend, Paul, joined me instead.  It’s been really interesting to see how the malts and hops are balanced with other ingredients to create different flavours and aromas; I certainly didn’t expect to be zesting pink grapefruit to go in the beer!  Head Brewer, Gareth and his team have been fantastic and we’d also like to thank everyone at Hereford River Carnival for setting this up.   We can’t wait to taste the fruits of our labour – ‘Sink or Swim’ we’re confident will taste great!”

Isobel Heywood, Marketing Executive of Wye Valley Brewery adds, “There were some great entries proving that there is no lack of creativity or imagination among the people of Herefordshire.  For us, Sink or Swim was the standout name.  Succinct and relevant to the Carnival, it also has a touch of humour and it is easy to imagine someone walking up to the bar and asking for a pint – always the acid test for us.

“Wye Valley Brewery is always keen to support local community events, so it’s a privilege for us to support something as quintessentially Herefordshire as the River Carnival.  Having its own specially-brewed cask ale should add to the occasion.  We would also like to wish all the Wye Valley Brewery pubs who are taking part in the river procession the very best of luck and we hope that one of them is victorious in winning the £250 prize for best dressed float, generously donated by the Mayor.”

Carnival organiser, Leo Caithness says, “The River Carnival is all about the people of Hereford.  This year, local businesses have been fantastic in getting right behind us to support the Carnival with sponsorship and fantastic prizes like this one from Wye Valley Brewery.  Cotswold Mini, East Friars B&B in Hereford, Bulmers, ABC Print, the Left Bank and Harrison Clark Rickerbys have also given us invaluable support alongside Hereford City Council, the Environment Agency and many others.”

The Hereford River Carnival on Saturday 30th April 2016 promises to be a fantastically fun event for all the family – with even more people, schools, businesses and community groups getting involved.

Despite a 40-year absence, the event has been so successful since its 2014 return, that the organisers expect this year’s Carnival to exceed the 7,000 people and over 70 local groups that were involved last year.

The Carnival is a day of fun for everyone, celebrating the beauty and vitality of the River Wye and the life that it brings to the city of Hereford.

For more information on the competition, visit our website at or contact Polly Ernest on or Stuart Fox

To get involved on the day, contact the Carnival on, like us on Facebook, herefordrivercarnival, follow us on Twitter @WyeCarnival or visit our website at

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