The penultimate brew in our spanking ’78 Range for 2017.
In 1978 Butcombe Brewing Co. began. It was a time of cultural, social and political change, sound tracked by bands full of spit and anger, riding the crest of the punk wave as Margaret Thatcher took the Tory leadership, the IRA waged war, the Yorkshire Ripper cast a long shadow over the North and the meaning of life was revealed as the number 42… Each of our ’78 Range beers is an homage to important events or persons that helped make 1978 so special, and creating the bold and brilliant bitter Big Geoff is our way of tipping our proverbial hat to English sporting overachiever Geoff Capes.
But, who is Geoff?
A British sporting legend with an almost superhuman figure, and principles as strong as his bench press (300kg in case you were wondering…)
Geoffrey Lewis Capes was born in 1949 as child number seven of nine in Holbeach Lincolnshire. A gifted sportsman from an early age he was a member of Holbeach Athletic club performing in basketball, football and cross-country. A surprisingly good sprinter he ran 200m in 23.7 seconds, he’d give our brewer Barry Badger a run for his money for sure!
In Geoff’s school years he worked as an agricultural labourer, being able to load twenty tonnes of potatoes in twenty minutes was a highly valued skilled!
He grew up to represent England in shot put on a multitude of occasions. At mahoosive 6ft 5.5 inches and 170kg he was a force to be reckoned with. Twice Commonwealth champion, twice European champion and three times Olympian, he threw himself into the history books and into the hearts of the nation as impressively as he threw that shot. Not only a legend on the athletics stage, he’s two-times world strongest man and a six-time highland games world champion!
Not only does Big Geoff commemorate Capes’ athletic achievements, but we at Butcombe admire his act of defiance at the 1980 Moscow Olympic games when the English athletes were told not to compete due to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Stating that “Politics should never come into sport!” Geoff went on to compete in the games, achieving 5th for himself and for Great Britain. A bold disobedience that echoed our rebellious statement in deciding to start up a real ale brewery at a time when the industry was in such decline (we proved everyone wrong though)!
A gentle giant, Geoff cared for injured birds and animals when he was younger and now is famed for breeding budgerigars and frequently appears in the pages of cage and aviary bird magazines.
To commemorate the defining moment he won gold in the 1978 Commonwealth Games we’ve created a beer that’s sure to win gold itself.
A strong bitter with 5.4% ABV. Traditional with a respectable alcoholic strength, Big Geoff has a deep brown colour with malt and English Noble hops, aromas of dried fruit and earthy, herbal notes. A rich and sumptuous malt beer to be slowly savoured.
The 78 range by Butcombe. Limited in number, but never limited on flavour. Don’t let them pass you by.