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Blooming good beer
Published 06/05/14

A NEW beer will be brewed to support Henley’s bid to win gold in Britain in Bloom, writes Helen Patchett.

Brakspear and Henley in Bloom have joined forces to create Blooming Marvellous, a 4.3 per cent flowery, golden ale which will be available in nine Henley pubs throughout June.

The beer will be brewed at the micro-brewery at the Bull in Bell Street and 20p from every pint sold will be donated to Henley in Bloom.

The funds will go towards hanging baskets as part of the Going for Gold campaign, launched by the Henley Standard last week.

Marisa Francini, who is co-ordinating the campaign for Henley in Bloom, had the idea of a commemorative beer when the micro-brewery opened last year.

She said: “There is a strong tradition of brewing in Henley. Brakspear has been brewing since 1779 but when the New Street brewery shut in 2002 it was a real wrench for the town.

“Part of Henley in Bloom and Britain in Bloom is about recognising historical significance so when brewing came back I thought it would be nice to do something to celebrate it and help contribute towards Henley in Bloom.” Mrs Francini, who is a member of the Campaign for Real Ale, helped decide how Blooming Marvellous should taste.

She said: “We had quite a lot of discussion about the strength of the beer and the fact that it should be flowery to match the nature of the Britain in Bloom competition.

“It will be out in June and golden ales suit that time of year because they sell better in the summer. It’s wonderful to have worked so well in partnership with Brakspear, a major business in town.”

Brakspear will produce 28 firkins — about 2,000 pints — of Blooming Marvellous and may brew more depending on how well it sells.

A pump clip has been designed featuring flowers and a bee to tie in with the company’s logo. If the beer is a success it could become an annual initiative between Brakspear and Henley in Bloom.

Emma Sweet, the company’s marketing manager, said: “It may be that we sell a lot and have to order more barrels to keep up with the demand.

“We were delighted to support the campaign because it brings the town together. It’s all about businesses working to make the town look better.” Tom Davies, chief executive of Brakspear, added: “The Henley in Bloom beer is a great way for our pubs, who are very much at the heart of the community, to support a great cause and help the area look even better.”

The nine pubs that will stock the beer are the Angel on the Bridge, the Little Angel, the Three Horseshoes, the Saracen’s Head, the Old Bell, the Bull, the Three Tuns, the Anchor and the Row Barge.

Sophie Kilgour, general manager of The Bull, said: “We are really proud to be helping out the local community. Blooming Marvellous is a perfect beer for the summer and should be a big success.”

Mark Dunlop, landlord of the Angel of the Bridge, said: “It’s great that Brakspear and all the local pub tenants get involved because it helps raise the profile of Henley in Bloom in trying to win the gold award.”

Published 06/05/14

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