Monster Raving Loony Party leader Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope is toasting success after having five different beers named after him and his party.
The Fleet resident – who was born in Mytchett, went to school in Farnborough and was landlord of the Dog and Partridge pub in Yateley – has specifically chosen five different ales that are now being brewed across the south of England.
It all started with the launch of the newly-brewed Winning Co‘ALE’ition at Fleet’s Prince Arthur pub, in September.
Brewed at Basingstoke’s Longdog Brewery, the ale proved a big hit and has been on sale in 20 pubs across Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Somerset.
Fleet resident Derrill Carr, who organised the launch party, said: “Many of these pubs are listed in the latest CAMRA Good Beer Guide, including the Prince of Wales in Farnborough, the CAMRA Surrey and Hants borders branch current pub of the year; and the Waggon & Horses in Hartley Wintney, the current CAMRA North Hants branch pub of the year.
“Winning Co‘ALE’ition has since become the guest locally produced ale that is always available at the Prince Arthur in Fleet. It is very popular with customers and has consistently been their number one-selling real ale.”
Mr Carr said customers had asked why there was only one type of Co‘ALE’ition ale. So opportunities were sought to add a golden ale, an IPA, a stout and a porter to the best bitter already in circulation.
Four award-winning micro-breweries agreed to rebrand one of their ales as a Co‘ALE’ition product. After several long tasting sessions, Mr Hope then chose the specific ale at each of the breweries.
The Winning Co‘ALE’ition (4.2% abv), brewed by Phil and Lisa Robins at the Longdog brewery in Basingstoke, is a rebranded version of their Brindle Bitter, while Co‘ALE’ition Gold (4.9% abv), brewed by Lesley Foulkes and James Berrow at Langhams’ brewery in Lodsworth, near Petworth in West Sussex, is a rebranded version of Arapaho APA.
Co‘ALE’ition Hope & Glory (4.6% abv), brewed by Chris Gill at the Ascot Ales brewery in Camberley, is a rebranded version of their Single Hop IPA and uses a different single hop each month.
Co‘ALE’ition Dark Side (4.5% abv), brewed by Rik Lyall at the Milk Street brewery in Frome, Somerset is a rebranded version of their Zig Zag Stout, while Co‘ALE’ition In the Black (4.5% abv), brewed by Jem Ham at the Cheddar Ales brewery in Cheddar, Somerset is a rebranded version of their Totty Pot Porter. The last two ales were officially launched on December 20 and will become available in the local area this month.
“In all cases we have retained the David Cameron and Alan Hope photo from the 2010 General Election for the ale pump clips,” said Mr Carr.
Hope & Glory was selected to celebrate Alan Hope’s 15 years as party leader, and also 30 years since he first stood as an OMRLP candidate in Teignbridge, Devon at the June 1983 General Election.
The five Co‘ALE’ition ales will be available on draught right through to the 2015 General Election and beyond if demand continues. Bottled versions will be available from February.
Mr Hope, who became party leader in 1999 following the death of Screaming Lord Sutch, said he was ‘privileged’ to have inspired a range of beers celebrating his political career.
“Having been in the pub trade for 30 years, I’m very, very proud,” he said.