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“To murder a pint” takes on new meaning with Theakston’s crime of passion ale

The sayings “to murder a pint” and “what’s your poison?” have taken on a whole new meaning with the launch of a Yorkshire brewery’s killer concoction.

Unmasked this week, Theakston’s “Crime of Passion” is not only blood red in colour, but boasts a faint aroma of almonds – often associated with the poison, cyanide.

It has been created by the Masham-brewery to mark its continued support of the internationally renowned Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Now in its eighth year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has established itself as the world’s leading celebration of the crime novel genre, attracting world famous writers and experts alike.

Being held at the Old Swan Hotel, the venue where Agatha Christie stayed under a nom-de-plume during her ten-day disappearance in 1926, this year’s guests include David Baldacci, Lee Child, Martina Cole and Howard Marks.


Theakston executive director Simon Theakston said: “To celebrate our association with the annual Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, we challenged our brewers to create a thirst-quenching thriller.

“It had to by synonymous with a classic murder mystery, and, more importantly, one that had our fingerprints all over it.

“Not only is Crime of Passion red in colour, it has the aroma of almonds, which most people know is the scent most associated with that classic of killers, cyanide.

“Crime of Passion (ABV 4.2 per cent) will be our seasonal beer for the month of July and joins our seasonal ales programme to compliment our range of permanently available national cask brands, including the famous Old Peculier, Theakston Lightfoot and Theakston Best Bitter.”

Simon added: “This is an ale I believe our customers will be dying to try – and one that would have found instant favour with the real ale-loving Inspector Morse. I’m proud to say our team has been found guilty as charged of creating a classic.”

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is being held at the Old Swan Hotel, Swan Road, Harrogate from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24. Further details are available by visiting


 Simon Theakston with Sharon Canavar from the Harrogate Festival
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