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Comedian Ed Gamble brews charity beer – and laughter is the secret ingredient

Comedian Ed Gamble and Vault City co-founder Steven Smith-Hay

COMEDIAN Ed Gamble has teamed up with one of the UK’s leading craft breweries to make a limited-edition charity beer. 

“Canned Laughter”, the latest creation by Edinburgh-based sour beer specialists Vault City Brewing, is made with apple, guava and a very special ingredient – laughter. 

The stand-up comic turned brewer played a key role in making the beer as he was tasked with laughing into the tanks during production, which they believe will make people cheerful when they drink it. 

The brewer got in touch with Ed when he described Vault City as “one of his favourite breweries” on the Off Menu podcast. 

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Co-founder Steven Smith-Hay said: “As an Edinburgh brewery, we had to mark the Fringe, and what better way to do it than with a collab beer with my favourite comedian.” 

“It was such a buzz to hear that Ed was a fan of ours – the feeling is definitely mutual!” 

“We sent him beers, then invited him into the brewery. One thing led to another and we decided to brew a beer together.  We discussed his favourite flavours and beers in great detail before settling on the recipe. We’re buzzing with how it turned out.” 

The idea to add laughter to the process came after Vault City exhibited at the Oslo Craft Beer Festival. There, Steven heard about the ancient tradition of “yeast screaming” – a strange custom in Stjørdalen in Norway during which brewers scream into the fermenter as they pitch the yeast, to enhance the strength and flavour.

Steven added: “We’re always researching ways to make our beer taste as good as possible, and we never want to be outdone. I thought we’d try laughter instead as we try to keep screaming to a minimum in the brewery.  

“By that point, Ed was all-in and was delighted to laugh into the beer.  And I’m glad he was up for it because it tastes amazing.”

Ed Gamble’s chosen charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), will receive 20% of sales from Canned Laughter. 

The Mock The Week star learned about Vault City from his Off Menu co-host James Acaster, who’s a long-time fan of the sour beer producer. 

The comedian, who recently completed a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his “Electric” show, said: “Vault City is one of my favourite breweries – their creativity knows no bounds and this beer might be their most imaginative yet.  

“It was great to meet the team when I was in Edinburgh. Turning brewer for the day was a brilliant way to switch off from performing, even if my contribution was slightly unconventional.” 

“I might start laughing into all my drinks now, as I genuinely think it does improve the flavour. I can’t wait to hear what people think of the beer. CALM is a charity close to my heart so I am always keen to help out whenever I can.”

The beer will be available today (Friday 19 August) from Vault City’s website and bottle shops. 

Vault City recently celebrated the launch of new ranges of its sour beers in Tesco and Morrisons. To learn more, visit

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