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Bruce brings old ale out of the dog kennel

Added: Friday, June 6th 2014


The award-winning West Berkshire Brewery has resurrected David Bruce's original Dogbolter recipe, brewing 30 barrels of his legendary strong ale for a national re-launch this month.

Dogbolter was first created by David Bruce at the Goose and Firkin in 1979 and subsequently brewed at his other Firkin Pubs. The full-mash brew, with an O.G. of 1060° (A.B.V. 6%) was brewed by Will Twomey, head brewer of the West Berkshire Brewery, who ensured that his brew remained true to Bruce's original recipe.

The irony is that the first-ever brew of Dogbolter was the result of a fortunate mishap. Bruce was brewing Earthstopper (original gravity 1075) when he was distracted by a phone call. The call took longer than expected and by the time Bruce returned to his brew the OG had fallen from an initial 1085, passed the intended 1075 to 1068. Realising his mistake, Bruce reduced the OG to 1060. The accident was an inadvertent stroke of genius, for the beer was acclaimed by drinkers in the Firkins.

The opportunity to brew Bruce's Original Dogbolter came about when Bruce was asked to feature in Boak and Bailey's new book, which is also due to be published in June. The re-launch of Dogbolter is therefore Bruce's way to celebrate the chapter devoted to him in the new definitive work, Brew Britannia: the strange rebirth of British beer.

To mark this unique event, the West Berkshire Brewery promises 40 firkins and 6,000 commemorative bottles of Dogbolter, which will be available nationally to pubs, wholesalers and retailers. In addition, the phenomenal Firkin fans of the 1980s will be able to sample again one of Bruce's most acclaimed brews and a new generation of ale lovers will be able to experience the real taste of Bruce's "happy accident".