One hundred years after the first brew of George Gale’s Prize Old Ale, in Horndean, Hampshire, a new brew is being released, next week.
The latest version of the beer will include some of the last drops of the original Prize Old Ale, which was last brewed back in 2011 by Gale’s brewers at the Fullers Brewery.
Thanks to people like John Keeling and Henry Kirk, formerly of Fuller’s and Dark Star, the beer was kept and protected in tanks for the last 12 years.
Since then, it has seen a couple of releases over the years, but has not been brewed regularly since the closure of the Gale’s brewery. Dark Star first brought the beer back in 2022 and is now committing to brew the beer every year.
Dark Star lead brewer, Sven Hartmann, and former Gales brewer, Anthony Smith, worked together to brew a fresh batch to the original Prize Old Ale recipe.
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The beer was brewed using a combination of traditional ale malt, wheat for mouthfeel, roasted malts, and brewers’ invert sugar, which provides the beer with a deeper richness in flavour and notes of stone fruit.
The new batch of Prize Old Ale was allowed to ferment with the original Gale’s yeast, which was transferred in liquid form from the Fuller’s brewery, which still manages the original yeast strain for beers like HSB.
After fermentation, the beer was blended at a 50/50 rate into the original batch of Prize Old Ale and allowed to mature for three to four months until it was packaged.
The original batch of Prize Old Ale was carefully tankered from Dark Star’s home, the Griffin Brewery, to sister brewery Meantime, where it will be housed going forward.
The beer will be released on Thursday, 16th November.