AN internationally renowned cellist and conductor returned to a Herefordshire brewery to try a new beer he helped develop.

Professor Julian Lloyd Webber returned to Wye Valley Brewery in Stoke Lacy to oversee the bottling of a bespoke beer for the new Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of Birmingham City University.

He took part in a blind tasting of the brewery's existing products to develop the flavour profile of the new ale with head brewer, Gareth Bateman.

The beer is a limited edition and will be served exclusively at the Birmingham Conservatoire bar. A newly branded Wye Valley Brewery cask ale, Conservatoire Ale, will also be available on the bar.

Professor Lloyd Webber, who is principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, said: “We have created a truly bespoke beer and I am thrilled with the results.

"We want every aspect of the new building to be special for our students and guests, and being able to create a bespoke beer with Wye Valley Brewery has been an essential part of that for me.

"I know Principal’s Ale will be hugely popular, and we have plans to create other bespoke beers with Wye Valley Brewery further down the line."

Principal’s Ale - a 4.8 per cent rich chestnut ale, was brewed using two of Herefordshire’s finest hop varieties alongside crystal malts, giving it a delicate floral character and sweet toffee notes.

The £57 million Birmingham Conservatoire boasts five new public performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall and a 100-seat organ studio. The purpose-built music college will continue to provide training for musicians, actors, stage managers and performers.