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Keighley brewery's cheers to return of local soldiers
Charles Dent, left, and second brewer Andrew Leman, right, are joined at the brewery by soldiers of the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment for the first tasting of Havercake Ale
Keighley brewery Timothy Taylor is reviving a special beer to mark the return of local soldiers from Afghanistan.
The company will give 10p to armed forces charities for every pint sold of Havercake Ale during its limited availability.
The family-run brewery created Havercake Ale in 2002 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
The 3rd Battalion of the regiment, now known as the Yorkshire Regiment, is due to return from duty in Afghanistan.
Peter Eells, Timothy Taylor’s head brewer, sanctioned a new run of the brew to honour the soldiers’ service and sacrifice.
He describes Havercake as “a robust Yorkshire ale brewed to match the qualities of the famous West Riding Regiment – it has strength, balance, clarity and a good head”.
A Timothy Taylor spokesman said the ale took its name from soldiers of the ‘Dukes’ who had always been known as the Havercake Lads.
He said: “This nickname is derived from the oatmeal bread cake which, for centuries, was the staple food of the Yorkshire Pennine towns and villages from where the regiment was mainly recruited.
“Reputedly the recruiting sergeant stuck a havercake on his bayonet or sword when out looking for ‘volunteers’. It seems the promise they would be fed regularly on havercakes – which no doubt would be accompanied by plenty of ale – was a real bait.
“Haver is the Yorkshire dialect word for oats and is thought to be the origins of the word ‘haversack’, a part of every soldier’s equipment originally used for carrying a ration of oatmeal.”
Taylor’s managing director Charles Dent said the brewery had longstanding connections with the regiment stretching back to Timothy Taylor himself who joined the Volunteer Corps in 1858.
Mr Dent said: “We wanted to recognise the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our servicemen and women and particularly honour the 3rd Battalion on their return from Afghanistan.”
Taylor’s is donating 10p for every pint of Havercake sold to the ABF The Soldiers Charity and the Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Trust. The brewery has already sold all its draft Havercake Ale to pubs, meaning £6,000 will be shared between the two charities. The ale will also be available in some supermarkets.