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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 December, 2003, 19:00 GMT
University gets its own beer
Vice chancellor of Birmingham University Professor Michael Stirling with a pint of Old Joe's Winter Warmer, picture courtesy of News Team International
The new beer is named after clock tower on the campus
Staff at a the University of Birmingham will be enjoying a warmer winter over the festive period thanks to the launch of a specially commissioned beer.

The brew, known as Old Joe's Winter Warmer, will be available at the university's staff bar over Christmas for 2.15 a pint.

It was commissioned to celebrate the university's long history of associations with the brewing industry and is named after the 100ft Chamberlain Clock Tower on the campus, known as Old Joe.

The drink is being launched as a pilot scheme with a view to introducing other guest beers to the campus to mark special events such as graduation.

It was brewed by the small independent Church End brewery in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and contains a secret ingredient.

'Began as a joke'

A university spokeswoman said the centre was once home to the British School of Malting and Brewing, which even had its own Professor of Brewing, Adrian Brown.

Even now, academics in biosciences and chemical engineering still carry out research in taste technology in brewing, she said.

Professor Ken Dowden said: "The whole idea of introducing beers and maybe setting up a brewery on campus started as a joke, but now we have commissioned this brew it is gorgeous.

"Winter warmers like this can be quite sweet and sickly, but this is very drinkable.

"If we ever do set up a brewery, the Midlands should watch out."

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