New beer celebrates Tour de France hero

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Cragg Vale’s Little Valley Brewery launched a brand new beer in celebration of Brian Robinson, pioneer of British cycling and Yorkshire cycling hero.

The beer was unveiled as Stage Winner by master brewer and co-founder of Little Valley Brewery, Wim van der Spek.

At the launch event in Leeds, guest of honour Brian and his wife Audrey enjoyed a pint of the new beer along with members of the beer and cycling communities in Yorkshire.

Wim and co-owner, Sue Cooper, both keen cyclists, decided to brew this special beer to put the spotlight on Brian’s great cycling achievements - from being the first Briton to complete the Tour de France in 1955 to the first to win a stage in 1958.

The following year, Brian convincingly won a mountain stage of the Tour de France between Annecy to Chalon-sur-Saône.

In 1961 he was the overall winner of Le Dauphiné Libéré, an eight stage cycling race through this mountainous region in France.

The Stage Winner name and the beer’s red polka dot label and pump clip reflect Brian’s international road racing success in the mountains, and his love of the hills of Yorkshire.

“It is a real pleasure to be here today to celebrate the launch of Little Valley’s Stage Winner beer and be one of the first people to enjoy a pint of this refreshing ale”, said Brian, 83, who still cycles today.

“Sue and Wim are as passionate about cycling as they are about their beer so it is no surprise that in the year the Tour de France comes past their brewery they have created a beer to celebrate cycling success.

“In July I’m sure we’ll all be toasting the success of the Tour in Yorkshire with a pint of two of Stage Winner,” he said.