Inspired by the work of a famous author with one or two Cumbrian connections… the multi-award-winning team from the Handsome Brewery, Bowston, have crafted a beer with a twist…Handsome Brewery, Bowston, have crafted a beer with a twist…
Mad March hare beer
Their new beer, Mad March Hare, is inspired by the antics of two particular characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass.
If you haven’t guessed the beer is named after the tea party shenanigans of The Hatter and the Mad March Hare penned by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson; more famously known as Lewis Carroll; the great nephew of highly regarded Cumbrian Admiral, Skeffington Lutwidge; who tutored Horatio Nelson.
Brewing flavours experiment
Keen to experiment with different flavours head brewer and joint founder Marcin Serwatka decided to try to create a beer with a point of difference…
Aware that coffee has made a significant appearance in the beer market with stouts, porters and IPA’s, Marcin hit on the idea of keeping with the beverage theme but instead of coffee using Britain’s favourite drink to infuse his latest beer… good old-fashioned tea…
Joining forces UK’s oldest tea & coffee merchant with brewer
With that in mind he set about approaching local company John Farrer & Co, the UK’s oldest Tea & Coffee Merchant, to see if they would be happy to work with the Handsome Brewery to create something just a little bit different, especially as 2019 is Farrer’s 200th anniversary year…
Working with quality ingredients, Lakeland water and Farrer’s best-selling tea, Lakeland Special, Marcin created Handsome Mad March Hare.
Brewery brewing tea
Co-founder of the Handsome Brewery, Marcin, said: ‘’We are actually surprised that more breweries aren’t brewing with teas,” They continued. “We think most brewers feel that tea has too such of a subtle flavour and that as a result that it could easily get lost in beer, but that’s far from the truth, tea provides beer makers with some really interesting opportunities, especially if they want to craft some interesting beers for their customers. It would have been easy for us to follow the trend to use coffee to create a beer but seeing as I’m a tea drinker I wanted to use my favourite brew to create a beer using tea as one of the main ingredients, I wanted to do something different. Marcin had been doing some research around teas that he felt might work to infuse beers with, so Handsome Brewery thought let’s give it ago and get a beer ready for spring and Handsome Mad March Hare was born.’’
On the same page with tea beer
Dave Walsh, John Farrer & Co’s General Manager, said: “When Handsome Brewery approached us to see if we could work together, I was over the moon when they told me that they didn’t want to create a coffee beer. As soon as they mentioned that they were looking to use tea I was firmly on the same page. I have what you might call a good grounding in the beer industry having worked for a number of small and large breweries over the years, and I thought this collaboration was the perfect opportunity for us work together to create something a little different… When you taste Mad March Hare it subtly reminds you of the morning repast, with the delicate aroma of tea and the richness and fruitiness of marmalade, but it’s definitely not one of Alice’s six impossible things to believe in before breakfast, because tea infused beer really works.’’