Preston shopping centre donates honey to local brewery for new ale
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After bees were introduced to St George’s centre, Fishergate, in 2014, the centre now boasts an impressive six hives on the roof of the centre - holding anywhere between 50,000 to 60,000 bees per hive.
The centre harvests the honey each year and as the number of hives has grown so has the amount of honey harvested, with batches now being donated to local brewers Priest Town Brewing.
Based on Preston's Box Market, Earl Street, the company has a range of locally brewed beers, all of which give a nod to the city.
Their beers include, Ribbleton Red, Harris Stout, Livesey’s Larger, Addison’s Ale and PR2 IPA and each has a story to tell.
Ian Stezaker from Priest Town Brewing said: "We have created 'Black Fleet' which is a small batch Black IPA, with the added ingredient of the Honey which came from the beehives at St Georges Shopping Centre and supplied very generously from the centre team.
"Black Fleet is named for the mechanics and mill men of the early 1800s, whose votes helped Henry Hunt, the great orator, become MP for Preston who campaigned for universal suffrage."
The Community Hive at St George's was introduced 7 years ago by the Centre Manager Andrew Stringer.
He said: "When the colony was introduced, we were looking at our environmental performance and I had seen the idea of bees on rooftops in London.
It gave me the idea to put bees on the roof of the shopping centre and the owners were all supportive and onboard.
"We looked to engage with Preston beekeepers association which is also where we got our first colony from and from there it has just grown and grown into the six colonies we have now.
"It has all been grown organically and we harvest the honey once a year and give it to staff members and their families. This year, with our surplus honey, we knew we wanted to get involved with supporting local businesses, which is when my colleague Ryan got in touch with the brewery."
And Ryan Peacock, Operations Manager at St Georges, chose to donate the honey to Priest Town Brewing, based on Preston's box market.
He added: “I was keen to offer our surplus honey to a local small independent business so I chose Priest Town Brewing as they produce local beers.
"They are all named according to Preston’s history, such as the beer they have produced with our honey - Black Fleet, based on the story of Henry Hunt a former MP of Preston."
More information can be found on their website here.
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