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11th May 2016


A North East brew house, inspired by acclaimed writer Elizabeth Barret Browning, is now embarking on a new chapter after rebranding its award-winning beers.
Sonnet 43 Brew House, based at Coxhoe, County Durham, has tweaked the recipes for its five core products and renamed each of them in tribute to the poet, who was born nearby.
The new literary-themed range, which includes The Raven Bourbon Milk Stout, Abolition Amber Ale, Impressment American Pale Ale, Aurora Pale Ale and Seraphim Blonde Beer, is already in production and will be available from all Sonnet 43’s regular stockists starting this month (May).
The Raven Bourbon Milk Stout (4.3% ABV), combining oats and a multitude of malts for a sumptuous base, has been named in homage to the dark and captivating work of Edgar Allan Poe.
Poe, who is thought to have been a fan of Barret Browning’s work, borrowed the meter from her poem Lady Geraldine’s Courtship as a basis for The Raven, with its title character possessing the same jet black colouring as its new, namesake stout.
Sonnet 43’s Abolition Amber Ale (3.8% ABV), formerly Steam Beer Amber Ale, is a direct tribute to Elizabeth Barret Browning’s opposition to slavery and the poems she published in support of the abolition cause. 
While relatively low in alcohol volume, this ale has been designed to deliver a full body, with coloured malts adding a slight sweetness, as well as a warm, amber hue.
The brand’s American Pale Ale, which utilises six bold, American whole-leaf hops for an intense tropical and citrus flavour, has been renamed Impressment American Pale Ale (5.4% ABV).
This dates back to Barret Browning’s first known poem, On The Cruelty of Forcement to Man, which was based on the practice of taking men into the navy by force during the American War of Independence, known as impressment.  
Elizabeth’s lengthy, and somewhat autobiographical poem, Aurora Leigh, is now lending part of its name to Sonnet 43’s Aurora Pale Ale, formerly India Pale (4.4% ABV), which uses copious amount of hops from around the world for an earthy, fresh taste.
While her first collection of poems, published under the title Seraphim in 1838, inspires the revamped Blonde Beer (4.1% ABV), which has a light and balanced flavour to reflect is new name, translating as a celestial being denoted by light.
“A lot has changed in the craft world since Sonnet 43 launched in 2012,” said founder Mark Hird.  “Now, with an established reputation and some awards under our belt, it felt like the right time to make a few tweaks and really show how much we’ve progressed as a brewer.
“While we have made a number of subtle enhancements to the beers themselves, the big difference now is in the overall branding, which we hope will help Sonnet 43 stand out even further from the crowd.”
For more information about Sonnet 43 Brew House, and to see its full range of beers,  Alternatively please direct all trade enquiries to or 0191 37773039. 
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May 10 2016.
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