THROUGHOUT the North by Northwich festival, music fans in the town are likely to see plenty of things that they never expected to see and aren’t likely to see again.

There’ll be rock bands blowing the roof off Northwich Library, legendary DJ Clint Boon gracing the booth at Retros, and yesterday saw a certain famous band having a chippy and a chat in The Seafarer.

But they are also being treated to an exclusive new taste - the CW Nine beer.

Named after the Northwich postcode, it's being served in all the main venues around the town and will be sold only for the duration of the festival.

The blonde ale has been made by father and son micro-brewery Sandiway Ales, and The Charlatans were surprisingly hands-on in coming up with what the beer should taste like.

“The band’s bassist Martin Blunt came up to visit us,” said Mike Hill, of Sandiway Ales.

“Martin likes his beer and we had a talk about what they wanted this exclusive beer to be like.

“He wanted us to base it on his favourite beer, Banks’s Sunbeam. He wanted a pale blonde beer, four per cent, and not too hoppy. So we researched the hops and used the same ones.

“I think we’ve done a good job of giving them what they wanted. We’ve replicated Martin’s favourite beer somewhat, but it isn’t just a copy, we’ve done it in our own way and it definitely stands on its own.

“It’s a one-off and it will never be drunk again, so I hope people will take the opportunity to try it.”

Mike runs the brewery at Blakemere Village with his son Paul, supplying beer for the small pub they run on the site of the brewery, as well as a small select number of pubs in the local area, including Mike’s own bar in Winsford – No. 4.

Getting a call one day from The Charlatans to ask if they could make a special beer for a Northwich take-over event, came as a huge shock to the father and son partnership.

But Mike admits that the enormity of what had been presented to them, only hit him with the help of Paul.

“They approached us and to be honest, at first I was like, ‘yeah that will be great, we’ll make you a beer no problem’,” Mike said.

“But it was only when I spoke to my son that I realised how big it is and how amazing it is to be making a special beer exclusively for this festival. He said ‘dad, you don’t understand, when it comes to indie bands, these guys are at the very top.’

“I cannot say how appreciative we are to be given the opportunity like this.”

Around 5,000 pints of CW Nine have been brewed for the 10-day festival, which Mike says, is by far the biggest batch they have worked on.

Although the CW Nine beer won’t be available after the festival, Sandiway Ales might just be seen at other festivals at some point in the future.

“It’s a huge order for us, and it’s been a big task, but it has shown that we can do it, and I’ve got the taste for it now,” Mike added.

“So who knows? We might try and expand and we might be looking to supply more events like this in the future.”