Rock ‘n’ Roll and beer have always gone well together. Many bands including AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Status Quo have collaborated with brewers to make their own special brews. Down in deepest Sussex, Lewes based Harvey’s Brewery has collaborated with local folk rockers, Noble Jacks and have come up with a worthy brew. Noble Jacks is a Strong Ale which pours a deep copper colour. It has biscuit aroma and a very pleasant balanced taste with hints of citrus and malt.
Strong Ales are not really a distinct style but merely a way of describing Bitters or Pale Ales which are stronger than the normal session beers. The key point about British bitters is that they are very balanced between the malt and the hops. Traditionally UK hops are fairly mild and are for preservative and bittering purposes rather than overwhelming the taste of the beer. I think a strong ale would go well with a traditional English dish like steak and kidney pie.
Harvey’s are an old established regional brewery who began in the 18th Century as wine merchants and diversified into brewing in 1820. In 1838 they acquired their current riverside location where they continue to brew a wide range of cask conditioned and bottled beers. They have recently introduced a canning line and Noble Jacks is one of their tinned offerings. They own 48 pubs in the South East and supply 550 other outlets. Harvey’s are well worth seeking out as they brew a variety of beers including Mild, IPA, Old Ale, Stout, Golden, Brown, Wheat and Imperial Stout. If you ever visit Lewes be sure to pop into their bottle shop and take home a few of their traditional beers or order them online.
Lewes is a very picturesque town with a castle, bookshops, antique shops and one of the first Farmers Markets to become established in the UK. It was also the home of Thomas Paine, the 18th Century political theorist who wrote Rights of Man. Noble Jacks are a good example of traditional Sussex folk music, updated with an exciting, dance-orientated feel. The band’s brand of lively alt-folk is described as having roof-raising energy produced by the fusing of electro-acoustic sounds with upbeat, folky, footstompin’ rhythms. So pour yourself a delicious can of Noble Jacks, tuck into a large portion of steak and kidney pie and thrill to the energetic sounds of Noble Jacks as they play the “Blacksmith Stomp”, a track from their recently released LP, What the Hammer.
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