Award Winning Watercress Warrior; the beer causing quite a stir!

We’re always keen to find new and ingenious ways to work with watercress so when the Cerne Abbas Brewery approached us back in early 2017 to help develop a limited-edition watercress inspired ale, we jumped at the chance.  Watercress Warrior was duly born - a brand new craft beer to celebrate the start of the UK watercress season.  Little did we realise what a hard core pour had been created!

Watercress beer, how, why and where?

  • HOW IS IT MADE? Made with watercress seed to add a light and peppery flavour, . Special Flyer hops selected from the British Hop Institute’s experimental variety programme are used to deliver a delicately floral bite.

  • WHERE IS IT MADE? Made by The Cerne Abbas Brewery in Dorset. Watercress Warrior bottles are adorned with the Giant of Cerne - an ancient symbol of fertility. 

  • WHY WATERCRESS? Fresh watercress is naturally high in vitamins A and B6, which aid the production of male sex hormones. Watercress also is brim full of vitamin C, known to increase count and motility of sperm and Vitamin E which can supposedly “help the sperm penetrate the egg”. Does this beer have these powers?…… who knows but it certainly tastes great!

  • WHERE CAN YOU TRY IT? As well as on tap in a number of great Dorset pubs you could pick up a bottle in a range of stockists. See the full list here

 Vic Irvine from Cerne Abbas Brewery and Tom sample the beginnings of "Watercress Warrior"

Vic Irvine from Cerne Abbas Brewery and Tom sample the beginnings of "Watercress Warrior"

 

The beer itself is a 4.5% ABV light and floral Pilsner style craft ale which features watercress seed as its key ingredient to provide the unique peppery flavour.  In addition, the beer is made using 1000 litres of spring water taken from the natural mineral rich springs used to grow watercress at our farm in Waddock.  Special Flyer hops selected from the British Hop Institute’s experimental variety programme and not yet commercially available were used to complete the ingredients.  The result is a delightfully hoppy brew with a refreshing citrus bite which contrasts deliciously with the peppery hit of the watercress.  But there’s a rumoured additional benefit to the inclusion of watercress…..that of boosting your sex drive….which simply stiffened our resolve to be involved.

Cerne Abbas Brewery is named after the huge naked chalk figure carved into the nearby Dorset hills which many reckon to be an Iron Age fertility symbol.  The ancient festival of Beltane, better known now as May Day has fertility as its central theme; it’s the time when the earth is reborn.  Every year local revellers including Morris Men and employees of Cerne Abbas Brewery take part in the celebrations at the ancient carved figure to welcome the dawn.  In 2017, however, they discovered they’d been beaten to the site and that magically the giant was clutching a handful of watercress in his left hand – just like on the Watercress Warrior label. 

The giant hand of watercress was created by a local Dorset artist on huge sheets of plastic:  

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Check out the video below showing the Giant clutching his watercress!

At the end of the 2017 May Day celebrations the Giant was rewarded with a glug of Watercress Warrior to pep him up and promote good luck and fortune.  It seems to have paid off.  We’re delighted for our friends at Cerne Abbas Brewery because Watercress Warrior has gone from strength to strength; initially made as a limited edition bottled beer for sale at the 2017 Watercress Festival, the Brewery and the beer featured on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, and Radio 2’s Simon Mayo Show amongst others.  Further coverage below:

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HUFF POST

THE SUN

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The success continues with Watercress Warrior having been highly commended at this year’s Taste of the West Awards before appearing in draught form for the first time at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival in London where it was enjoyed by the crème de la crème of beer aficionados.

What a performance! Keep it up, we say!

James HarperComment