ARISE is back

ARISE is back

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Arise is back. (3.9% ABV Amber Ale)

Rise and shine, lets get this year into gear. And with what better beer than this sturdy brute, packed full of home grown hops. Firstly Bramling Cross delivers a spicy blackcurrant jab, backed by Challenger to bring full-bodied refreshment. Goldings polishes things off, administering a smooth, subtly sweet finale. Bishop Nick will see you through.

Arise proved extremely popular this time last year so we’ve brought it back for your delectation.  Now available from our web shop, local bottle stockist and on site at our brewery shop.  Arise is one of our Limited Editions and there are no plans to re-brew it this year so grab it while you can.  Our 500ml are bottle conditioned – so the real deal. No artificial carbonation or filtering so you get the power and the punch and the natural effervescence of hand crafted Real Ale.

Does your Valentine enjoy a local brew?  Arise could reach parts other beers don’t reach… Try it out.

What went in to it?

Bramling Cross hops…

Bramling Cross is a dual purpose hop of considerable character. Its distinctive “American” aroma put many brewers off this variety in its early years. It has a strong spicy/blackcurrant flavour and good alpha characteristics. Bramling Cross has now made something of a comeback in traditional cask conditioned beers because of its very distinctive characteristics and has done very well in all styles of beer.

Bramling Cross hops were bred from a cross in 1927 between Bramling (one of the traditional Golding varieties) and a male seedling of the Manitoban (Canadian) wild hop.  Also known as OT48, this variety was developed at Wye College by a certain Professor Salmon.

Plough Monday

Plough Monday

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Today folk across the country though predominantly in the East of England celebrate Plough Monday – the first Monday after Epiphany, or Twelfth Night.

Plough Monday was an important ritual for agricultural workers in the east of England for centuries, providing the opportunity to make some money at a difficult time of year. In medieval times the ploughboys were supposed to return to work on Plough Monday, the start of the new ploughing season. Instead the plough was paraded through the streets with the aim to extort money from wealthy landowners (for beer and other necessities!)

A few years ago the Good Easter Molly Gang visited Bishop Nick Brewery as part of their trails and treated us to a fabulous display of song and dance and some dodgy make up and elaborate tassels.  This morning they kicked off at The Compasses, Littley Green and by now, no doubt, are quite inebriated after a ‘pub crawl’ in the name of tradition.

See here for a local history of the tradition – Essex Voices Past

The exploits of the farmworkers varied, largely depending upon the region of the country they hailed from. Generally, in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk the ploughboys performed a dance called molly dancing, in the North East they danced with swords and in the East Midlands they performed mummers plays. The penance for non-payment was to have the front doorstep pulled up with the plough. The itinerant plough boys, often known as Plough Jacks, Plough Bullocks or Plough Stots, depending on the locality of the custom, would blacken their faces as a disguise, a tradition still practiced today.

It is known that Plough Monday was recognised as early as the 1400s and at that time was often connected to raising parish funds through the church. Plough  guilds often maintained plough lights in the church and money was raised to keep the plough light burning. The Reformation in 1538 forbade these plough lights and abolished the plough guilds and put strict fines in place against those gathering behind the plough.

With changing monarchs and political pressures the continuation of this custom, associated with the church, continued in a more patchy manner until the early/mid 1600s. After this time Plough Monday festivities became more disassociated from the church and became an opportunity for groups of farm-workers to collect money for their personal gain, often ending in a feast for themselves and their families.