Elusive Brewing releases special bitter to celebrate 800 years of Wokingham’s Market Charter


Ale drinkers won’t beer-lieve their luck this September as a new brew is being released to celebrate 800 years of Wokingham’s Market Charter.

The ale was created just for Heritage Day on Saturday, September 14, when the town centre will be hosting a fun-filled day to celebrate eight centuries of the market.

Craft beer specialist and microbrewery Elusive Brewing, Finchampstead, conjured up this new pint for the event after being approached by the chairman of the local CAMRA branch.

They came up with the idea of brewing a traditional Extra Special Bitter by “marrying together both heritage and modern ingredients”.

Owner Andy Parker said: “We will be brewing a heritage malt to create a rich, fruity beer. It will be a modern take on a traditional, best bitter.

“It’s quite exciting to be part of the 800th anniversary of the Wokingham market, especially as we will be open to the public from the end of September onwards.”

He explained that the beer will be a copper coloured Extra Special Bitter produced using finest Maris Otter malt from Bairds’ 1823 heritage collection, which will be “an aroma of dark fruits and caramel carries through to deliver a rich complexity on the palate”.

The beer will be oak-aged to acknowledge our ‘Oakingham’ heritage.

Elusive Brewing Wokingham

CAMRA chair Kevin Lenton said: “I chose Elusive because they are based in the Borough and I am their Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) brewery liaison officer, and so know Andy well.

“He is a very enthusiastic brewer and I knew that he would be very supportive of this project. I am also the chairman of CAMRA Berkshire South East Branch.”

He added: “I am looking forward to an Extra Special Bitter for an extra special place Wokingham.”

The beer bottles will even include a label featuring the Oak Tree mosaic, found embedded in the paving outside the Town Hall, commemorating the anniversary.

The mosaic is part of a series around the town centre marking significant historical events or places within the town.

The ale will be available in bottles sold around the market and in the Wokingham pub, The Crispin, which was CAMRA Berkshire South East Branch Pub of the Year 2019.

The Crispin landlady Angie Evans said: “Having been born and bred in Wokingham, and my husband Aid moving here when he was eight, we are absolutely delighted to be involved in the celebrations.”

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