Hook Norton Brewery has brewed a beer to celebrate the life of Major, its shire horse, who recently passed away.

The gentle giant had worked at the brewery for 16 of his 22 years, helping to deliver beer the traditional way to local pubs, as well as parading with his trusted partner Nelson at various events and shows across the UK.

Over the years, Major also did TV work, with Penelope Keith in her Hidden Villages series, and ferrying Griff Rhys Jones around in Griff’s Great Britain.

In 2014, he even appeared on a Royal Mail Stamp in a special edition featuring working horses. He was a firm favourite with all the staff and visitors to the brewery and will be sorely missed, says the company.

Managing director, James Clarke, said: “Major had a good working life, and delivered countless barrels of beer. As well as this, he was the subject of many photographs, press articles and TV…

“He is sadly missed, but very fondly remembered, and this beer brewed in his honour will be available in the week leading up to and at The Hook Norton Festival of Fine Ales, an event which Major attended over many years. We’ll raise a glass to Major, and 50 pence from every pint will be donated to The Shire Horse Society.”

Major Force (4.5% ABV) will take pride of place in the brewery’s selection of beers at the upcoming Hook Norton Festival of Fine Ales, on Saturday, July 20, from noon. Tickets will be available on the day.

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