Give John a Chance

I haven’t tended to review bottled beer before.  It is not that I am against drinking at home on my own, it is just that I tend to prefer to drink in a pub on my own.

However, a good friend from my old girls’ school––I’ll call her G&T; she knows who I mean––recently very kindly sent me a big crate of beers of the world.  I wonder how she knew that I’d enjoy that?

King John’s Jewels is a golden ale, with a 4.5% ABV, and a distinctive yeasty tasty which, largely due to my inexpert pouring, produced a magnificent, frothy head.  The beer is produced by the 8 Sails Brewery, based in Lincolnshire.  The Lincolnshire location is relevant.

King John’s Jewels have remained a mystery ever since 1216, when they were reportedly first lost.  John had been travelling from King’s Lynn to Lincoln across a notoriously treacherous stretch of quick sands and rapid tides, when part of his entourage became separated from the King and was lost.  It is generally accepted that the missing men, baggage and treasures disappeared into the marshes and mud somewhere near the modern-day village of Sutton Bridge in south Lincolnshire.

King John did not have long to mourn the loss of his crown jewels.  Less than a week later he succumbed to dysentery and died.

Poor old John is someone who suffers from a bad press.  It is often possible to trace such libels back to the pen of Shakespeare, who was a very adept rewriter of history for the Elizabethan court, but in the case of John, I think he had a far greater detractor in Claude Rains.  Rains was such a memorable pantomime villain, playing opposite Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, that there was simply no way to positively reassimilate John, which I think is something of a shame.  After 800 years, everyone deserves the chance of a bit of reappraisal.

John may have his critics, but his Jewels are well worth hunting out.

© Beery Sue


Beery Sue is never short of ideas of how to handle the crown jewels.

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