Fanny’s Passion - the Salford beer with artistic flair

Fanny's Passion

Fanny's Passion - Credit: Archant

A crafty collaboration has brought the worlds of beer and art together in Salford, as Rebekka O’Grady discovers

Jack Dixon (brewer), Sian Elizabeth aka Fanny Gogh with brothers Keith, Greg, Nathan and Dan

Jack Dixon (brewer), Sian Elizabeth aka Fanny Gogh with brothers Keith, Greg, Nathan and Dan - Credit: Archant

Two worlds have collided in the latest beer to come out of Salford brewery, Seven Bro7hers, thanks to a collaboration between the band of brewing brothers and local artist Fanny Gogh, aka Sian Elizabeth. Fanny’s Passion, a passionfruit wheat beer made with mosaic and galaxy hops, is the delicious result of the creative minds coming together. At 4.5% it’s an ideal session beer, and the public seem to think so too with it selling out at the brewery’s Beer House in Ancoats.

‘Greg nailed the brew first time,’ said Keith McAvoy, who founded the brewery after having the idea while working in Oslo. He returned home and pitched it to his six brothers: Luke, Daniel, Guy, Kit, Nathan and Greg, who is head brewer. It’s a real family affair with all seven brothers playing a role in the business. Even their sisters Lucy, Kate, Hayley and Kerry have set up Four Sis4ers gin distillery this year.

‘It’s one of the best beers we have made and with the artwork it makes it a real talking point in the bar. Fanny’s Passion is a celebration of Salford, as our family and Sian are from here and that’s where it’s created.’

However this isn’t the first time the two have worked together. Sian, whose art features at Manchester’s National Football Museum and Café Football, was the artist behind the t-shirts given to investors in the brewery’s first crowdfunding campaign. From then on, Keith and his brothers knew that they wanted to work with her again.

The team at Seven Bro7hers with Fanny Gogh, aka Sian Elizabeth

The team at Seven Bro7hers with Fanny Gogh, aka Sian Elizabeth - Credit: Archant

‘I’ve known Sian personally for a few years as our children are in the same school year, so I already knew about her great talents,’ said Keith. It was actually his partner Alison, the social media, marketing and events coordinator at Seven Bro7hers, who when having a drink with Sian in the brewery’s Beer House in Ancoats developed the idea to create Fanny’s Passion.

‘We were sitting together and Alison said let’s create a new beer,’ explained Sian, who developed her artistic moniker Fanny Gogh after a textile exhibition in 2008 where she upcycled different fabrics, including knickers in a knickerbocker glory dessert sculpture, and a newspaper named her a play-on-words of the artist, Van Gogh.

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‘I then started to do some sketches, we played around with different tastes and ingredients to put in and it just organically evolved. I have always been inspired by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who was an artist in residency at the Moulin Rouge. I went deep into the realm of how alcohol and art link together. There’s a different dimension in the environment of a pub or bar; I really like the energy and the people.’

Sian based the design work of Fanny’s Passion around Lautrec’s style and his images of women in bars – becoming particularly inspired by Jane Avril who was a dancer at the famous Parisian club: ‘I kept the theme of a stage and added in the seven brothers as silhouettes. I want to develop Fanny as a character and the story of each brother – the art will run parallel with the craft beer as it’s craft on both levels.’

Pale malt

Pale malt - Credit: Archant