Fancy a Pint? #28: something dark and strong

The retirement project to try beers and ciders from every county in the United Kingdom.

IMGP6039County: Cumbria (Cumberland).

What’s it called? Sneck Lifter.

Who made it? Jennings Castle Brewery. Established in 1828 in Lorton, a village between Buttermere and Cockermouth in what was then the county of Cumberland, in the heart of the Lake District. The business was purchased in 2005 by Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, which was renamed Marston’s in 2007.

What is it? A dark bitter.

Alc Vol: 5.1%

What it says on the label: “Relax, unwind and appreciate the wonderful complex flavours of this award winning, lip smacking, strong and satisfying dark beer.” I get the impression that they are quite proud of it.

Food combination: Nothing on the bottle. I drank it with a bowl of dry, roasted peanuts, but it would have gone just as well with a steak.

Fancy another? In the right circumstances (e.g. a cold winter’s afternoon). The beer was dark, rich, smoky and ‘liquouricey’. Lovely!

It’s not about the beer (well, in this instance, sort of): I was attracted by the name as much as anything. I had no idea what a sneck lifter was. It turns out a sneck is a door latch, and a sneck lifter was a man’s last sixpence with which he would lift the latch of the pub door and buy himself a pint, hoping to meet friends there who might treat him to one or two more. I bet he was popular (Younger drinkers who read this may wonder what a sixpence was, being one of the coins that disappeared when Britain switched to decimal currency in the early 1970s).


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