Some legends are too great to die.
So it was for Bristol-born pirate legend Edward Teach, and so it is for our tribute to the man himself – Blackbeard.
Originally brewed in memory of the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s early demise, our Blackbeard Stout was as black as the man’s beard and boasted Fuggle and Golding hops for a gentle bitterness and an earthy spiciness. Noted for its chocolate, coffee and toast undertones, Blackbeard proved a huge hit across our family of pubs.
Now, just as Blackbeard’s legend lives on, so will our tribute to him, because Blackbeard is joining the classic range. That’s right, Blackbeard is here to stay!
It’s an honour bestowed on only the finest beers we concoct and with few Bristolians as famous across the world than Edward Teach, what better beer to join our range of beers available throughout the year?
But what inspired us to brew Blackbeard Stout in the first place?
As a proud Bristolian company, we’ve grown up on tall tales about Blackbeard – tales which inspired us to discover the life of the man himself.
Edward Teach, born circa-1680, has an early life that’s never truly been uncovered. Mysteries stack on mysteries, but it’s believed that Teach was born into a Bristolian family with at least some wealth, as he could read and write.
If his birth decade is correct, Teach would have seen Bristol’s ports grow into some of the most important in the developed world, fuelled by trade with Britain’s growing overseas colonies like America.
In the last years of the 17th century, Teach began his career as a sailor, setting off towards the Caribbean. Soon after, he would become a sailor on privateer ships from Jamaica during the Spanish War of Succession.
With the war completed, Edward moved to the island of New Providence. Known for its population of pirates and traders, he would quickly fall into piracy – the profession which would ensure his name would be writ large throughout history.
By 1716, Teach had joined the crew of legendary pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold. However, just one year later Hornigold would retire from piracy after he refused to open fire on English ships. Teach would become Captain in his stead, taking over his two ships.
What followed was just six years as a pirate Captain. Six years which would cement his legend forever.
Described in one account as a “tall spare man with a very black beard which he wore very long” and another as “such a figure that imagination cannot form an idea of a fury from hell to look more frightful”, the man inspired dread in both pirate and professional sailor alike.
His appearance, however, masked the reality. Blackbeard was a smart, cunning leader who would rarely use force. Instead, he stoked the fires of his own reputation and let intimidation do the work for him.
Teach would die in battle on the 22nd of November, 1718. His legend, however, still sees him mentioned in hushed tones. We’ll drink to that.