Tristan da Cunha Island Brew
Bushy's Isle of Man Brewery has created an 'Island Brew', infused with Tristan Island Berries, in a joint project with the Tristan da Cunha Government .

Tristan Island Brew

Produced by Bushy's Isle of Man Brewery (famous for their Ale of Man) and infused with Tristan Island Berries in a joint project between Bushy's and the Tristan da Cunha Government

Twinning the Albatross Bar and the Elder Tree Inn

Reports from Dawn Repetto and Chris Bates

A 'Twinning Night' was held on Friday 2nd December 2016 between the Albatross Bar, Tristan and the Elder Tree Inn, Horsington, Lincolnshire, England. It marked the first sales of 'Island Brew' beer at a UK pub. 'Island Brew' is brewed in the Isle of Man by Bushy's Ale of Man and infused with Rubrum berries from Tristan da Cunha.

At the Albatross Bar

The event in the Albatross Bar, which is housed in Prince Philip Hall, was a very enjoyable evening and was well attended.

Although we were unable to sample 'Island Brew' at the Albatross Bar, Robin Repetto brought along some home brew beer for everyone to sample, made with equipment supplied by Bushy's. While Robin was in the Isle of Man he had the opportunity to visit some homebrewers and under advice from Martin Brunswisler (Bushy's Manager) has started brewing different beers on a very small scale. We had the opportunity to sample lager, stout and a hooch which was enjoyed by all.

Tourism Officer Dawn Repetto and her husband Robin prepare pour the first of the island's own-brewed beers. Tristan islanders raise a toast to what is now their twin pub in Horsington and its customers.
Tristan islanders raise their glasses to their twin pub in Horsington.

Big thanks to Richard Brown, manager of the Elder Tree Inn, Chris Bates, Tristan's former UK Representative, and of course Bushys Brewery for pulling together this lovely evening and brewing a very fine beer 'Island Brew'.

At the Elder Tree, Horsington

Tristan da Cunha's Chief Islander, Ian Lavarello, visited Horsington recently to stay with former Tristan Government UK Representative, Chris Bates, so Elder Tree Landlord Richard Brown flew the Tristan flag in his honour and it was agreed to stock 'Island Brew' for a Tristan night, with traditional Tristan stuffed lamb on the menu. The two pubs - in Horsington and on Tristan da Cunha - then decided to twin with a Tristan celebration night

Tristan-born Ian Brown (no relation to the landlord) and his wife Mandy travelled from their home in Buckinghamshire to sample the 'Island Ale' and the traditional Tristan dish of stuffed lamb which had been prepared and brought with them another Tristan delicacy, milk tart - all greatly enjoyed by the patrons of the Elder Tree Inn. Ian told people in the Elder Tree that he remembered picking the Rubrum berries on Tristan's mountainside as a boy, before moving to live in England. He thought the beer and the lamb were delicious and the pub's customers said the same of Tristan milk tart! Meanwhile on Tristan, toast were drunk to people of Horsington and the two hostelries are now twins!

Above: In the Elder Tree, Landlord Richard Brown with Tristan flag and leaflets, serves Horsington resident John Butters (left), visitor Mandy Brown (to his right), Tristan-born Ian Brown (visiting from Buckinghamshire) and Horsington resident, Kathryn Butters (right).

Below: Tristan delicacy milk tart ready for Horsington appetites, with island flag.

Horsington resident Julie Bates (left) ready to tuck into traditional Tristan delicacy, stuffed lamb, with visiting Tristan-born Ian Brown and his wife Mandy - all enjoying a pint of 'Island Brew'

Some samples of 'Island Brew' were sent to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, after which Prince Philip Hall is named, as he is known to take a keen interest in Tristan.

Further supplies of 'Island Brew' to Horsington may have to wait until more Rubrum berries are delivered to Bushy's, but in the meantime, Richard Brown says the Tristan recipes proved so popular that he hopes to serve them again.

First UK sales of 'Island Brew' at Lincolnshire's Elder Tree Inn

Latest News: First UK sales at Lincolnshire's Elder Tree Inn on 2nd December

Former Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Bates hosted a visit from Chief Islander Ian Lavarello early in November 2016 (See CI Europe Tour 2016) which included a visit to Chris' local, the Elder Tree Inn in the Lincolnshire village of Horsington. In his honour, landlord, Richard Brown, flew the Tristan flag outside the pub to mark the occasion, shown in the photo left.

From 2nd December 2016, the Elder Tree Inn will have on sale draft Tristan Island Brew for the first time.

Now - what are you waiting for -
get to Horsington early to ensure you're not too late - for once it's gone, it's gone! Cheers!

Photos taken by Chris on 27th November Show the newly arrived barrels (left) and the bar tap ready with the Island Brew logo ready for the first pulls on 2nd December.

Tristan Island Brew enjoyed at Foreign Office Reception

on 2nd December 2015

The final moment of the 2015 Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council brought Tristan's signature products to centre stage. A reception in the Foreign Office saw Overseas Territories minister James Duddridge give the valedictory speech.

