A Terrible Beauty

A Terrible Beauty Is Born’ Norfolk brewers are producing an astonishing pre-Iron Age strong ale, by using… steel rivets! The rivets – from a forge near Dereham – were heated to 1,600C in a furnace, before being used to heat the wort for 15 minutes. The result is the 7.8 per cent A Terrible Beauty is Born – which takes its unusual name from a William Yeats poem. Just 100 stoneware bottles of the rare ale are up for grabs – on sale from California to Italy, and with closures fittingly made from rivets!

The beer has been created as part of the Extraordinary Ales project led by the East Anglian Brewers Co-operative of 43 breweries. It is the first to be brewed in the series and is also the first to be produced using sun-dried malt from the Barley to Beer project. Co-operative chairman Brendan Moore, who owns the Iceni Brewery near Swaffham, explained that using steel rivets was similar to the use of hot stones to brew beer, before the Iron Age. He said: “The rivets will produce some very intense, caramelised sweet flavours. There is a lot more to beer, just as there is to wine”. A 500ml bottle of the ale will set you back £30 – but only 30 bottles are being sold in Norfolk. A further 70 will go on sale in San Francisco, Rome, London and… Sunderland! UK stocks can be ordered now, from the project’s Real Ale Shop, at Branthill Farm, near Wells-next-the-Sea.

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