This is a post by regular contributor Kimberley, who runs the social media at BCS. Kimberley is currently writing up her PhD in Mediterranean Archaeology and is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Every once and a while, she will blog at BCS about all things beer and Classical in the Low Countries or – as I’d like to call it – ‘The Nether Regions’.
Boadicea Golden Ale is a single variety British hop ale brewed by Meantime Brewing Co. exclusively for Mark’s & Spencer. The brew has a golden color and a slight white head. Boadicea tastes crisp, citrus-ey, not very bitter but with the faintest hint of hops coming through at the end. To be honest, I did not expect much from a Mark’s & Spencer beer, but Boadicea is actually not bad!
When I saw this beer in Mark’s & Spencer, I immediately associated it with Boudica, the famous queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe who revolted against the Roman Empire (more below). Indeed, Boadicea is an alternative spelling of her name. As it turns out, though, Boadicea is also the name of a new British hop variety, named after that same Iceni queen. This variety was first bred at Wye College in the UK in 2004 as the first aphid-resistant (plant lice) hop in the world. It’s a dual purpose hop with a flavor profile that supposedly reminds of an orchard blossom – floral and fruity.
Back to Boudica. Her story starts when her husband, an ally of the Romans, died. He left half of his kingdom to the Roman Empire and the other half to his two daughters. Because Roman law only allowed inheritance through the male line, the Romans stepped in, confiscated the entire kingdom, flogged Boudica, and assaulted her daughters. Seeking revenge for this terrible maltreatment, Boudica and her people joined forces with neighboring tribes to revolt against the Romans (ca. 60-61 AD). Boudica possibly commanded ca. 100.000 people and managed to destroy several key settlements, including London, before being beaten by the outnumbered Romans in the battle of Watling Street. Her loss consolidated Roman rule in southern Britain.
4.4 % ABV
Ingredients: water, barley malt, yeast, hop
Brewed: Meantime Brewing Company, Greenwich, London, United Kingdom.