This September, the Mary Rose Trust (MRT) is launching two new tipples to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the raising of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose. To mark the special occasion, the MRT has collaborated with Portsmouth Distillery and Powder Monkey Brewery to launch a special edition Tudor Gin and Mary Rose Beer. Both products have been carefully crafted to include botanicals and flavour pallets symbolic of the 16th century, bringing to life the senses of the period in which the famous ship patrolled the Narrow Seas.
The Mary Rose’s Head of Research and one of the 500 divers involved in the excavation, Dr Alex Hildred, shared:
“Our Mary Rose Beer and Tudor Gin have been expertly crafted to symbolise life on the Mary Rose. As one can imagine, the crew on board the Mary Rose very much enjoyed a tipple. A list of provisions for victualling all of Henry’s ships has told us that they provided one gallon of beer per man per day on board, distributed by fifteen stave-built wooden lidded serving tankards to ‘messes’ of about six men. Sixty wooden drinking bowls were recovered during the excavation. Their size, widespread distribution and the fact that many were incised with lines or initials suggests they were personal drinking bowls. These artefacts are available to view at the Mary Rose Museum for those wishing to immerse themselves in Tudor life.”
Dominic Jones, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust added:
“This launch marks the start of an important and exciting celebration of the raising of the Mary Rose. The ship was built in Portsmouth, defended Portsmouth, sank in Portsmouth and was finally recovered in Portsmouth, so it felt right that we partnered with local businesses to develop these fantastic new beverages to celebrate 40 years since bringing the Mary Rose back to the surface. The raising of the Mary Rose was the biggest maritime archaeological project in the world, and has given the world the largest collection of objects representing everyday Tudor life, so we look forward to a multitude of anniversary celebrations ahead.”
This is just the first of many ways in which the MRT is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the raising of Henry VIII’s flagship, with a number of exciting events and festivities taking place throughout September and October. Visit maryrose.org/40 for more information.
The 40th Anniversary edition Tudor Gin, expertly constructed by Portsmouth Distillery, is a fine gin created using only botanicals found on the wreck of the Mary Rose. These include Dandelion, which will have been used as an anti-inflammatory in the surgeons’ quarters at the time, with hazelnut, hemp seeds and cherry also found. These flavours combine to give a smooth, rich, dry gin complete with a burst of cherry.
Dich Oatley, Sales Director at Portsmouth Distillery commented:
“It has been fantastic to be involved in such an exciting and inventive project creating the Tudor Gin in celebration of 40 years since the raising of the Mary Rose. The botanicals chosen would have been on board that fateful day in 1545. We are confident that what we have produced embodies a depth and flavour reflective of the time this iconic vessel sailed.”
The 40th Anniversary Tudor Gin will be available from 7th September 2022 with an RRP of £36.00. It will be available to buy from theportsmouthdistillery.com, masterofmalt.com and other local independents - see the stockist list at theportsmouthdistillery.com
Inspired by visits to the state-of-the-art Mary Rose Museum, head brewer at Powder Monkey Brewery, Mark Hamblin, created the Mary Rose Beer, a pale ale as a modern interpretation of the lighter beers that would have been drunk on board. The beer is flavoured with a hint of cracked black pepper combed with fresh citrus fruits and some herbal notes.
Andy Burdon, CEO of Powder Monkey Brewery, commented:
“It has been a pleasure developing the Mary Rose Beer in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the raising. It has been a great opportunity for our Head Brewer Mark Hamblin to turn inspiration into innovation, creating a pale ale symbolic of life on board the Mary Rose during the 16th century and supporting the important conservation project that the Mary Rose Trust continues to deliver.”
The Mary Rose Beer will be available from today with an RRP of £3.00 per can. It will be available to buy from the Mary Rose Shop and the Powder Brewing Co.