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29th May 2014


At the crack of dawn on Wednesday 21st May, the award-winning West Berkshire Brewery resurrected David Bruce’s original Dogbolter recipe, brewing 30 barrels of his legendary strong ale for a national re-launch this June.

Dogbolter was first created by David Bruce at The Goose and Firkin in 1979 and subsequently brewed at his other Firkin Pubs. The full-mash brew, with an O.G. of 1060° (A.B.V. 6%) was brewed by Will Twomey, the Head Brewer of the West Berkshire Brewery, who ensured that his brew remained true to Bruce’s original recipe.

The irony is that the first-ever brew of Dogbolter was the result of a fortunate mishap: Bruce was brewing his notorious Earthstopper (O.G. 1075°) when he was distracted by a phone call. The call was longer than expected and, by the time Bruce returned to his brew, its O.G. had fallen from an initial 1085°, past the intended 1075° to 1068°. Realising his cock-up, Bruce reduced the O.G. further to 1060°. The accident was an inadvertent stroke of genius for the beer was supreme.

The opportunity to brew Bruce’s Original Dogbolter came about when Bruce was asked to feature in Boak and Bailey’s new book, which is also due to be published in June. The re-launch of Dogbolter is therefore Bruce’s way to celebrate the chapter devoted to him in the new definitive work, Brew Britannia: the strange rebirth of British beer.

To mark this unique event, the West Berkshire Brewery promises 40 firkins and 6,000 commemorative bottles of Bruce’s Original Dogbolter which will be available nationally to pubs, wholesalers and retailers. In addition, the phenomenal Firkin fans of the 1980’s will be able to sample again one of Bruce’s most acclaimed brews and our new generation of ale lovers will be able to experience the real taste of Bruce’s “happy accident”!



1. Bruce’s Original Dogbolter Logo
2. Photograph of David Bruce checking his mash temperature
3. Photograph of David Bruce celebrating with Will Twomey, head brewer of West Berkshire Brewery

For further information, please contact:

Vicky Mills

About West Berkshire Brewery

  • The West Berkshire Brewery (WBB), in Yattendon, West Berkshire, is an award-winning, privately-owned, independent brewery, founded in 1995 by Dave and Helen Maggs
  • WBB produces a selection of the highest quality, craft-brewed beers and ales. It has already won well over 30 awards
  • WBB only uses traditional brewing techniques and prides itself on using English-only materials, including sourcing hops from the only remaining hop garden in Old Berkshire
  • WBB’s range of delicious beers are available not only in many free houses across the country but also as a guest beer for Enterprise Inns and, most prestigiously, its bottled beers are available in Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose and Majestic Wines
  • In March 2013, industry veteran David Bruce (co-founder of Bruce’s Brewery and the Firkin Pubs, the Society of Independent Brewers, The Capital Pub Company and The City Pub Companies, amongst others) joined the board of WBB as Chairman, bringing with him 47 years of international brewing and pub retailing experience
  • For more information on WBB and its outstanding range of beers, please visit, call 01635 202968 or email