Beer Behind Bars at Trav

Nov 15 2012 | By More

Prison-based play pulls pints of product placement

Jail Bird from the Scottish Borders Brewery - on tap at the Traverse

Jail Bird from the Scottish Borders Brewery – on tap at the Traverse. Photo © Thom Dibdin

By Thom Dibdin

The arrival of Firebrand Theatre’s new production of Iron by Rona Munro has resulted in some tasty product placement down in the Traverse Bar.

The play is an intense psychological drama staring Blythe Duff as a long-term prisoner, Fay, with Irene Allan as her daughter Josie. Crawford Logan and Claire Dargo play the two guards who are constantly present when Josie turns up at the prison, unannounced, expecting to see her mother after 15 years.

In keeping with the theme, The Scottish Borders Brewery has produced a limited edition Jail Bird Ale. A keg of which is in service behind the Traverse bar. The brewery is based in Jedburgh, just up the road from the Hawick-based theatre company.

Whether the keg will last until the end of the play’s run on Saturday is another matter. The amber ale makes for a slightly hoppy and fragrant pint. At 4.0% ABV it is what you might call highly quaffable – and certainly very more-ish for anyone inclined to remain in the bar after the show to discuss the irony of Taggart favourite Duff playing a prisoner.

It might even serve as a slight consolation for those turning up  at the theatre without a ticket for this sold-out show.

The newly branded – those with an intimate knowledge of the brewery’s output might say re-branded – beer is part of a sponsorship deal for the theatre company. The brewery boasts a “plough-to-pint” philosophy as it is based on the farm where the barley used to make the beer is grown.

Iron is at the Traverse until Saturday (Returns only)

The Scottish Borders Brewery website:


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