Land of hops and barley - the Queen launches her own Norfolk beer
- Credit: Kate Wolstenholme/Archant
Her favourite tipple is said to be gin, but now the Queen has branched out into beer.
A new bitter and an ale have gone on sale in the souvenir shop at Sandringham, made from ingredients including organic barley grown on the Royal Estate.
Brewed by the Barsham Brewery, near Fakenham, the duo includes a 4.3pc Best Bitter and a stronger 5pc Golden IPA.
Water from a "beautifully pure" borehole on the West Barsham estate is used, along with Laureate Spring Barley grown at at Sandringham.
Best is described as a "cold filtered traditionally-brewed beer" which is "uniquely natural" and "full-flavoured", while the IPA is a "cold filtered amber-coloured ale" made from three varieties of hop to create a "subtle flavour" to what is described as a strong beer. Both are priced £3.99 for a 500ml bottle.
Best's label features a hare, while a pheasant adorns the bottle of the IPA. Both are common in the woods and fields surrounding the monarch's Norfolk retreat. The labels add: "The Sandringham Estate is a wildlife haven for pheasants, hares, owls and many other species thrive in the wood and farmland habitats."
The brews are not the first to go on sale at Sandringham. Previous offerings have included cider made from apples grown on the estate and gin distilled from ingredients including exotic Chinese persimmon from the Queen's private walled garden.
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Barsham's award-winning brews include Barsham Oaks, an amber bitter; Stout Robin, a dark Norfolk stout and Pilgrim's Pale Ale.
Its website says: "The malt is blended with beautifully pure water from our own bore hole and hop varieties from around the world to craft our collection of beers. We are proud to be the purveyors of a Norfolk born and brewed product in the very truest sense."
And our reporter's verdict..?
Best BItter: Classic, hoppy bitter. Very more-ish.
Golden IPA: Light and bright to start with, followed by a flavour-some finish.