June 15th is Beer Day Britain, the country’s first national beer day when breweries pubs and beer drinkers will be celebrating Britain’s national drink.
A major activity on Beer Day Britain is the National Cheers to Beer starting at 12.15pm and going throughout the day and evening so people can join in at the pub at whatever time suits them. If you do please post photos and messages on Twitter with the hashtag #CheersBDB.
‘Britannia’s Brew’ is a special beer for Beer Day Britain and was brewed at Brewster’s Brewery with Sara Barton (brewery owner), Sophie De Ronde, latterly brewer at Brentwood Brewery, now the brewing technologist at Munton’s malt; and Sue Fisher of Gadd’s Brewery. Britannia’s Brew is golden ale (5% ABV) containing Maris Otter malt, English hops (Sovereign and Boadiccea) and botanicals to represent England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. A limited amount of the cask version will be available from 6pm at the Rake pub, in London’s Borough Market on June 15th and the remainder is available as a limited edition of 1,215 bottles (bottle conditioned) exclusively from the on-line beer shop Ales by Mail.
Beer Day Britain was instigated by beer sommelier and author Jane Peyton as a grassroots initiative with the assistance of Sophie de Ronde and Sara Barton. All the major organisations in the beer world including Cask Marque are now helping to raise awareness and enthuse people about the national beer day.
Jane Peyton (pictured left) said ‘Britain has so much to be proud of with its brewing and pub heritage and the current dynamic brewing scene. British ships historically took the knowledge of beer to all hemispheres, and several styles of beer currently brewed around the world were first brewed in Britain – more than those of any other brewing nation. We have so many reasons to celebrate British beer and I hope millions of people will join me on June 15th and toast our national drink.’
June 15th is another important date, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, sealed in 1215. Ale is mentioned in clause 35 of the great charter hence the connection with Beer Day Britain. This is the wording of the clause: ‘Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely “the London quarter‘.
Academics do not know what the measure for ale was – the London quarter refers to the corn – but they do know clause 35 was inserted to appease the City of London merchants who backed the Barons in the civil war against King John. It was also one of few clauses that King John also approved of.
By connecting Beer Day Britain with one of the most important legal documents in history will hopefully make the general public realise how important beer is in the national ‘story’ – both historically and in the modern age too.
You can download a Beer Day Britain logo, beer mat artwork and information pack, and find social media contacts on the Beer Day Britain website. You can also follow the event on Twitter @BeerDayBritain.