What do you call an ale that has been brewed from hops grown in the world’s oldest market? That’s the challenge that has been set by Borough Market which is celebrating its 1,000th year in Southwark by creating an as-yet unnamed landmark beer.
Specialist drinks company Utobeer and micro-brewery Tap East are brewing the anniversary beer from hops planted, grown and harvested in Borough’s on-site Market Hall but it is being left to the public to offer up naming suggestions which draw upon the area’s great brewing tradition.
Keith Davis from Borough Market said: “Southwark’s commercial breweries were among the first in Britain to popularise the use of hops and the area was once home to the largest brewery in the world. This prompted us to follow in the footsteps of our brewing forefathers and revive the legacy by creating our own brew.
“Over the past decade there has been a revival in the craft beer market and Southwark is at the heart of this revival, with a number of microbreweries setting up in the area’s railway arches and old industrial buildings. Borough Market’s own brewing operation will offer a welcome addition.”
The #BrandTheBrew competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and can be entered via Facebook and Twitter. The winning name will be used on labels for the 500ml bottles of Borough Market Bitter and the pump clips for casks of the beer. The winner will receive a crate of their self-named beer and have the honour of pulling the first pint in The Globe pub where it will be on sale to members of the public.
Mike Hill, owner at Borough Market’s craft beer stall, Utobeer, said: “Borough’s hops are quintessentially British and, combined with the history surrounding Borough, led us to brew a style of beer that was traditional, British and had strong links with the Market. The winning name needs to reflect these values.”
A shortlist of 10 names will be selected by a judging panel of experts and representatives from Borough Market and the breweries on Wednesday 5th November 2014. The public will then be invited to vote for their favourites.
The beer consists of four main ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast. The recipe involves a selection of hops and malts including East Kent Goldings which have a spicy, floral almost earthy aroma, as well as Fuggles and Styrian Goldings hops which provide a mild grassy, floral aroma.
Mike Hill of Utobeer gives his top tips for naming the Borough Bitter:
1. Describe the beer, it sounds obvious but really helps customers and staff. The beer type – bitter – will already be printed on the label, so think of a good name to run over the top of that.
2. Use a maximum of three words – too long and it gets confusing.
3. Avoid all the ‘isms’ and profanity – obviously – we are appealing to a broad section of the community.
4. Weak innuendo is another pitfall to avoid, it’s rarely funny.
5. In-jokes can be genius, but should work on a number of levels to have a wide appeal.
For more information about Borough Market, its traders and events please visit http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk.