Morpeth Brewery and Beer Co is heading up Bitter & Twisted this year with their strictly limited – yep just 147 750mL, beautifully labelled bottles – of their poetically-named Gaoler’s Ale.

A dark beer, that brewer Dave Allen describes as a Porter-style hybrid, the brew is never to be repeated, making it as unique as the festival that inspired it.

A commercial brewer who has worked in Canada, the UK and Europe, Allen jokes that despite brewing in his smallest brewery to date, the beer just had to be made. “It is a unique festival,” he says. “And it is about time it had its own commemorative beer.”

Setting up in Morpeth last year, the brewery officially had it’s first brew on tap, at their home in Commercial Hotel in Morpeth, for Anzac Day 2012 and has been going great guns ever since.

As well as the Gaoler’s Ale, the new brand will have their Pilsner and IPA on offer, along with a Gaoler’s ESB and a mystery beer that Allen is keeping mum about.

In further interesting news, the festival organisers have announced that smart phones and QR codes will be playing a role at the technologically advanced event.

The festival will now feature a digital component, with a series of QR codes hidden around the gaol. Once scanned by a compatible smart phone, the QR codes will send people to unexpected videos, websites and photos.

According to event organiser Rachel MacLucas, it is all about continuing to surprise punters. “Bitter & Twisted is known for its ability to surprise and delight from its unusual setting, to the entertainment and side acts,” she says. “The QR codes help give the festival a digital presence throughout the weekend, we’ll also be encouraging people to post photos and comments on our Facebook page over the weekend.”

Gates open 10am this Saturday and tickets can be purchased on the door.

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