Derby designer creates new beer in memory of father-in-law
Register for free to receive latest news stories direct to your inboxRegister
A Derby fashion designer is hoping city drinkers will join him in raising a glass to his much-missed father-in-law after he created a new bespoke craft ale in his memory.
Karl Shaw, who runs the Mr Shaw fashion label, has called the 4.8% IPA session beer Walter, in memory of Walter Stone, who died last year after a short battle with cancer.
The pale ale has been brewed by Derby Brewing Company as part of its collaboration with Mr Shaw, which has produced a range of clothing called the Hop Drop Collection for the brewery.
Shaw is married to Walter’s daughter, Emma, and when he was offered the chance to create and name a beer in return as part of the deal, chose to honour Walter, who for many years was a familiar face behind the counter of his shop, W&W Stone Newsagents in Edmund Road, Spondon, Derby.
Walter ran the shop alongside his wife, Winifred, for 17 years before selling up in 2003. He then dedicated his time to help others by working as a part-time porter and then health care assistant in theatre at Ilkeston Community Hospital before retiring in 2012.
He was also the chairman of the Highfields Lane Allotments in Chaddesden before stepping down in 2019, as well as a valued member of St Alban’s Catholic Church in nearby Roe Farm Lane and the Derby District OddFellows.
Walter’s beer is described as a tropical Indian Pale Ale made with real fruit extract with mango flavours and a strong hoppy finish and has been made available in cans at Derby Brewing Company’s city pubs as well as online.
Shaw, who has also designed the label on the cans, said: “I knew Walter for many years and he made me so welcome in his family that although it’s a bit unusual, I felt straight away that it was fitting to name the beer after him.
“Sadly, Walter passed away in hospital at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when none of us were able to go in and see him, so we had to say our goodbyes on FaceTime. It was incredibly heart-breaking for everyone, while the numbers at his funeral were limited too.
“That’s a huge part of the reason why I wanted to name this beer after him, because it’s a chance for us, and everyone, to make up for the send-off that we weren’t able to give him, with a beer in his name that I’m sure he would have enjoyed as well.”
Emma added: “It’s been an incredibly emotional time, made much worse by the pandemic.
“My dad was an extremely popular man and very much loved and we haven’t had a chance to celebrate that. He made people feel so welcome and comfortable and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
“The launch of this beer is just the beginning of the celebrations of dad’s life and hopefully will evoke lots of lovely memories of dad from all who knew him.”
Mr Shaw’s Hop Drop collection features two T-shirts, a hoodie and a crew neck sweat and was launched earlier this year, the first-of-its-kind collaboration.
Paul Harris, managing director of Derby Brewing Company, said: “Walter’s ale is a real on-trend style, a pale fruity beer that works well as a summer drink and so is perfect for this time of year.
“We have loved working together with Karl on this very Derby collaboration and were delighted to create a beer in Walter’s memory when Karl suggested it.
“We’re thrilled with the way that Karl has styled our Hop Drop Collection and we hope that drinkers enjoy Walter’s beer as much as we enjoy wearing the clothes.”