Derwent Living raises a glass to 50th anniversary

Midlands housing provider Derwent Living has teamed up with Derby-based brewery Dancing Duck to help celebrate its 50th anniversary by creating a special beer called Derwent 1964.

Dancing Duck owner Rachel Matthews – who once worked at Derwent Living – said that the special pale ale will be on sale from 15 October. The brewery will produce 38 barrels of Derwent 1964, each containing 72 pints.

Peter McCormack, Derwent Living’s chief executive, visited the Dancing Duck brewery this week to try out Derwent 1964 for the first time. Peter said:

“It’s fantastic to work with Dancing Duck to create this beer to help commemorate our 50th anniversary.”

“We thought it was a great idea to create a special beer to mark the occasion, and it was especially important that a local brewer helped us do that.”

The pale ale will be available from mid-October throughout the East Midlands. For real ale lovers and local people wanting to try it out, the beer will be on tap in the New Zealand Arms in Derby.

When Derwent 1964 goes on sale, there will be collection tins at the pumps for Derbyshire charity Derventio Housing Trust, which helps the homeless and vulnerable. Peter continued:

“While Derwent 1964 will be a little more than the six pence a pint beer cost back in 1964, we wanted to support a great local housing cause while celebrating our 50th anniversary.”

The Dancing Duck brewery was created by Rachel Matthews in 2010 with husband Ian Murfin. A real ale lover for years, Rachel developed 12 ales and now runs the Exeter Arms and the New Zealand Arms in Derby. Dancing Duck now employs more than 30 people.

Rachel said:

“It was a great pleasure to make this beer for Derwent Living. It is an organisation which was set up 50 years ago to help people into quality affordable housing and it still has those same values today.”

Louise Collier, senior fundraiser and communications officer at Derventio Housing Trust, said:

“We congratulate Derwent Living on this major milestone – and we’re delighted that the organisation is supporting Derventio in its 50th year.”

Derwent Living was set up as Derwent Housing in 1964 in a small office above an estate agent in Derby. Derwent Living is a ‘profit for social purpose’ organisation providing affordable housing to suit a range of lifestyles. It now manages more than 25,000 properties across the UK.

Now based in Pride Park, the organisation employs more than 750 staff. The business includes subsidiaries in facilities management – Derwent fm – and student accommodation – Derwent Students.

To commemorate the anniversary, the organisation has created a special online exhibition which charts the organisation from its beginnings to the present day. It can be viewed at