Campaign for Pubs

Campaign for Pubs supports charity auction of rare local brew at Gloucestershire pub

The national Campaign for Pubs is supporting a special charity auction of a rare local beer at a Gloucestershire pub, The Salutation Inn in Ham. The Salutation Inn in Ham is to run a silent auction through its webstore “The Sally at Home” for a very rare bottle of Mills Brewing “Dr Jenner’s Muscat Vine”.

The beer, brewed by Jonny and Gen Mills, was aged on Black Muscat grapes handpicked from the 200-year-old grape vine in the grounds of Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden yards from their brewery in Berkeley. The vine was introduced by vaccine pioneer Edward Jenner as a cutting from Hampton Court Palace, originally planted by ‘Capability’ Brown. All proceeds from the sale of the beer, which is accompanied with Charles Martell’s Double Berkeley cheese, will be donated to Dr Jenner’s House Museum and Garden’s which has been forced to temporarily close following the Coronavirus outbreak.

The silent auction will be conducted via email and bidders from the UK are invited to email their bids to thesallyathome@gmail.comThe auction runs until midnight on Sunday 20th, so all bids must be in by then! More details on the auction can be found on the Salutation’s online store

2021 has been a very tough year for local charities, including museums like Dr Jenner House. The impact of pubs being forced to close through lockdowns has made the situations for charities even worse, as pubs raise millions of pounds each year. So this auction is a way of the Salutation can support a local charity in need, as well as reminding people about the community value of our pubs.

Mills Brewing produce beers with minimal modern intervention and rely on the local wild yeast cultures and the influence of nature to ferment them. The wort for the beer is produced at Tiley’s Brewery based at the Salutation Inn before fermentation in their brewery half a mile down the road. Mills Brewing are currently ranked as the number one brewery in the UK and by producing exquisite small batch beers fermented exclusively with wild yeast cultures, they have created extraordinary demand for their products.

The grapes were picked in September 2018 and were added to a red Burgundy barrel containing a two-year-old pale beer. The beer is 6.7% ABV and delicate and effervescent, with aromas of red berries, rose and lychee, which marry perfectly with the acidity of the wild fermentation. The use of grapes from pre-phylloxera vines, planted just up the road by Dr Jenner in 1817, makes this a truly special beer. By ageing their beers in wooden casks instead of stainless-steel tanks, Mills Brewing beers take on additional character from the various yeasts and bacteria living within the wood.

Double Berkeley was a cheese prevalent in the Berkeley Vale from the 18th century and made with milk from the Gloucester cattle – the same breed as ‘Blossom’ – the cow which helped Dr Jenner in his discovery of vaccination and the eradication of smallpox. The cheese disappeared over the last century but was resurrected by Charles Martell in 1984.

The Campaign for Pubs is asking people to support this great auction for charity, via the Salutation Inn website

Peter Tiley, landlord of the Salutation Inn said:

“Recognising that this beer is very rare and highly sought after, we thought it would be nice to do something worthwhile with it to celebrate a product that is brewed in Berkeley using local grapes and local yeasts. It seems especially important that we use the money to help the Dr Jenner House and Museum continue to tell the incredible story of this great man – a man to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude right now. Double Berkeley cheese is the perfect accompaniment – a delicious cheese that perfectly intertwines with the Dr Jenner story and the rich food and drink heritage of our incredible town”.

Alastair Kerr, The South West Regional Representative of the Campaign for Pubs said

“The Salutation charity auction is a fantastic cause to support, not only for a great local asset but in the process supporting one of the finest pubs in the South West and arguably in the UK. Pete at the Salutation has done a fantastic job with the pub and I encourage anyone who can to support the pub not only in this auction of the wonderful beer supplied by Jonny & Gen Mills, but to support the Salutation with their takeaway options also! This is a great Gloucestershire pub to support!”

“It is welcome news that Charles Martell, a fine producer of cheese & distiller has donated a whole roll of Double Berkeley Cheese to the auction. The Campaign would like to wish everyone luck with their entries into this auction and thank Pete Tiley, Jonny & Gen Mills for their dedication and for organising a great auction for a great cause”.

Jonny and Gen Mills, owners of Mills Brewing said:

“Using the fruit of 200 year old grape vines to make a beer is special enough as it is. Making this beer using the fruit of vines planted by the creator of the vaccine is quite remarkable. Getting to make this beer in 2020, when the vital importance of vaccines in the fight against infectious disease has been brought sharply into global focus, seems particularly meaningful. Preserving the home of Dr Jenner and keeping the Jenner Museum alive to continue to promote and educate future generations on this point is essential.”

Owen Gower, Museum Manager at Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden said:

“Edward Jenner, no stranger to brewing himself, would be thrilled to know that Jonny and Gen had used grapes from his garden to make such a special beer. One of the greatest charms of Dr Jenner’s House is that it remains a relatively modest family home, but it’s also the reason why for now we must remain closed to the public. This year we’ve been reminded in so many ways of the importance and continued relevance of the story we tell here, of which a new chapter is currently being written. We’re thrilled that proceeds from this auction will be able to support our work now and help us build for the future.”

Master cheesemaker and distiller Charles Martell, of Charles Martell & Sons said:

“Berkeley has given the world so much and now goes on giving! All power to you all; Peter, Jonny, Gen, Owen and all those involved in bringing history alive while helping good causes.”