The Lion Brewery - Strongarm
- ABV: 4.50%
- Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
If you ever find yourself in the town of Hartlepool, you ought to visit the Cameron Brewery Heritage Centre located next door to the brewery. It offers a remarkable and educational insight into beer production, as well as a fascinating story of entrepreneurial activity, innovation, social history and political maneuvering. Interactive displays trace brewing through the ages and the rise of the present company from its origins in 1865 when John William Cameron first entered the Lion Brewery. You will also likely learn about the story of the Hartlepool monkey, a popular local story spawned during the Napoleonic wars, during which time there was a fear of a French invasion of Britain and much public concern about the possibility of French infiltrators and spies. The fishermen of Hartlepool, fearing an invasion, kept close watch on a French vessel in their waters as it struggled against a storm. When the vessel was severely battered and sunk, they turned their attention to the wreckage that washed ashore. Among the wreckage lay a lone survivor, the ship’s pet monkey, dressed to amuse the ship’s crew in a military-style uniform. The fishermen apparently ‘apprehended’ and questioned the monkey and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like, they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death. The unfortunate creature was to die by hanging in a public execution. And you thought the Americans had a disdain for the French!
OK, enough with the Monkey talk… The Lion Brewery’s famous Strongarm brand was established in 1955 to meet the growing demands for a stronger draught beer. Popularity would soon be established as word spread of its easy-drinking complexity. This classic northern English ale is characterized by complex layers of malt and subtle balancing hops. We found it to be a well-rounded, ruby red ale with a distinctive, tight creamy head. Loaded with flavorful nuances, look for notes of pear, apple, toffee and caramelized sugar. Strongarm was recently awarded a gold medal, with a score of 92 points, in the English brown ales category at the World Beer Championships, sponsored by Chicago’s Beverage Testing Institute. Enjoy with stuffing, pork with brown sauce, or a slice of apple pie.
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