(l-r) Ken Purslow, Newstead Abbey Byron Society; Miriam Jackson, Nottingham Women’s History Group; brewer Dan Gilliland and Lorraine Horrocks, The Pit Micropub’s landlady.
We’re remembering Ada Lovelace in our final Nottinghamian Celebration Ale of 2019. We officially launched it on Ada Lovelace Day, Tuesday 8th October, in the Newstead pub by the gate to her ancestral home.
Ada was Lord Byron’s only legitimate child. She was born in 1815 while Byron was making one of many attempts to sell Newstead Abbey, his Nottinghamshire property. It is thought she only set foot in the place once. That was in 1850, when she visited as a guest of owner Thomas Wildman, and left feeling low and miserable. “It ought to belong to me,” she said of her determination to return. It was not to be; she died in 1852 having never been back.
Ada’s legacy has shaped our day-to-day lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. Her work on the “analytical engine” changed the world and her success as the ‘first computer programmer’ has made her a prominent and compelling symbol for women in STEM fields and in general.
Available until Christmas, the mathematician’s namesake ‘Ada Lovelace’ beer is a 4.2 per cent ABV porter and becomes the fourth in the 2019 Nottinghamian series that has included ‘Vicki McClure’ and ‘Viv Anderson’. Described by some as ‘like drinking a liquid chocolate bar’, the porter’s mixed malt bill of Chocolate, Munich, Caramalt and Crystal make for a deep and delicious porter with flavours reminiscent of chocolate biscuits.
Our celebration beers honour the achievements and memories of the native-born and adopted daughters and sons of Nottinghamshire. Lewis Townsend, who manages the four-a-year series admits Ada’s is a tenuous “but nonetheless important” choice. “She loved Newstead, as do all of us, and we feel it’s right to recognise that,” he says.
The Pit Micropub
The launch landlady, Lorraine Horrocks, was delighted to have hosted the occasion. “We get many visitors stopping off on their way to the Abbey. They come from South Africa, the USA and all over Europe with many as interested in the daughter as they are the father. In fact, she is becoming ever more prominent in our regular spoken word nights. Ada means a lot to us and our community of Newstead,” she says.