Quarr Abbey Ale, with an alcohol volume of 6.5 per cent, is brewed on the Island, and uses locally grown coriander and ‘sweet-gale’ as well as Isle of Wight water, in addition to English barley malt and hops. It is a strong, full-bodied, thirst-quenching top-fermented ale with a dark-amber colour and a complex fruity palate and sweet hoppy aroma.
It has been brewed to capture the essence of traditional Abbey beers as they were many years ago. These were brewed by the monks for their own consumption as ‘Liquid Bread’. Many of the ingredients were sourced locally to the abbey, leading over time to the regional variations in Abbey beers due to the naturally occurring ingredients. As the monks enjoyed their own produce so much, it was inevitable that local populace wanted to share in their pleasure and sustenance.
The barley, wheat and sugars would have been grown near the monastery, and also the hops for bitterness and flavour, or in earlier times Gruit, comprising of a range of herbs with names such as mugwort; yarrow; coriander; alecost; sweet-gale, etc.
Dean Pascall, Quarr Abbey’s Operations manager, said: “It has been an exciting project working with Patrick Birley and Richard Harvey from Goddard’s to produce such a high quality Quarr Abbey Ale.
“The Ale will be available in our Farm- shop and also other outlets through Goddard’s distribution channels.”
Still and Sparkling Cider and Apple Juice is also available at Quarr Abbey. The apples for the cider came exclusively from the Quarr Abbey orchard, which comprises over 120 trees. The trees are all pruned by hand, and the orchards have recently been extended by planting local and old varieties with varieties such as; IOW Pippin, Sir John Thorneycroft, Peters Pippin, Steyne Seedling and Nettlestone Pippin.
Gold top bottle is sparkling dry cider at 6 per cent and the blue top bottle is still dry cider at 6 per cent.