British Brewer Commemorates Royal Wedding

In just a few weeks, Great Britain’sHisRoyal Highness Prince Henry of Wales will marry Meghan Markle, an American actress. As the big day draws nigh, the feeding frenzy of news coverage is sure to get more frantic. For those not fortunate enough to have received an invitation to the wedding of the year, Windsor & Eton Brewery has come up with a way to celebrate the nuptials with a royal beer.

Just a mile from Queen Elizabeth II’s weekend home, Windsor Castle, which dates to the 11th Century, is Windsor & Eton, which brought brewing back to the area on the outskirts of London. The last brewery in Windsor, Burge & Company Brewery, closed in 1931 after being acquired by Meux’s Brewery Co. Ltd. The acquisition was consummated for the sole purpose of acquiring public houses Burge owned.

Just as they did for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, the brewers at Windsor & Eton set out to brew something to not only celebrate the royal union, but reflect the couple’s unique character. This beer, a sequel to William and Kate’s, is named Harry and Meghan’s Windsor Knot and includes a few twists that speak of the cultural differences between the bride and groom.

Most apparent is the label. Atop a crimson background, it depicts a necktie, half the Union Jack and half the Stars and Stripes. The tie is tied into—what else?—a Windsor knot. In the loop are interlocking hearts styled after the male and female symbols, meant to symbolize a modern marriage of equals.

Inside the bottle, the special limited edition pale ale has other surprises that speak of the nationally mixed marriage. As a nod to the couple’s first public appearance at Toronto’s Invictus Games in 2017, the brewers made use of a special blend of hops called Invicta. To this, they added a dose of West Coast Simcoe hops, in homage to Markle’s California roots. Combined with mated barley from the Royal Farms in Windsor and champagne yeast, this is a well-rounded brew fit for a prince who needs to keep his wits about him. The ABV is 4.5 percent in bottles, 4 percent in casks.

Since the beer is relatively new, just released in March, there are few ratings. The original Windsor Knot brewed for Will and Kate’s wedding earned very high ratings on BeerAdvocate.com; similarly, the ratings of the new version on RateBeer.com are positive.

“With the authenticity of being brewed here in Windsor in the shadow of Windsor Castle, using local ingredients, it has got a fantastic appeal,” said Will Calvert, 60, one of the directors of Windsor & Eton, in a Reuters article.

One question still unanswered: Will the beer be served at the reception, after the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel on May 19. The first edition was banned, along with all other beer, from William and Kate’s wedding. Beer, it was explained, was not a regal-enough potable to be served at such an auspicious event. For Harry, a true lover of beer, this tradition may be overruled. But no one is saying anything … yet.

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