Sonnet 43 Brew House will have the honour of their ‘Insular Art’ beer officially representing the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham exhibition this Summer.
The new micro-brewery’s ale triumphed after it won over both the public and a judging panel, featuring celebrity chefs The Fabulous Baker Brothers, in a battle of the beers competition at the Bishop Auckland Food Festival’s Beer & Wine Festival.
Lindisfarne Gospels Durham will be the highlight of the region’s cultural calendar in 2013. This unmissable exhibition runs from 1 July – 30 September 2013 at Durham University's Palace Green Library.
While the name ‘Insular Art’ refers to the elaborate style of the Lindisfarne Gospels, which is a masterpiece of medieval book painting, the beer takes its inspiration from the drink synonymous with the holy island, Lindisfarne Mead, capturing its signature notes of herbs and honey.
The beer was crowned after the submissions from all the entrants to battle of the beers were opened to a public vote, with the top 3 then put to the judging panel. Tom and Henry Herbert, famous for their Fabulous Baker Brother’s cooking show on Channel 4, announced the win commenting it was the “clear winner” and “an easy decision to make”.
The win for Sonnet 43 Brew House, named after the well-known verse by Elizabeth Barratt Browning who was born and raised at nearby Coxhoe Hall, comes after they have been brewing craft beer for only six months at their premises in Coxhoe.
The Head Brewer, Michael Harker, expressed his delight having won: “I was very pleased to win, especially being a new brewery up against some other very established & respected local breweries.
“From receiving the brief, we all felt the beer need to recreate key flavours of the famous Lindisfarne Mead, so we used herbal hops and honey within the fermentation and I’m proud to say herbal, spice and honey notes really shine through in the beer.”
‘Insular Art’ beat off stiff competition from other local breweries such as Hill Island, Allendale Brewery and Durham Brewery, all of which had Gospels-inspired names for their beers including ‘Illuminate’, ‘Eadfrith’s Magnum Opus’ and ‘Insula Sacre’.
Dr Keith Bartlett, Lindisfarne Gospels Programme Director said “I am delighted that this amazing book has inspired the creation of a special Lindisfarne Gospels Durham beer. The exhibition has captured the imaginations of businesses across the region and many want to be part of this experience providing Lindisfarne Gospels themed products, events and services”.
Brewery owner, Mark Hird, also commented “I am thrilled that Sonnet 43 will have the accolade of representing such a momentous event and very happy that now more people will have the opportunity to try Insular Art, as I believe it is a really great tasting beer”.
Insular Art will be on sale at selected pubs in Durham, and from the exhibition gift shop in Palace Green Library.
For more information on the exhibition and tickets go to www.lindisfarnegospels.com
The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on display at Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site for three months from 1 July to 30 September 2013, on loan from The British Library. The exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels is presented by Durham Cathedral, Durham County Council and Durham University working in partnership with the British Library. The Lindisfarne Gospels is a manuscript of the highest quality and one of the most important works of European art of the first millennium, a unique combination of different European artistic and Christian traditions and cultures. Created and used at Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island, the Lindisfarne Gospels were dedicated to St Cuthbert. The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on show in a newly developed world-class exhibition space at Durham University’s Palace Green Library alongside many unique and related manuscripts, artefacts and treasures from the collections of Durham University, Durham Cathedral and other international collections. Support and input is provided by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and there will be a related programme of events involving organisations across the region. For more information go to www.lindisfarnegospels.com