It might not be a brand new idea, but maturing some freshly produced craft beer in ex-rum casks is definitely a good one. Ladies and gentlemen: we bring you 10 Saints; a lager beer from the sunny shores of Barbados that is soon to be available here in the UK.
Our first taste presented itself over Christmas and fortunately, the very nice gentleman was able to leave another for laters… A generous offer given the fact that at that time, there was next to nothing in the UK. Fortunately though, hundreds of cases of lovely, full flavoured beer are onboard a ship which is heading our way, hopefully docking sometime soon.
So how did this beer come to being? Well the 10 Saints website tells us “During the 2009 Speightstown 'Jazz on The Beach' Festival, Glyn Partridge (the music and drinks entrepreneur) whilst liming on the beach with the musicians, had the great idea of combining the rum heritage of Barbados with refreshing lager beer to produce a truly unique taste”. Fast forward a couple of years and it’s in 250+ outlets around Barbados; it’s on the Spice Isle of Grenada and it’s soon to be available in the UK.
Sounds easy eh? Well Glyn appears to have made sure that nothing was left to chance: he came up with a purpose built modern facility and employed a Professor of Brewing. A deal was made with Mount Gay for the use of some ex-rum casks and then tied it all together with some simple, but coolly effective packaging and sir; this is how you have a winner on your hands. Oh… and don’t forget the beer: make sure the beer tastes good… that’s very important!
Right now I’d love to be sitting in the hot Bajan sunshine with a cold beer in hand. But as it’s January and we are stuck some 4,200 miles away from the action, we’ll settle for a 10 Saints instead. Apparently an advance batch of 10 Saints has been shipped by air freight so that it can feature at both the Floridita Rum Shack launch party and (most importantly) at Monday’s “Why Trailer Loves the Island of Barbados” rum club [Monday 4th February 2013, Trailer Happiness, 7pm]. So if you were sort of thinking of getting along on Monday, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your priorities… Rum and beer = winning combo!
Now I think it would be daft not to mention one of our other favourite beers: Innis & Gunn. They are another (or is that ’the other’) brand who uses the principal of maturation in ex-rum cask to create a wonderful flavoursome beer. The Innis & Gunn is certainly a lot fuller in flavour and perhaps more of a “beer drinkers” beer, but in my opinion, the 10 Saints is going to be more attractive to a different and wider audience. Sadly though I suspect a chunk of the real-beer drinking community will be writing it off as being too light.
Based on the relatively small quantity we’ve drunk so far, I’m very happy to say I liked it – it has enough flavour to be interesting, whilst still be light and refreshing enough to be fun. Feels like sunshine in a bottle! Very happy to be drinking some more very soon.
Oh and we asked a question as the beginning of this article. Why do you think it’s called 10 Saints? Well, Barbados has eleven parishes and all except one (Christchurch) are named after Saints…
Please do take a moment to check out their website and if you’re a Facebook’er – check out their page.
Rum Databank: 10 Saints Beer
Country of origin: Barbados
Other Related Info: Contact Bibendum Wines for UK stock enquiries http://www.bibendum-wine.co.uk/