A punchy launch for Bendigo’s beer
Jason Booth, the British and Commonwealth super bantamweight title holder, led the celebrations to launch Bendigo, the fifth in Castle Rock Brewery’s series of Nottinghamian Celebration Ales.
William ‘Abednego’ Thompson, the unbeaten all England champion bare knuckle fighter was born in Nottingham, in October 1811. And, on what is believed to be the two hundredth anniversary of his birth, Jason and members of the Southern Broxtowe Blue Plaques Group remembered the man, his skills and his love of ale as a blue plaque bearing his name was unveiled at Beeston, where he died aged 68 in August 1880.
Alan Dance, a member of the blue plaques group, says: “Bendigo is one of Nottingham’s best known characters. He’s remembered, not only locally but worldwide, for his exploits in the boxing ring and his many brushes with the law. In later life, he ‘saw the light’ and became an enthusiastic evangelical preacher.”
The mayor of Greater Bendigo, the gold mining town in Australia, sent good wishes to the brewery and to all the people who, unlike him and his fellow Australians, will get the opportunity to enjoy the ale.
In common with the man, Bendigo Ale is strong at 4.2%. It will be available in pubs across the East Midlands until December 2011.
Castle Rock’s Forest Tavern has a long established association with Bendigo. The pub, and particularly the rear room Maze nightclub, is reputed to have been the scene of some of his first bare knuckle prize fights. A portrait of Bendigo, commissioned in 1850 by the then landlord, has been displayed in the pub.