He mentioned that Tristan Island Ale beer, infused with Tristan berries, and canapés made with Tristan lobster, were both being enjoyed - and regretted that he'd missed his chance to taste the lobster at last year's event.

The photo shows Chris Carnegy with brewmaster Martin Brunnschweiler from the Bushy's Ale of Man Brewery which produces the Tristan Island Brew.

Bushy's Beer @ The Albatross Bar

Bushy's was a guest beer at the Albatross Bar in December 2015 - read Dawn Repetto's report of the appearance below, and then go to The Albatross Bar page for more photos.

Bushy's Beer has made it all the way to the remotest pub

As our readers are aware Tristan took part in a joint venture with Bushy's Brewery in the Isle of Man to make an Island Brew Beer.  This was a great success and has been enjoyed around the UK and in the Isle of Man. Unfortunately due to the beer being on draught we were unable to get the Island Brew shipped to Tristan.

Bushy has made many different draft beers and have even had some bottled. A few of these lovely bottled beers were shipped via Richard James International in the UK, onto Cape Town and then all the way to Tristan. After thousands of miles it was stored away for a special occasion.

The first opportunity was the annual Sheep Shearing Day when two bottles were brought out for the occasion. After shearing was completed the two bottles were enjoyed by a few of the locals, the weather was hot so the cold beer went down really well.

The remainder of the bottles was taken to the Albatross Bar and special permission was given to drink it there. Islanders that had been to the Isle of Man, the Administrator and Chief Islander all met and had a taste of the Bushy's beer. It was a great opportunity to reminisce about the time each person had spent in the Isle of Man. The Bar Manager was so pleased that Bushy's beer had made it here she asked if the empty bottles could be kept at the bar as a souvenir.

It has been a great privilege to be involved with Bushy's Brewery and to meet the Manager Martin and his team. We look forward to welcoming Martin and his wife Debbie to Tristan in April aboard the RMS St Helena. Even though Martin will only be here for a few days we hope to seek further advice from him about the possibilities of setting up a mini brewery on Tristan. We now look forward to the future and hope to do more joint ventures together.

Tristan Island Brew launched at Olympia on 11th August 2015

First pints of Tristan Island Brew pulled at the Great British Beer Festival held at Olympia London on Tuesday 11th August 2015

Photos from Jim Kerr show: Above Left: Dawn Repetto pulling a pint with behind, her husband Robin, Bushy's Manager Martin Brunnschweiler and Tristan Government UK Adviser Jim Kerr.
Above right and below left: Dawn pulling the perfect pint; Below right: Robin has a go.

Festival Crowds Acclaim Tristan Island Brew

Report from Former Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Bates

The queues of hundreds of people outside London's Olympia Exhibition Venue for the first day of the Great British Beer Festival should have been the clue – that the first Tristan da Cunha beer would be a sell-out success.

It had been picked by The Guardian newspaper as a prime example of the revolution sweeping the British brewing industry – whereby the public is said to be deserting mass-produced, fizzy lagers, in favour of individually crafted beers from small independent brewers, who are ever more inventive with their ingredients.

The Guardian's preview of the five-day event, which attracts thousands from all over the country, reported:

"A beer made from one of the world’s rarest ingredients, and picked on one its most remote corners, is to make its début at the Great British Beer Festival this week – with ambassadors from the island on hand to pull the first pint.
Island Brew, which is brewed from redcurrant-like Empetrum rubrum berries, is one of hundreds of beers jostling to challenge the taste buds of thousands of aficionados attending the festival in London, now in its 38th year. The varied offerings this year reflect the scale of the craft beer revolution sweeping the UK".

"Island Brew"is brewed on the Isle of Man by Bushy's Brewery in accordance with the Manx Pure Beer Act of 1874 which enables rubrum berries, hand-picked on Tristan, to be added, creating a unique, refreshing beer that in the words of Tristan's Tourism Development Officer, Dawn Repetto, is "absolutely delicious".

Bushy's brewer, Curly Convery, perfected infusing the Tristan berries in to what Bushy's advertisement in the Beer Festival's programme calls "a sympathetically complimentary 4.5% ABV brew" and CAMRA agreed for the first pint to be pulled by Dawn, Robin and Chris in front of the media – and crowds of intrigued guests from the brewing and hospitality industries. She was joined by Martin Brunnschweiler; by Tristan Desk Officer Laura Benyohai and her colleague Simon Smith, Desk Officer for Prosperity in the Overseas Territories Department of the FCO; by Jim Kerr (former Tristan Education Adviser and now the Tristan Government's UK Adviser), with whom the family stayed in Norfolk after leaving the Isle of Man.

UK Representative, Chris Carnegy, came up with with a unique sales ploy for the beer – each customer buying "Island Brew" is given a voucher for a free beer – but it can only be redeemed in the Albatross Bar before the end of 2017. Leaflets about Tristan were given out to customers.

