A BEER brewed in honour of the recently exhumed Richard III will be launched at a three-day celebration of local produce at the weekend.

King of the Dales Plantagenet Ale will be unveiled by the Daleside Brewery at the Dales Festival of Food and Drink, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

The annual festival, formed as a response to the foot and mouth epidemic, now features more than 80 different stands, including 15 exhibitors appearing in the food hall for the first time this year.

The drinks marquee will showcase small breweries from across Yorkshire.

Dales Festival of Food and Drink spokeswoman Margaret Knight said the Richard III theme for the festival ale had been chosen because of the time spent by the king at nearby Middleham.

She added: “We had many different suggestions for our festival ale varying from the Tour de France, local place names, or the festival itself.

“We even had the suggestion of a tribute to the late Richard Whiteley who was a long-time supporter of the festival.

“We liked many of the entries, however the one seen as most topical related to the recently discovered King Richard III.”

Daleside managing director Eric Lucas said: “Craig Witty, our head brewer, and I have been researching beers of the day - it has been quite fascinating.

“This ale is the equivalent to what would have been called a second brew as in the Middle Ages ingredients were used several times. “ Visitors to the festival can see live cookery demonstrations from some of the region’s top chefs.

Those giving talks at speaker’s corner include local writers Andy Seed and Susan Parry, and the ever popular author and former schools inspector Gervase Finn.

Farming for Food offers demonstrations on traditional farming skills. There will also be traditional dancing and six hours of live music every day.

Since its inception, the festival has donated more than £150,000 to community causes and supports Tickets for Troops.

The festival takes place from Saturday, May 4 until Monday 6 beside the A684 just outside Leyburn.

For more information, visit www.dalesfestivaloffood.org