‘A single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn’
In 1215 the Magna Carta was sealed by John, King of England. By imposing limits on the Crown’s power, the population received greater freedom, gained civil rights and it paved the way for trial by jury. Sealed on June 15th, the great treaty includes a clause which set out fixed measures for, amongst other things, ale. It confirms beer has and will most definitely continue to play such a great part in our Kingdom’s history. 800 years later, in celebration of this Medieval marvel our country is holding it’s annual, national celebration of all things beer, ‘Beer Day Britain’. What better date to raise a pint of beer on!
Brewster’s Brewery, a company in Grantham, Lincolnshire, has produced 1,215 bottles of the brand new ‘Britannia’s Brew’, to honour this moment in history. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a complimentary bottle from the guys and girls at ‘Beer for That’, who do a marvellous job in getting people talking about beer. Tune in to Twitter at 8pm each Wednesday for an engaging #beermatch session.
Britannia’s Brew is a bottle conditioned, 5% ABV, golden ale. I felt I had to embrace the moment and drink it from a good ol’ fashioned dimpled, glass tankard – not quite pewter though. The bottle boasts British botanical ingredients, that is – Northern Irish seaweed, English rose petals and Scottish heather.
Poured slowly, causing as little disruption to the leftover yeast sediment as possible. It has lots of fine bubbles and good carbonation, but absolutely none of the frothy foam which I enjoy. It’s a darkish, golden, colour with an almost hazy appearance. It drinks with a well balanced palate of caramel and biscuit and currently being paired with some roast ox flavoured crisps. It has just a moderate bitter finish, but a slight unappetising alcohol taste. Not hugely exciting, but a pleasant experience nonetheless. Perhaps it would have been better drunk closer to its date of birth.
It’s not quite the brew of Britannia, but it’s not bad.
Oh, on another note – the Brewster’s website is just about as as easy to read and navigate as the 800 year old, Latin, parchment version of the Magna Carta – it could benefit from an update.