Friday, 11 May 2012

Bearly drinkable

From the latest edition of the local CAMRA magazine Opening Times (Page 13):

Beartown Brewery of Congleton, Cheshire has launched a bottled 5.5% ABV premium beer in tribute to Wojtek ‘The bear who went to war’. The story of Wojtek has been set in folklore since the 500 pound bear had his most famous hour alongside Polish troops at The Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944. Demand for the tribute beer is now growing quickly among the domestic and UK Polish community, as well as from international markets where the story of Wojtek is legendary.

Head brewer Ian Burns (pictured above with a bottle of the new beer) told us “Wojtek the bear was discovered as a cub in Iran by Polish troops as they travelled through the Middle East to join the allied forces. He is known to have drunk beer and enjoyed cigarettes with the soldiers. He was officially enlisted and given the rank of Corporal to allow him to travel to Italy where, at The Battle of Monte Cassino, he helped move artillery shells to assist the soldiers.”

“Since then an insignia of Wojtek carrying an artillery shell, has adorned the uniform and vehicles of his comrades in the Polish 22nd Transport Company. At the end of the war Wojtek retired to live at Edinburgh Zoo, and there are still those who can remember him enjoying cigarettes there.”

Bears swigging beer and smoking fags – that would no doubt be classed as animal cruelty nowadays.


  1. O/T The pub closure counter is about to go over 10000. Are we in a millennium bug situation?

  2. The staggers are always amusing in that rag you write for.

    " was slightly tainted by
    something, leaving a strange after-taste." "On entry,we were greeted by a faint smell of disinfectant,which didn't leave us till we left." I most like the marking of beers as "average/satisfactory." or even "distinctly average"

    "Unicorn average to average plus, Hatters average to below average"

    It's genius.

    Only 4 beards in this issue, a bit of a disappointment but otherwise I score your magazine "satisfactory" Better than "take a break" not as good as "Nuts"

  3. Martin, Cambridge11 May 2012 at 22:53

    Opening Times is one of the few CAMRA newsletters which tells local drinkers how good local pubs are, and doesn't pull punches about beer quality. The caveat in the encouragement to the weaker pubs for ourselves is well made.

    I appreciate the newsletters are a labour of love, but most other crawl descriptions stick to the usual Beer Guide suspects and comment on the width of the beer range rather than the quality.

    Would like to read about Cooking Lager accompanying you on a crawl around Reddish to test lagers- sure sponsorship can be arranged.

    NB Are Beartown beers any good now ?- they seem to have retrenched a bit since their late-90s heyday.

  4. "Are we in a millennium bug situation?"

    Nope, it's happily ticked over to 10004 today.

  5. When your next in Stuckpit, Martin, me, you and Mudge can pop out for a few louts in a boozer when a big game is on. Mudge loves loud footie in boozers.

  6. I'd put up with the lout and the noise for the sheer pleasure of making your acquaintance, Cookie :-)


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