The beer has been brewed to a 12th century style recipe featuring wild harvested sweet gale and is brewed in open fermentation tanks.

Sweet gale, sometimes known as 'the saffron of the brewing industry', was used in place of hops in the 12th and 13th centuries.

It is a scarce, wild crop, and adds a sweet bitterness to the ale.

Lionheart English Artisan Ale has been launched by Brookfield Drinks and has been brewed at Hornes Brewery in Buckinghamshire. It will initially be available in a 4 per cent ABV cask version and 4.5 per cent ABV bottled version.

Nigel McNally, founder and managing director of Brookfield, said the idea was to craft a, "true heritage beer for a contemporary audience."

It has been designed as a sessionable beer in contrast to some of the trendy hoppy beers on the market and to reflect to spirit of Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart.

"Richard I was a fearless and peerless warrior king and leader in English history," explained Nigel.

"His purposeful nature and conviction is 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."

It will be supported with a marketing campaign that will focus on patriotic events, such as St George's Day, and the English sports teams in the Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Nations League.

Branded glassware, POS and merchandise are available to support listings, Nigel says.


  • About the beer:

A fruity malty ale, deep and rich in flavour with a tawny golden colour, Lionheart is brewed using top fermenting yeast and a special blend of three types of malt (pale malt, Marris Otter malt and a lighter crystal malt).

The addition of sweet gale provides a twist of sweet bitterness and helps to create the balanced profile on the palate.

These ingredients are combined with English farm-grown Goldings and Challenger hops, producing spicy, earthy and sweet honey notes.

The ale is fermented in open fermenters which would have been commonly used in the 12th Century. They are no longer in wide scale use by brewers who moved to conical stainless steel a century ago. The open fermenters, "positively influence the brewing process, helping to create a more characterful ester profile and improved attenuation," the company says.