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2 July, 2014 - 22:46 By News Desk

Beer commemorates Antarctic explorer – ice optional


A Norfolk company has launched a new range of bottle-conditioned beers to celebrate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s great Antarctic adventure of 1914-16.

In August 1914 explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail from Plymouth on his ship Endurance  to attempt an adventure which would top even the achievements of Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen, who reached the South Pole two years earlier.

Shackleton intended his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition to be the first expedition to traverse the entire Antarctic continent on foot, crossing over 1500 miles of frozen wilderness.

The Endurance famously became trapped and crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, before the expedition had even reach the land mass of Antarctica, and Shackleton and his men eventually had to watch their ship sink: leaving them stranded and with little hope of getting home alive, let alone completing their original mission.

In the long months trapped on the ice the men kept up morale with regular concert parties centred around a banjo, which Shackleton described as ‘vital mental medicine’. 

It is this story which inspired The Great British Banjo Co. to create their Shackleton banjo, and now their own range of Shackleton beers.

Shackleton succeeded against all odds in getting his entire crew of 27 men home alive and safe, arriving back in England almost three years later. To celebrate that epic adventure and to honour the heroism of Shackleton and his men, a small company based in Norwich, Norfolk, has launched a new collection of bottle conditioned beers called The Shackleton.

Musical instrument maker The Great British Banjo Company, which last year launched The Shackleton Banjo, the first production banjo to be manufactured in Britain for more than sixty years, has collaborated with Norwich micro-brewer Ole Slewfoot to produce the beers.

Norwich’s iconic independent department store, Jarrold & Sons, is already stocking The Shackleton Beer range and the makers are receiving enquiries from all over the UK.

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