New Bénédictine-infused beer is a tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Great War

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A new festive ale infused with a popular local tipple was launched at a Ribble Valley brewery this week.

French liqueur Bénédictine has partnered with Clitheroe-based Bowland Brewery to produce a limited-edition winter warming ale called The Mullered Monk and guests were invited to Holmes Mill on Tuesday to sample the deep amber ale infused with Bénédictine, 15 spices and dried fruit.

Bowland Brewery co-owner and managing director Andrew Warburton at The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery. Photos Kelvin Stuttard.

Bowland Brewery co-owner and managing director Andrew Warburton at The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery. Photos Kelvin Stuttard.

Bénédictine is a popular tipple in Lancashire, due to its strong ties to the region after the soldiers of the East Lancashire Regiment - who were stationed at the birthplace of Bénédictine in Fécamp, Normandy, during the First World War - drank Bénédictine and hot water to keep them warm in the trenches.

The regiment loved the drink so much they brought it home after the war, and the region has been drinking Béné ever since.

Warren Bennett, managing director of Bowland Brewery, described The Mullered Monk as a great Christmas beer that is particularly poignant in the year of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

"It is a tribute to all those, particularly from East Lancashire, who came back from that war and still drink Bénédictine to this day," said Warren.

Tour guide Simon Entwistle at The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery.

Tour guide Simon Entwistle at The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery.

"It is very much Christmas in a glass, it's got all those special spices and the warmth and feeling and is absolutely perfect with a mince pie!"

Guided tour operator and tourism superstar Simon Entwistle, who was also at the official launch, added: "What a great idea to put Bénédictine in with a real ale and what's lovely about the ale is the first taste is beer and the second taste is Bénédictine.

"It's a great idea and, of course, it's got such an East Lancastrian history as well with the guys from World War One East Lancashire regiment who brought Bénédictine back with them and to think this great East Lancashire brewery, the Bowland Brewery, has brought that back to life in 2018, is a tribute to those boys as well of course."

The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery.

The Mullered Monk launch at Bowland Brewery.

A great new festive drink.

A great new festive drink.