Brewery & Tea Merchant craft a beer with a twist

Handsome Brewery, in Cumbria, UK, have crafted a beer with a twist, using tea from the UK’s oldest Tea Merchant, John Farrer & Co.

The new beer, Mad March Hare, is inspired by the characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass.

Aware that coffee has made a significant appearance in the beer market with stouts, porters and IPA’s, head brewer and joint founder Marcin Serwatka decided to try to create a beer with a difference, using tea.

Working with quality ingredients, Lakeland water and Farrer’s best-selling tea, Lakeland Special, Marcin created Handsome Mad March Hare.

Co-founder of the Handsome Brewery, Marcin, said: “We are actually surprised that more breweries aren’t brewing with teas.

“We think most brewers feel that tea has too such of a subtle flavour and that as a result that it could easily get lost in beer, but that’s far from the truth, tea provides beer makers with some really interesting opportunities, especially if they want to craft some interesting beers for their customers. It would have been easy for us to follow the trend to use coffee to create a beer but seeing as I’m a tea drinker I wanted to use my favourite brew to create a beer using tea as one of the main ingredients, I wanted to do something different.”

Dave Walsh, John Farrer & Co’s general manager, said: “When Handsome Brewery approached us to see if we could work together, I was over the moon when they told me that they didn’t want to create a coffee beer. As soon as they mentioned that they were looking to use tea I was firmly on the same page. I have what you might call a good grounding in the beer industry having worked for a number of small and large breweries over the years, and I thought this collaboration was the perfect opportunity for us work together to create something a little different.

“When you taste Mad March Hare it subtly reminds you of the morning repast, with the delicate aroma of tea and the richness and fruitiness of marmalade, but it’s definitely not one of Alice’s six impossible things to believe in before breakfast, because tea infused beer really works.”

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