Historic D-Day Beer Tasting at The Finborough Arms

Posted by Caroline Lofts

Recreated Whitbread beers from D-Day, 1944 are to be served at The Finborough Arms on the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Yes, you did read that right.

The actual date of D-Day – 6th June 1944 – was one of history’s best kept secrets. At Whitbread Brewery on Chiswell Street, the day began as any other in wartime. Three brews were planned. At 6am, they mashed Gyle 372, an XX (mild) ale, before the first landing craft hit the beaches. By noon, when brewing had begun for Gyle 373, an India Pale Ale (IPA), the invasion has begun. By midnight, when brewing was underway for Gyle, the beaches were secure and the Battle of Normandy had begun.

In 1944, the Finborough Arms was a Whitbread pub. The brews of D-Day will almost certainly have been served there. On 6th June 2014, exactly 70 years later, they will be serving all three once again. Brewer and beer writer Peter Haydon has studied the brewing logs and recreated exactly the same recipes at “A Head in a Hat”, his microbrewery in South London.

“I have looked at the original Whitbread brewing logs for the day and recreated these three beers as faithfully as I can. I thought it would be an interesting way to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, but then it struck me that whilst you will be able to taste these historic brews, many of the man who waded ashore on 6th June 1944 never got to” – Peter Haydon, Brewer, A Head in a Hat Brewing

The event will be attended by James Whitbread, direct descendant of Whitbread Brewery’s founder Samuel, who will speak about his family’s brewing history.

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Friday, June 6 2014 from 5.00pm until midnight.
Admission free – just turn up – beers £3.90 per pint


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Historic D-Day Beer Tasting at The Finborough Arms
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