I went into a pub near where I live in Nottingham and was confronted with the usual array of amusingly named craft beers. One caught my eye, named after a local success story, George Brough the maker of the Brough Superior motorcycle. While I was trying it to see if it really was superior, my mind turned to other vehicle based beer names. These are the ones I could think of, so leave your car at home and see if you can do some bike and car spotting down the pub.
1. George Brough - refreshingly bitter.
Described by the local brewers Castle Rock as 'a citrusy, refreshingly bitter English session IPA showcasing UK hop aromatics' this is the one that started me thinking about this subject.
As you will know George Brough designed the Brough Superior motorcycle, though you may not know it was made in Nottingham. This local brewery like to celebrate a local success with a beer named after them every year, and this year George Brough is available from July to September.
My own photo
2. Old Speckled Hen - Distinctive and rich
Probably the most famous of car themed beer names, though not everyone may know the story behind the name. In 1979 The MG Car Company celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its move from Cowley to Abingdon. They asked Morland & Co to brew a special commemorative beer for the occasion. The name chosen was 'Old Speckled Hen', which took its inspiration from a 1927 MG Featherlight Saloon used as a run about at the factory and affectionately known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’ due to it's spattered and damaged paintwork.
This beer is now available everywhere, described as 'a distinctive rich malty taste bursting with toffee character, fruity aroma and deliciously smooth' it is now produced by Greene King and it is a best seller.
Speckled Hen beer memorabilia (Photo: The MG Owners Club
3. Black Cab Stout - Dark and velevety
The idea of this stout's name is to allude to it's dark colour and to the 'knowledge' which London's black cab drivers have to accrue, and that of the brewers themselves. Brewed by Fuller’s, Black Cab is a dark stout that they say ' transports you to a time gone by'. London was famous for stouts in the 19th century.
I like stout and so I'm quite familiar with this one in my list of vehicle themed beers. It's widely available, though Fullers are london based. Why not flag one down...sorry.
Taxi! (My photo)
4. Morgan Beer - Fruity
It seems that having products named after your cars is something car marques are keen on. Last year the Morgan Motor Company joined forces to with a brewer, The Friday Beer Company to make a new collection of official Morgan Ales. The two Malvern based companies brought out three beers, The Morgan 4/4 Blonde Ale, the Morgan 3 Wheeler Dark Mild Ale, and a Morgan Aero 8 Rye Ale each one representing one of the models in the Morgan range.
I haven't tried any of these yet, I would be interested in the opinion of anyone who has. Available via the Morgan shop at the factory or online only.
Morgan beer, will it knock a wheel off you? (Pic: The Morgan Motor Company
5. Chequered Flag - Light and hoppy
The Vintage Sports Car Club's Prescott Speed Hill Climb has inspired a range of beers produced by Prescott Ales. As I am at the end of the beer spotting list I thought I would pick Chequered Flag for the last one.
Prescott is proud of its links with the Prescott Hill Climb Circuit which is in the Cotswolds. Run by the Bugatti Owners’ Club the hill climb has been going for over 75 years. Each year you can watch historic racing cars and even the Bugatti Veyron racing up the 1,127 yards that make up the tight and twisty track. All their real ales have names linked to the Hill Climb Circuit, Track Record, Hill Climb and Grand Prix being the others
(Photo: Prescott Ales)
Remember to leave the car at home and spot car and motorcycle themed beers responsibly.
(Photo: :National Brewery Centre)