Cracking A Coronation Cold One: Vintage Beer is a Blast From The Past

Cracking A Coronation Cold One: Vintage Beer is a Blast From The Past

Way out here in the colonies, it’ll take a significant effort to show up for the biggest event in the Commonwealth in 70 years—the coronation of King Charles III. The American in me looks askance at the whole thing, but the real deciding factor is having to get up in the middle of the night in order to catch the festivities on the, ahem, “telly.” I may find a different way of celebrating, perhaps by whipping up a Coronation Quiche; the newly minted monarch’s official dish. (Or maybe 1953’s viral recipe, his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Chicken!)

What I definitely won’t be consuming is another crown-related comestible, which was uncovered in the Greene King brewery cellar in southeastern England 2011 and will be auctioned off this week: beer brewed for the coronation of Edward VII, 86 years ago. Because of convoluted reasons both personal and professional, Edward VIII abdicated the throne of the United Kingdom in the window after he acceded and before his coronation could actually happen—thus relegating both himself and the beer brewed in his honour to a far more boring fate. Until now!

“‘This really would have been a fantastic beer in its day,’ Greene King’s then-head brewer John Bexon said in 2012. ‘It was 12% when it was brewed so is quite strong and has kept really well. The rich fruit flavor still stands out.’

Whoever ends up buying the beer will have to take Bexon’s word for it: Greene King said that the brew is ‘no longer drinkable,’ and the bottles are being sold purely as collector’s items. According to The Telegraph, Greene King does have an updated version of Coronation Ale, which has been brewed for King Charles’ crowning next month; it will be available to buy in pubs and online.”

Greene King’s 2023 brew sounds positively refreshing, with hints of tropical fruit and citrus, and a (much!) lighter ABV of 4%. It’s too bad buyers of the 1937 version are steered away from opening their bottles—wouldn’t that be a fascinating fantasy flight? After a hearty sleep-in on Saturday, I may lift a quiche-accompanying glass to Charles… Supporting the monarchy aside, everyone deserves a cheer when they land a new job!