Monday, September 15, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 15

The beer for today is Charles Wells Brewery, John Bull Ale.

On September 15, 1831, the John Bull steam locomotive operated for the first time in New jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

On September 15, 1981, one hundred fifty years after first running, the Smithsonian Institution operated it under it's own power outside Washington, DC, making it the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world.

The John Bull was built in Newcastle England. It was dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic aboard the Allegheny. The train was put together by Isaac Dripps as well as he could, as there were no drawings or instructions for assembly.

On November 12, 1831, the engine pulled some dignitaries around the rail yard. The railroad itself wasn't finished until 1833, so the locomotive was placed in storage. The locomotive operated until 1866 when it was put in retired. It then went around on tours including the Centenial Exposition in 1876, the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in 1883, the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, Fair of the Iron Horse in 1927, Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933, New York World's Fair, 1939.

As to the beer:

Wells John Bull is a traditional London beer with a distinctive hop bitterness. At 4.1% ABV it is a refreshing ale to be enjoyed on any occasion. The characteristic palate is derived from the English Challenger hop whilst the aroma comes from the East Kent Golding hop and the beer is best served in a conical glass without a sparkler.
I'm not sure where you can get this beer, but it's by the same people who make Banana Bread Beer. Charles Wells Brewery is out of Bedford England and opened in 1876. It's still a family owned brewery, and is in the fifth generation.

If you can find it, jump a train and drink a John Bull, for one of the first steam locomotives in the U.S. If you want to see the John Bull, it's on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

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