Comic character capers brew at Kelham Island

Cartonnist, Jim Connolly, with staff at the Kelham Island Brewery
Cartonnist, Jim Connolly, with staff at the Kelham Island Brewery
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BEERS fit for superheroes and comic book villains are rolling off the production line after Sheffield’s award-winning Kelham Island brewery teamed up with a cartoonist.

Illustrator Jim Connolly is working with the brewery on six beers, each of which has a corresponding character who features on the beer pump.

The first two beers have already been produced.

Jim said: “Tin Can Avenger was released in February. It’s a continental style lager and the hero, who has armour and a unicycle, is on a mission to rid the world of cheap lager.”

The second beer, Dunkel Devastator, is a dark German wheat beer - and Jim’s corresponding character is a tough bad guy who leaps around with a hammer of doom.

The third beer is being released this month - a dark porter called Gentleman Death.

Jim said: “Gentleman Death is the baddies’ leader and a cross between Skeletor and Basil Fawlty, using black magic to achieve his ends.”

The three remaining beers in the series are Mistress Flames, a strong ruby mild whose cartoon character is a ‘jovial but evil vamp with fiery blood’, Crimson Steel, a very hoppy amber ale, and Mind Control, a 6.9 per cent double India Pale Ale.

“Crimson Steel is the leader of the goodies with the heart of an English knight, part Batman and part Aragorn, while Mind Control is the final goodie with an X-Men flavour in her design,” Jim added.

The idea of cartoon-theme beers was the brainchild of Kelham Island’s head brewer Iain Kenny and manager Mick Greenhough. Jim worked initially to design logos for a Christmas beer.

Jim said: “The current series was Iain’s initial concept and I was assigned to bring in some sketches of potential heroes and villains.

“One important thing was that the personality of the character matched that of the beer.”