As Cardinals from across the globe gather at the Holy See to designate Pope Benedict’s successor, Brakspear Brewing Company, in Oxfordshire, is taking the opportunity to remind those interested that the world’s only British Pope was a Brakspear.
Nicholas Brakspear was born in Hertfordshire and was Pope Adrian IV from 1154 to 1159. Historical sources don’t state whether he had a penchant for ale, but the fact that the second Robert Brakspear, a descendant of the same family, formed WH Brakspear and Sons Brewery in Henley on Thames in 1779 seems too much of a coincidence, says the brewer.
Jeff Drew, head brewer at the Wychwood Brewery, where Brakspear beers have been brewed since 2002, said: “It is now 846 years and almost 100 pontiffs since Britain last provided a Pope. Religious orders and monasteries have been central to the brewing of beer for centuries and I will certainly be raising a glass to the new Pope, especially if it is another British one.”
This blog post is not by Wobbly Wallet but originally appeared on Beer Today: http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=12787