Martin Brunnschweiler, who plans to visit Tristan on board the RMS St Helena's final sailing in 2016, said: "Tristan da Cunha and the Isle of Man have joined forces in order to make beer lovers more aware of the remote British South Atlantic islands history, people and location, but to also enjoy a real tasty brew while doing so". News of the success of the launch was put out by the FCO via Twitter, Facebook and other media.

Now as Dawn, Robin and their children prepare to return to Tristan, they will carry with them brewing equipment supplied by Bushy's to take the project to its next level – beer brewed on Tristan da Cunha itself. Martin told the FCO Desk Officers that he and Dawn had ideas on how sales could be made to cruise ships, visitors, islanders and for export – creating a successful economic benefit for Tristan's economy, as those early discussions in Whitehall had envisaged.

Meanwhile, all concerned are reflecting on the sell out success of "Island Brew" at the Festival and the orders lodged from other beer festivals and specialist outlets (being handled by wholesalers Flying Firkin) for the next batch.

(See below for Chris' account of the planning for Tristan Island Brew)

Tourism Manager Dawn Repetto
arranged for Tristan Island Berries
to be picked, bottled and shipped
to Bushy's Isle of Man Brewery.

Dawn consulted with the brewery
and oversaw the brewing process
when on a training placement
to the Isle of Man May-August 2015.

The draught beer will be distributed
to outlets from August 2015
with the beer pump clip shown right

Tristan Island Brew was launched at the
CAMRA Great British Beer Festival
Olympia, London on 11th August 2015

The Tristan Island Brew Bar
was attended by Dawn and Robin Repetto
with Tristan UK Adviser Jim Kerr
who gave out Tristan leaflets for and
Island Brew Sticker (see design left)
so customers received a voucher for a free beer
if you can get to the Albatross Bar on Tristan
by the end of 2017!

More photos of the Great British Beer Festival Tristan Island Brew launch on 11th August from Julie Bates show:

Left: Trade visitors were invited to quiz the Tristan team about the island, while sampling "Island Brew": trying to respond to the torrent of questions from thirsty guests are (l-r) Martin Brunnschweiler, Former Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Bates, EU Prosperity Desk Officer Simon Smith, Dawn Repetto, FCO Tristan Desk Officer Laura Benyohai, Jim Kerr and Robin Repetto.

Right: Raising a toast to the success of Tristan Island Brew (left to right) Simon Smith, Laura Benyohai, Robin Repetto (dealing with a customer!), Chris Bates, Martin Brunnschweiler

The Island Brew's Berries

Empetrum rubrum, known as Berry Bush or Island Berry occurs on all four main Tristan Islands

The berries for the Tristan Island Brew were hand picked from the lower slopes of cliffs rising behind the Patches Plain in an area known as The Spring.

The views above show, left the view across the Patches Plain from The Spring, right looking towards the slopes which yield the berries (front right).

The berries A berry picker
The berries were bottled and transported all the way to the Isle of Man for the brew.
Robin Repetto adding the barley mixture with Amber looking on Robin, Jade and Martin Brunnschweiler checking the process

The brew was carried out on
Friday 24th July when these photos were
taken at Bushy's Isle of Man Brewery.

Left: Dawn adds the crucial
Tristan Berries to the mix

The Repetto Family by the vat containing the Tristan Island Brew and the poster which is a larger version of the beer pump clip which will soon adorn bars across the land. Amber, Dawn and Robin Repetto with Bushy's Manager Martin Brunnschweiler (far left) and Curly the Brewer.

Bushy's Manager Martin Brunnschweiler reports that the first batch of Tristan Island Brew made on 24th July will produce 20 nine gallon casks, one of which will be sent to Olympia for the launch day of the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia. The other 19 casks will be distributed by Bushy's wholesaler Flying Firkin after the London launch.

Only half the Island Berries were used in the first batch and Martin plans a second brew in the near future. Watch this space for details.

Tristan Island Brew: The Brew

Photos taken in Bushy's Brewery June 2015

Dawn with her husband Robin Repetto with Bushy's Martin Brunnschweiler discussing the forthcoming brew Tristan Administrator Alex Mitham, Hasene Mitham, Dawn Repetto, Robin Repetto, Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy and Martin Brunnschweiler from Bushy's Brewery.

Background to Tristan Island Brew

From Former Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Bates

"Island Brew" has its origins in a meeting called by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall after a Joint Ministerial Council, to discuss with Chief Islander, Ian Lavarello, the Chief Ministers of the other UK Overseas Territories and their British counterparts, ways of increasing prosperity through developing local resources.

However, last year former Tristan UK Representative, Chris Bates, was in Gibraltar on behalf of Tristan's Postmistress Iris Green at an international philatelic conference and discovered beer on sale there, brewed on the Isle of Man using Gibraltar-grown hops. Recalling he'd enjoyed on a Manx holiday Bushy's Bramble Beer (which is infused with Manx grown blackberries) he approached Martin Brunnschweiler, founder of the island's Bushy's Brewery to suggest a beer with Tristan ingredients. His response was immediate and positive and Tristan islanders set about picking the berries for Dawn and Robin to take with them.