Hail the Congleton Ale Conner!


750 years after Congleton, in Cheshire, was given the right to appoint an Ale Taster in its first charter, the town has once again taken up the option to appoint an Ale Conner!

As part of the town’s 750-year charter celebrations, the town threw down the challenge to find a person to take on the role. The local council was delighted with the response and has appointed ‘Benedict Goodale’ aka Paul Boswell to the role.


Paul, who was enjoying retired life in Congleton, studied history at university before embarking on a 35-year career in the brewing and pub industry. “This role combines two of my greatest passions, history and ale so I just had to step forward. I am really excited about this role and hope that I can help showcase many of our excellent ale houses here in Congleton!”

To help ‘Benedict’ to step into the role, a medieval-style outfit has been designed and made by local historian and costume-maker Jenny Unsworth. Jenny has also made outfits for the Catchpole and Town Crier roles.

When asked about the name Benedict Goodale, Paul said: Benedict was a popular medieval name meaning blessed. Goodale seems appropriate surname for Congleton with its many quality bars, alehouses and breweries! The adventures of Benedict Goodale the Congleton Ale Taster can be followed on social media.


Congleton’s Ale Taster of 2022 will have none of the powers invested in the 1272 role. He will not be able to fine the town’s publicans or send them to the stocks or prison. However it is hoped the role can be used to positively showcase Congleton’s pubs and ales.

In the diary for the Ale Taster includes the Congleton Food and Drink Festival on the 12th of June, teaching the town’s schoolchildren about beers and bread at a Living History exhibition in July, attending the Medieval Festival on the 13th of August and Medieval banquet on the 30th September. There are also plans for an Ale Trail and Beer Festival.

If you would like the Congleton Ale Taster at your event please contact info@congleton-tc.gov.uk or tel 01260 270350 ext 1

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