Lionheart Artisan Premium Ale – Beer fit for a King

Nov 14, 2017




-12th century-style recipe uses sweet gale and ‘open squares’ fermentation-

Brookfield Brewing Company today unveiled – Lionheart – an Artisan Premium ale brewed to a 12th century style recipe featuring wild harvested sweet gale and the time honoured ‘open squares’ system to create a unique flavour inspired by history and the ultimate warrior King.

Nigel McNally, Brookfield Founder and Managing Director spent four years on a noble brewing quest searching for the right facilities and a brewer that shared his values and ambition for a true heritage beer for a contemporary audience.

Lionheart – The Beer

The 4.5% ABV amber ale is brewed at Robinsons Brewery in Cheshire and is initially released in attractive 500ml flint bottles, and will also be available in cask in the new year.

A fruity malty ale, deep and rich in flavour with a tawny golden colour, Lionheart is brewed using top fermenting yeast and British assured malts and has the added profile of sweet gale – ‘the saffron of the brewing industry’ which was used in place of hops in the 12th and 13th centuries. A scarce, wild crop, it grows in peaty, boggy soil, often ex-forestry as the roots left behind hold in water and it provides a twist of sweet bitterness.

Now combined with English farm-grown Goldings and Challenger hops, the ale is fermented in open fermenters which would have been widely used in the 12th Century. They are no longer in wide scale use by brewers who moved to conical stainless steel a century ago.

“We wanted a premium ale with a classic rich and distinct English flavour combining both heritage and contemporary brewing, but different to the overly hoppy beers coming out of the modern microbreweries. The key thing is, it is a pleasure to drink this fantastic beer. Some of the beers coming on to the market at the moment are proving a challenge to drink more than a sip. We also wanted a beer that would reflect the spirit of Richard – forging its own path; showing the courage to be an Original – and we think we have achieved it. Lionheart is a fantastic brand name for a beer and one that resonates with drinkers every time they watch an England player on TV or see one in the media”, said Brookfield’s Nigel McNally.


Lionheart – The Brand

Lionheart was created by McNally, the former Managing Director of Wells & Youngs in the spirit of Richard I who was a fearless and peerless warrior king and leader in English history. His purposeful nature and conviction an inspiration, he would forge and follow his own path with bravery and was a true Original. This beer was designed to celebrate Original England – rich in heritage and tradition and valued for its artisanship.

Acclaimed historian Frank McLynn, author of Lionheart and Lackland (Penguin) believes Richard the Lionheart is deserving of a celebratory blend of tradition and conviction.

He was the lord of warriors, the glory of kings, the delight of the world. Nature knew not how to add any further perfection: he was the utmost she could achieve.
— Geoffrey de Vinsauf, Poetria Nova (1199)

“No other British monarch comes close to him in terms of his impact on the wider world, and hence his status in myth and legend. He fully deserves his statue outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.”

Tasting Notes:

Head Brewer at Brookfield Brewing Company, Richard Sharpe: “Visually, this English Artisan Premium ale appears dark gold or copper with extremely good clarity. The scent resembles malt, toast and hints of nut and spice. The unique flavour inspired by history reflects sweet malty fruit, balanced by a bitter, and almost tangy aftertaste coming from the use of sweet gale.

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