Brewing the celebration beer are Fuller’s junior brewer, Hayley Marlor, pub supervisor, Rebecca Koopmans, and pub manager, Helen Wilson
The Victoria pub, in Paddington, London, is celebrating its 180th anniversary today, with a plethora of activities and entertainment, and a celebration beer.
The one-off beer has been created by the pub team and brewed in the new pilot plant at Fuller’s historic Griffin Brewery.
The 4.2% ABV cask botanical pale ale is inspired by gin. It was brewed with ingredients including juniper berries, coriander, bergamot and Sicilian mandarins.
The name of the beer will be revealed today when the brew will also be blessed by Rev Stephen Mason from the local church, St John’s Hyde Park. The church and pub were built around the same time and have both served the local community for all these years.
Managers of The Victoria, Helen Wilson and Chris Cochran, have arranged a day of events, with themes spanning 180 years of history.
From 5pm, beer sommelier Jane Peyton will be giving a bespoke talk about the pub and its influence through the years. Artefacts and artwork will be on display.
Nick Miller, local musician and composer, will be playing Victorian era songs on an electric piano. Drinks companies Real Kombucha and Seedlip will be offering samples of some of their non-alcoholic beverages.
David Bowie link
The pub’s head chef, Dan Smalley, has created signature dishes that are linked back to Victorian eating styles — rich and indulgent.
And the evening will end with The Mighty Wub performing a heavily David Bowie-based set from 9pm — Bowie launched his first EP from the pub’s upstairs bar with a small gig in 1966.
Helen said: “We’re really excited about this event. We were keen to showcase the significance of the pub to the local community — both now and throughout its history.
“The theme of past and present inspired our recipe for the botanical pale ale, too — gin is certainly going through a renaissance and is as popular now as it was when The Victoria first opened.
“We also chose to use English malts and hops in the brew, and for it to be available on cask — a nod to traditional brewing — while embracing the current popularity of pale ale.
“The recipe was created by our team and entered for an internal competition at Fuller’s, open to all other managed pubs in the estate. Our recipe was picked as the winner, which I’m extremely proud of, and being involved in the brewing process was a truly unique experience.
“Chris and I have been managers of The Victoria for 18 years now — 10% of the pub’s life — and it’s been a real privilege to be a part of its story. This is our home, we’ve raised our family here, and we’ve been a part of other families’ traditions and memories — we house family reunions with members travelling from all over the world to see each other in The Victoria.”