Available in more than 1,000 pubs across the UK, pale ale Rare Breed, brewed by Butcombe in partnership with TV presenter Henson, has been in production since 2012.
The collaboration between Henson and Liberation Group-owned Butcombe began when the Countryfile presenter, who had been growing Maris Otter barley on his farm in the Cotswolds, decided he wanted to add value to the crop by joining forces with a local brewery to produce a beer.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser, Rare Breed became available in keg across the Liberation Group’s estate in November 2018 having previously been cask-served in pubs and available in national supermarkets by the bottle.
To mark the production milestone of 3m bottles of Rare Breed, Henson signed 10 labels at Butcombe’s Bristol Brewery. Anyone lucky enough to find a signed bottle in shops, supermarkets or the Butcombe Brewery Shop in Wrington, near Bristol, will win unique prizes including a personalised tour of Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and a behind the scenes tour of Butcombe Brewery.
“We visited a number of breweries around the south-west and eventually ended up at Butcombe,” Henson explained. “We found out a lot about the company and soon realised there was plenty of synergy with what we believe in, such as customer care, quality of product, looking after staff, sustainability and the importance of where produce comes from. This all rang true with us and our brand values so we decided to produce a beer together.
“I originally wanted to call the beer ‘Muddy Puddle’. I thought it fitted with farmers, I could see the marketing, big welly boots splashing in the mud but the brewers thought it was a ridiculous idea. Rare Breed is fresh and zesty, they didn’t want to be selling people a muddy puddle.
“The name Rare Breed means more than just the animal connection. It also represents our rare relationship – one of farmer and brewer. It has worked really well for us and I adore the beer. Head brewer Mike and his team’s skill in continuing to produce this fantastic product is amazing. I’m delighted to be involved.”
“We’re thrilled to be marking this important milestone in the production of Rare Breed,” Butcombe Brewery managing director Marc McGuigan added. “It’s a special product which represents much of our ethos here at Butcombe Brewery. The water we use comes from our very own borehole and, after the brewing process, all used barley goes to local farms as cow feed.
“Seeing the three millionth bottle come off the production line was a very special moment and we’re looking forward to producing millions more. We are continuing to work with Adam on a number of exciting projects including updating the look and feel of Rare Breed, so watch out for more news in the new year.”