Swannie delivers his 'baby'
Notts and England cricketer, Graeme Swann joined customers and staff at the Larwood and Voce pub under the stand at Trent Bridge cricket ground to serve the first pint of ‘Harold Larwood’, Castle Rock Brewery’s eponymous real ale honouring the celebrated fast bowler. Graham Swann describes the 40 barrel brew as ‘his baby’ having previously assisted in its brewing.
Larwood, born in Nuncargate, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, began his working life down the pit before selection for England. His ‘bodyline’ bowling against Australia, 80 years ago, remains a conversation piece in pubs across the county to this day.
On Monday 7 January 2013, Graeme Swann donned rubber gloves and wellie boots to help brew the ale. Six days on, the ale was ready for the cask and distribution to pubs across Notts, including the Larwood and Voce, one among many regular outlets for Castle Rock beers.
The ale, one of four planned in 2013 to celebrate famous Nottingham and Nottinghamshire people in the brewery’s series of Nottinghamian Celebration Ales, is described as a well balanced stout with pure Arabica coffee beans added.
Graeme was invited to add hops to the Harold Larwood brew at a precise time under assistant brewer John Edger’s direction.
His appearance as a barman was welcomed at the Larwood and Voce by customers, staff and the media eager to hear about his summer plans.