The Return of Dogbolter

What's Brewing magazine, Winter 1980/81, featuring David Bruce.

When we interviewed David ‘Firkin’ Bruce last summer, he told us about his new role as Chairman of the West Berkshire Brewery.

Last week, that rather belat­ed­ly trig­gered an idea: maybe, with a brew­ery at hand, he might be con­vinced, for the first time since the 1980s, to per­son­al­ly brew a beer to an orig­i­nal Firkin recipe.

He respond­ed enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly to the idea and is going to dig out his orig­i­nal 1979 recipe for the famous Dog­bolter (all grain, no malt extract) and recre­ate it in the brew­house at WBB.

It should be avail­able on draught in time for the launch of Brew Bri­tan­nia in June. There will also be a nation­al­ly-mar­ket­ed bot­tled ver­sion avail­able at some point after­wards.

UPDATE 23/04/2014: David Bruce says –

The WBB will be brew­ing 30 brew­ers’ bar­rels of my orig­i­nal Dog­bolter (full-mash grist at 1060° O.G.) at 7:30 am on Wednes­day 21st May.  This will be pack­aged to pro­duce 40 firkins and c. 6,000 com­mem­o­ra­tive bot­tles, all to be avail­able nation­al­ly from 2nd Jun.

Hav­ing spent so much time and effort research­ing the rise and fall of the Firkin brew­pubs, we’re real­ly excit­ed at the prospect of actu­al­ly tast­ing it.**

In fact, with the ‘1970s bit­ter’ cur­rent­ly being tin­kered with at Kirk­stall in Leeds, and talk of an anniver­sary batch of Litch­bor­ough Bit­ter at Phipps NBC, it’s going to be an inter­est­ing cou­ple of months for we who lust after long gone beers.

We’ll post more details on avail­abil­i­ty when we have them.

** We have, of course, tast­ed the Rams­gate Brew­ery beer of the same name. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into one of those trade­mark dis­putes every­one hates.