Pilgrim beer to flow once more in Walsingham

3 February 2020

The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is launching a new beer in collaboration with North Norfolk’s Barsham Brewery. Pilgrim’s Pale Ale, a Walsingham Real Ale, celebrates over a thousand years of pilgrimage to Walsingham. (https://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/ )

Christopher Hamilton-Emery (Director of Operations at the Shrine) says: “Pilgrimage has always had a positive impact on local economies. Pilgrims eat and drink, sleep in hostels and love a souvenir from places en route to or from their pilgrimage destination. Walsingham’s own Pilgrim’s Pale Ale is a great symbol of this synergy between pilgrimage and local business.”

“Most of the food we serve at the Shrine is sourced within a 10 mile radius and we pride ourselves in supporting local businesses to promote sustainability and green initiatives,” says Pat Marshall (Catering Manager at the Shrine).

Recent years have seen a heightened interest in walking pilgrimages. The Shrines in Walsingham support local initiatives and walking pilgrims who restore the ancient paths leading to England’s Nazareth, the Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham.

Fr Andreas (Shrine Priest) says: “Pubs along the pilgrimage routes to Walsingham will be pleased to be able to offer Pilgrim’s Pale Ale to locals, walkers and pilgrims alike. I look forward to having a pint of Pilgrim’s Pale Ale in the Shrine’s Norton Cafe Bar.”

Notes for editors

The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (www.anglican-shrine.org.uk) has been a place of pilgrimage since the 11th Century. Founded in 1061 by the Lady Richeldis who received a vision of Mary the Mother of Jesus, the Shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1538, and restored again in 1922 by Father Patten, the Anglican Vicar of Walsingham.  In medieval times, the Shrine was visited by Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, Henry VI, Henry VII and finally Henry VIII (plus two of his wives).

Welcoming tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors a year from all over world including the United States, Australia and Sweden, the historic shrine church, welcome centre, gardens, refectory and extensive accommodation provide a welcome sanctuary for visitors.

Pilgrim Pale Ale is a brand new beer from Barsham Brewery, brewed in celebration of over a thousand years of pilgrimages to Walsingham and brewed using ‘Pilgrim Hops’ (https://www.britishhops.org.uk/varieties/pilgrim/ )

Jules Knight (Barsham Brewery) commented: “The idea came about after Father Andreas from the Shrine asked if it were possible for his team to stop off at the brewery on a team walk. As close neighbours we immediately agreed and all enjoyed a brewery tour, tea and cake, as well as a beer tasting of course! Fr Andreas discussed a collaboration between us and a few weeks later, whilst visiting the shrine, we decided to create a beer to celebrate the ancient and modern Walsingham pilgrim and ‘Pilgrim’s Pale Ale’ was born. We aim to highlight Green Pilgrimages and what can be achieved on foot as well as the joy that can be found in our natural surroundings and the feeling of wellbeing it brings”.

Barsham Brewery ( www.barshambrewery.co.uk )

The Soames family are steeped in history and have farmed the West Barsham Estate for generations, making the most of the exceptional soil and sea air that Norfolk is famous for to grow Maris Otter barley which is then malted just a few miles down the road. Beautifully pure water from the Estate’s own bore hole is then blended with the malt and crafted in their state of the art brewery in ancient farm buildings. From planting the seed to drinking the beer takes many months, but only a couple of miles!

Our beer is sold across East Anglia in pubs, delis, restaurants and more, and we are now delighted to have formed a unique collaboration with our neighbours in Walsingham. The story itself is wonderful, but the iconic Norfolk countryside and Walsingham itself make for fantastic images.


Further information:

Victoria McDougall, The Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

01328 824214 / v.mcdougall@olw-shrine.org.uk

Photo opportunities at the Anglican Shrine and Barsham Brewery on Thursday 6 February.  Images available on request.