San Pellegrino teamed up with the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation to create special bottles of Big Lucy mineral water. Andrea Bocelli, together with brother Alberto, produce a range of wines from the family home in Lajatico, near Pisa. Now, demonstrating that this isn't just a tenor tendency, Aldeburgh Music‘s Chief Executive, Jonathan Reekie, has commissioned a Benjamin Britten Centenary Ale.
Fergus Fitzgerald of Adnam's didn't want to slap on a label and be done, but was inspired to create a new beer based on Benjamin Britten's life and music.
As Britten had said, “My music has its roots in where I live and work,” he was inspired to use local produce, and being that Britten set Shakespeare's line ‘I know a bank where the wild thyme grows' to music in his opera A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fitzgerald decided to include the herb in the mix. So fire burn, and caldron bubble and the result was Native Britten.
I'm not going to claim this is beer is the embodiment of Britten or his music but I have tried to let what I've learnt influence the creation of this beer and I think what I've ended up with is a beer that draws inspiration from elsewhere but is rooted here.
12 half-litre bottles cost £23 and can be ordered online. The blurb says,
Native Britten is a 4.5% golden wheat beer with banana and citrus flavours, a lightly herbal aroma and a sweet, dry finish. The beer is brewed solely from Suffolk ingredients – malted barley and wheat, First Gold hops and a touch of honey and thyme. There are three label designs to collect.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.