A SCHOOL has been rapped by an alcohol watchdog after it commssioned a beer to celebrate its centenary.

Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School sold the beer at a fireworks spectacular evening to mark 100 years of history and a centenary reunion for alumni in March.

But a complaint was made by a concerned resident to the Portman Group, the independent body that promotes responsible drinking, that a bottled beer produced by Ramsbottom’s Irwell Works Brewery, emblazoned with the school’s crest ‘blatantly and explicitly associates their school brand with an alcoholic drink within the school environment and is not age appropriate’.

The complaint has been upheld but Rossendale’s MP Jake Berry condemned the ruling as ‘disappointing’, and the MD of the brewery in Irwell Street said she was saddened, adding they had ‘no idea we were doing anything wrong’.

A report on the ruling said: “Both events were outside of school hours with Temporary Event Notices approved by Rossendale Council and strict monitoring of alcohol in designated areas.

“The school explained that in its view the beer did not have a particular appeal to under-18s as it was aimed at real ale connoisseurs and was not an alcopop. Further to this, the packaging was not attractive to students and there were no appealing images on the label.

"Only one email was sent to parents using the school email system to ensure that only parents received the communication.

“The email to parents which advertised the fireworks event mentioned that there would be ‘fairground attractions and stalls ranging from Krispy Kreme doughnuts to burgers, candy floss and, for the connoisseurs, our very own BRGS Centenary Beer’.”

It added: “The panel considered that a school emblem was used by a school to instil a sense of loyalty and identity. This would still apply even when the emblem appeared on other products.”

Sara D’arcy, the brewery’s MD, said: “I think the ruling is quite harsh.

Jake Berry MP said: “I’m disappointed by this decision.”