The Chronicle

Barnard Castle Eye Test beer is back

- By BARBARA HODGSON Reporter barbara.hodgson@reachplc.com

A SPECIAL beer inspired by Dominic Cummings’ infamous drive to a County Durham beauty spot has made a comeback and it is inviting ale lovers to raise a glass to charity at the same time.

The Barnard Castle Eye Test, named after the town visited by Boris Johnson’s chief adviser during his much-criticised lockdown trip early in the summer, is available now for a limitededi­tion run.

And profits from its sale will go towards the production of free sanitiser for the NHS and health care charities.

Created by BrewDog, which runs a chain of pubs including one in Newcastle, the 6% IPA – described as a ‘short-sighted beer for tall stories’ – proved such a hit upon its first release that customers were soon calling for a Barnard Castle Eye Test T-shirt too.

BrewDog says it has brought back the beer due to “unpreceden­ted demand” which saw its first three batches sell out. And, while it’s proved one of its most popular brews of the year, this comeback – it says – will be the last.

And if anyone thought the Dominic Cummings joke was getting stale, one look at the company’s Facebook page shows the opposite.

With Cummings back in the news over an unpaid council tax bill, there were several Facebook comments referring to the matter, including one asking “When are you brewing the ‘Council Tax Exemption’ IPA” and another suggesting “Barnard Council Tax special Edition??”.

And in reference to the Covid rule-breaking trip made by Scottish politician Margaret Ferrier, another asked: “When does ‘Scottish Train Journey’ come out?”, prompting a suggestion of calling this the “Fleeing Scotswoman”.

The Barnard Castle Eye Test costs £24.95 for 12 330ml cans; £40.95 for 24 cans or £66.95 for 48 and is available to pre-order here.

The brewer also currently has an ALD IPA beer out, in a collaborat­ion with Aldi, and is selling an advent calendar which it describes as “the ultimate BrewDog beer sampler” and a perfect gift for craft beer lovers. It costs £49.94 and contains 24 cans of beer including 15 new beers it launched this year, six online exclusives and two options not available except in the calendar. And those looking for “the perfect companion to staying home” might be interested in its £54.95 Circuit Breaker package, containing 48 cans of “the best craft beer and hard seltzers around”.

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