SSSHHHH, THE CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG…
Today marks the 120th birthday of arguably the most famous strong ale in beer history... OLD TOM. Just when you thought the World’s Best Beer couldn’t get any better, Cheshire family brewers ROBINSONS (who celebrated their 181st birthday at the end of September) have unveiled a new Old Tom; available for the very first time in KEG.
And that’s not all! Robinsons have a week of celebrations lined up at the brewery and all Old Tom fans, from the kittens to the veterans, are invited to compare and assess the merits of cask, bottle and keg Old Tom side by side. Robinsons award-winning Visitors Centre have launched a special Old Tom themed menu that promises to have visitors purring with delight, there will be daily Brewery Tours to uncover the sweet science behind Old Tom's award-winning recipe, followed by beer tasting at the bar, and all week ½ pints of Old Tom, in cask and keg, will cost just £1.20. Of course, there will also be Old Tom cake available. Finally, at the end of November, one lucky Old Tom fan will win 120 bottles of Old Tom.
Launching in time for the festive season as part of Robinsons’ craft keg club, the new craft keg Old Tom, based on the brewery’s long-established and world-famous Old Tom cask ale, is a filtered beer designed to be served cold. It is not intended to replace the original Old Tom, but to sit alongside it.
Unveiling the new beer, Managing Director Beer Division Oliver Robinson said: “Old Tom is engrained into our heritage. It’s been in the family since 1899 and even after all this time, it’s still brewed to its original recipe. Over the last 120 years Old Tom has won more gold medals than any other beer in the UK. We still see this as the original craft beer, loved by traditional drinkers, craft enthusiasts and beer judges alike.”
Brewed in response to the current market trends, the new craft keg Old Tom reflects the brewer's forward-looking approach to its beer range, evolving to meet the demands of younger drinkers, who generally favour keg beers, while also satisfying the many loyal drinkers of its cask beers.
Oliver continues: “Old Tom has a loyal following as a cask and bottled ale, but we want to make it more accessible. The new kegged version is brewed to the same recipe and 8.5% abv, but it does taste different. Whilst the original is a warming beer to be sipped and savoured, Old Tom in keg is smoother, dispensed using C02, and designed to be served chilled. This gives an extra level of refreshment and flavour experience. We’ve already had strong interest from our pubs, particularly with the thought of the festive season ahead. Old Tom in 30L kegs will be available for both national and export distribution.”
With the rise of craft keg ale, which is in 36% YOY growth, Old Tom in keg is perfectly pitched for today’s discerning craft keg drinker.
Old Tom is available in cask and keg in selected Robinsons pubs and in bottle via Robinsons online shop and selected Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Booths, and CO-OP across the North West.
THE STORY OF OLD TOM
The best things in life improve with age... Good wine, friendships and, of course, Old Tom; which celebrates its 120th birthday today.
Unlike other beers, Old Tom ages beautifully in the bottle (like a fine wine). Lay a bottle down and let the flavours flourish… something to look forward to!
Dubbed ‘The original craft beer’, this dangerously drinkable legend was born in 1899, when Tom, the old brewery cat, was sketched into immortality by Robinsons’ Head Brewer – Alfred Munton – as he waited for the ale to ferment. 120 years on and it’s still the same great tasting ale, brewed to the same award-winning recipe.
Since the birth of Old Tom, the 8.5% abv dark beer has gone from strength to strength. Over the last 120 years, awards have been flowing as freely as the beer and in the last 50 years alone, Old Tom has won more than 50 of the World’s most prestigious beer awards including World’s Best Ale, World’s Best Design, Champion Winter Beer of Britain, and out of nearly 13,000 products from over 100 different countries, Old Tom was recently awarded the coveted 3-star Great Taste award after leaving "the judges speechless when they tasted it”.