Londonderry brewer giving taste of Siege of Derry

James Huey has made a number of changes for the updated ale recipe
James Huey has made a number of changes for the updated ale recipe

A Londonderry brewer is giving an old Siege of Derry beer recipe which hasn’t been brewed in 400 years a modern twist for 21st century tipplers.

However, James Huey has guaranteed that no-one will suffer in the sampling of the new artisan craft beer as he will be leaving a few of the rarer and less savoury ingredients from 1689 out of the mix.

James, who opened the Walled City Brewery last year, has revealed that the original ale recipe – discovered in Siege diaries – contains poisons now banned by the World Health Organisation.

He’s currently working in partnership with the North West Regional College and well-known local chef Brian McDermott to tailor the tipple to suit modern-day palates.

James said: “When I was setting up the business I began researching the history of the city and found this very unusual beer from the Siege diaries which was more of a herbal elixir.

“We are trying to recreate that beer for the first time in 400 years and it’s going to be very unique. The original recipe had about 77 different herbs and spices and we found that about 30 per cent of them are extinct, and 20 per cent have been declared poisonous by the World Health Organisation.

“Part of the recipe also had 11 uncooked eggs added at the end of the fermentation which is just bizarre and we are not going to do.”

The Walled City Brewery will be taking part in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Big Cheese & Beer Expo in Guildhall Square this weekend.

The event is a major highlight of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 programme.