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Spitalfields Market resurrects ancient role of Ale Taster

PUBLISHED: 13:03 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2010

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THE ancient and coveted role of Ale Taster, which disappeared during the early 19th century, is due to be resurrected by Old Spitalfields Market. In medieval times, ordinary citizens were appointed to oversee and inspect various aspects of everyday life.

THE ancient and coveted role of Ale Taster, which disappeared during the early 19th century, is due to be resurrected by Old Spitalfields Market.

In medieval times, ordinary citizens were appointed to oversee and inspect various aspects of everyday life.

Not surprisingly, one of the most popular offices to be held was that of the Ale Taster also known as Ale Conner.

Duties involved visiting stalls and inns on market days and during the town's fairs to ensure that the ales, beers and other produce on sale were of good quality.

Malcolm Ball, chief executive of Wellington Market Company, the firm, which manages the market, said: "Ale Tasters would have been a familiar sight in London

"Although the attraction of such a role may seem obvious at first, the 21st century version would incorporate many more responsibilities than the original.

"Our ceremonial Ale Taster would become an ambassador for the promotion of drink and food in the area.

"Modern tastes have evolved and become so much more sophisticated in recent times and people demand ever greater levels of quality and variety.

"The successful candidate will have a sound knowledge of local, regional, national and international beers and he or she must be passionate and vocal about the subject, actively wanting to promote good drinks and food within the Spitalfields area."

Applicants should submit a short, written application explaining why they would be the best person for the ceremonial role to info@londonaletaster.co.uk

Rules and more information is available at www.londonaletaster.co.uk

The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday, May 23. Applicants must be 18 or over and live in London.

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