Boost for producers as TV millions enjoy celebration of Melton food and drink

A Melton brewery featured on Sunday’s Countryfile episode on BBC1 says it has enjoyed ‘a huge number of orders’ from customers throughout the UK on the back of it.

By Nick Rennie
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 5:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 6:11 pm
Matt Baker tastes beer and Stilton cheese at Round Corner Brewing in Melton during Sunday's Countryfile programme EMN-220323-132503001
Matt Baker tastes beer and Stilton cheese at Round Corner Brewing in Melton during Sunday's Countryfile programme EMN-220323-132503001

Around six million viewers tuned in to watch the programme, which was almost entirely dedicated to the food and drink heritage of the Melton borough.

Presenters Matt Baker and Margherita Taylor toured the area to visit producers and enjoyed pairing beers and lagers from Round Corner Brewing with a selection of local pies and cheeses.

They spent time at the brewery, which is located at the town’s livestock market site, with brewer Lara Lopes, who is making a name for herself in the industry after moving from her native Brazil.

Presenter Matt Baker learns about Stilton cheese production from manager Billy Kevan at Colston Bassett Dairy during Sunday's Countryfile programme EMN-220323-132453001

Talking about the incredible exposure for his business from the programme, co-founder Combie Cryan told the Melton Times: “Our website has always been reasonably popular but we had a huge number of orders from all round the country and from people who haven’t ordered from us before immmediately after the aftermath of the programme.

“It was very enjoyable watching it and it was a very positive programme which was great for us and the other food and drink businesses in the Melton area.

“We are expecting a few more for our tours of the brewery and tap room and our tasting events on the back of this.

“We work hard to welcome people on to the site and we’re very lucky to have such an iconic home and we can’t wait to welcome more people to see what we do.”

Brewer Lara Lopes checks a beer at Round Corner Brewing in Melton during Sunday's Countryfile programme EMN-220323-132513001

The presenters dropped in first at March House Farm at Great Dalby to talk to Jo-Anne Rodger and her team about producing Melton Mowbray pork pies using shoulder and belly pork from their own pigs.

Then it was on to Nice Pie at Old Dalby to find out about their award-winning pies, including those with exotic fillings such as meat from kangaroos, camels, crocodiles and squirrels. Margherita helped make a ‘Roadkill pie’, which is actually made from game meat.

Next stop was Colston Bassett Dairy and a feature about its history going back to 1913 and its partnership with local farmers.

Dairy manager, Billy Kevan, showed Matt how Stilton is made and matured and gave tips on how best to store it at home before eating.

Countryfile television presenter Margherita Taylor pictured during filming at Old Dalby-based Nice Pie for the special episode featuring Melton's food heritage EMN-220323-180823001

Then it was on to Paul’s, at Snow Hill in Melton, to chat to vegan food producing pioneer, Paul Jones, who makes tofu from soya beans with wife Tracy and son Barney at their family business.

The British Pie Awards was also featured with organiser Matthew O’Callaghan singing the praises of the host venue, St Mary’s Church, which he described as ‘the catherdal of pies’.

John O’Gaunt sheepdog trial expert, Nij Vyas, also made an appearance on the show, helping to judge a special Comic Relief sheepdog trial competition.

The Melton episode of Countryfile is available to watch again on the BBC iPlayer service.