First created in 1968 to commemorate the renowned English writer, Thomas Hardy’s Ale is legendary in beer aficionado circles. In the past, brewers maintained it could be stored for 25 years. We doubt that – who could leave it unopened that long?
"The return of a legendary ‘barley wine’ that has beer lovers afroth with giddy anticipation"
Karl McCulloch Buyer of Beers
Originally conceived as a one-off edition, Thomas Hardy’s Ale was initially made in the sadly now closed Eldridge Pope Brewery in Dorchester, Dorset. Marketed as a vintage barley wine, it was a tribute to Hardy’s description of the strong beer of Dorchester, “bright like an autumn sunset”, in his novel The Trumpet Major. Though there have been a handful of vintages since the 1968 release, this ale was in danger of being forgotten. However in 2012 beer enthusiasts the Vecchiato brothers rescued the brand, securing the ale’s recipe for future drinkers. Crafted with Warminster Maris Otter and Light Crystal malts, it owes its aromatic qualities to Fuggle and Golding hops. Delicious ale but please approach with caution – it weighs in at 13% vol!
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Laithwaite's began in 1969, when geography student Tony Laithwaite took a job washing bottles in Bordeaux ...
and fell in love with wine and the people who make it. When he borrowed a van to share their delicious wines with
friends and neighbours at home, things went so well that hundreds of little wineries all around the world were soon
queuing to take part. Today we're the UK's No.1 home-delivery wine merchant, with over 1,500 wines to choose from
including red, white, rosé, Champagne, Prosecco, spirits ... you name it. Tony's still at it - and now really good
at washing bottles. Read more