Swordfish, Wadworth’s popular Pusser’s rum enriched ale, is now available in regional branches of Waitrose and Tesco, and nationally via Ocado. The listing in two of the country’s top supermarket chains is said to be a great achievement for the ale which was originally planned to be a one-off special brew for the centenary of the Fleet Air Arm in 2010.
Wadworth of Devizes in Wiltshire was chosen by the Fleet Air Arm to create a new real ale to celebrate a century of service to the nation. The beer was named Swordfish after the historic Fairey Swordfish aircraft and was blended with Pusser’s Rum to create a uniquely flavoured ale with a distinctive naval twist.
Three years on, the beer has proved to be an extremely popular addition to the Wadworth stable of ales. It is now available in draught and bottles in Wadworth’s 235 pubs, alongside many free trade pubs; with the supermarket listing bringing the ale to an even wider audience of drinkers.
“We wanted to create something really special to commemorate the proud history of the Fleet Air Arm in its’ centenary year and we succeeded so well that we have ended up with a permanent reminder of this elite service,” said Wadworth sales and marketing director Paul Sullivan.
“Key to the success of the beer was the decision to blend it with Pusser’s Rum, allowing us to link the historic naval associations of a tot of rum with one of our finest real ales, creating a really full-flavoured and satisfying pint.”
The beer is described as a stronger version of the Wadworth classic 6X, with the addition of rum to enhance the flavour.
“The process of blending beer with rum involved developing some pioneering techniques,” said Sullivan. “The finished ale has a full mouth feel and leaves lingering flavours on the palate with the rum adding body and subtle aromas to the beer which develop with ageing.”
The maker of Pusser’s Rum is also making the most of the popularity of Swordfish by using it as a taster at trade shows and training events. It has found people who are not keen on the taste of straight rum can be tempted by the beer which is a subtle introduction to the rum flavour.
Wadworth itself is even older than the Fleet Air Arm, having been brewing real ales in Devizes for over 125 years. Many of the original brewing techniques and closely guarded recipes are still employed today and great care is taken to select only the finest malt, hops and yeast for the brewing process, the company claims.