North Norfolk brewery uses lockdown to create its strongest ever beer

Rachel Holliday, co-founder of Moon Gazer Ale.

Rachel Holliday, co-founder of Moon Gazer Ale. - Credit: Moon Gazer Ale

A North Norfolk brewery that had its tanks sitting empty during lockdown turned it into an opportunity to brew its strongest beer ever.

Moon Gazer Ale, in Hindringham, has launched the Bob’s Tale barley wine thanks in part to its brewing tanks sitting idle while the pubs were closed during the third lockdown.

Rachel Holliday, the brewery’s co-founder said they have always wanted to make a barley wine.

“The challenge was always having time to allow the beer to sit and mature in the tank, which can take several months.

“Typically, all our tanks are full producing our core range of cask ales for pubs and we just never seem to fit it into the busy brewing schedule.”

Bottles of Bob's Tale barley wine style beer.

Bottles of Bob's Tale barley wine style beer. - Credit: Moon Gazer Ale


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The Fakenham-based brewery set about creating Bob’s Tale, which at 8.8pc is the strongest beer the micro-brewery has ever created. Its name is a tribute to Colin Bobbitt, Rachel’s dad, who sadly died just before the first lockdown.

“Dad was a true fan of real ale and very likely the inspiration that brought me to starting a brewery nearly 10 years ago," she said.

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