Britannia Coconutters have last laugh as controversial ale a hit at beer festival

Blackburn Citizen: Dick Shufflebottom, Yvonne Harrison and Donald Heyworth at the Crown Inn with the Coconutters Ale Dick Shufflebottom, Yvonne Harrison and Donald Heyworth at the Crown Inn with the Coconutters Ale

A BEER which the House of Commons refused to serve because its pump clip featured the faces of the Britannia Coconutters has proved a best seller at a beer festival.

Last week, The Britannia Coconutter pale ale, made by Irwell Works Brewery in Ramsbottom, in honour of the morris dancing troupe was suggested as a guest beer at the Strangers Bar by Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry.

But parliamentary chiefs governing the bar in the Palace of Westminster rejected the specially-brewed offering as the imagery of the pump clip, featuring a Coconutter wearing black make-up to recognise Rossendale’s mining heritage, ‘may have caused offence’.

Later the beer was allowed, but with a different image on the pump.

But at the Crown Inn’s beer festival in Bacup, nine gallons (72 pints) of the ale sold in under four hours, proving it the favourite of the 26 beers served.

It was the first time the beer, featuring the beer clip, was sold publicly.

Joe Healey, Coconutters secretary, said: “The beer was absolutely fantastic.

“It’s a real honour to have a beer named after us.

“It was a bit of a snub from parliament, because there isn’t any racial slurs in the Coconutters history. We took it as a smack in the face, and people in Bacup aren’t happy about it.

“But it was a really nice thing for Irwell Works to do, to make the beer, and we really enjoyed drinking it.”

The beer is due to be put on offer at the Strangers Bar in the coming weeks, featuring the Bacup crest on the pump clip instead of a picture of the Coconutters.

Yvonne Harrison, owner of the Crown Inn, said hosting the beer before the bar in the House of Commons was a real steal for her pub.

She said: “I don’t normally drink beer, but I had some and it was really nice.

“It sold out really fast, because the Coconutters are from around here and everybody wanted some as soon as they saw it on tap.

“It was a real stroke of luck for us.”

The Coconutters will be dancing at the pub’s annual Crown Affair on Sunday, June 6, alongside a dozen other troupes.

Comments (2)

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7:07pm Thu 8 May 14

mavrick says...

Then MPs and the government wonder why there is a backlash. Who decided that this may cause offence? If the person was unelected then sack them.
Then MPs and the government wonder why there is a backlash. Who decided that this may cause offence? If the person was unelected then sack them. mavrick
  • Score: 7

9:42am Fri 9 May 14

maxcollie says...

I wonder if it will be on sale in supermarkets and off licences?
I wonder if it will be on sale in supermarkets and off licences? maxcollie
  • Score: 4

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