Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King celebrates 90th birthday of HM the Queen - and pays tribute to Prince - after launch of Purple Reign ale

The special pump and pump clip branding for Greene King's limited edition ale Purple Reign, which is

The special pump and pump clip branding for Greene King's limited edition ale Purple Reign, which is being brewed to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. - Credit: Archant

Greene King has marked the Queen’s 90th birthday by announcing a new, limited edition, beer which will be available in nearly 1,000 pubs throughout May and June.

Purple Reign is described as “a majestic floral and fruity golden ale” and, at an easy-drinking 4.2%abv (alcohol by volume), “the perfect pint to accompany the celebrations”.

The colour purple has long been associated with royalty, while the name of the beer also takes inspiration from the Prince song Purple Rain.

The name was selected some time ago and was unveiled earlier this week at The Finery pub, London, before news broke of Prince’s death, at the age of 57.

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “Earlier this week we launched Purple Reign, a limited edition golden ale, to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“This ale is intended as a tribute to our longest reigning monarch on a milestone occasion, with a respectful nod to the classic song by the artist Prince. In light of the tragic news, we hope that these intentions continue to be understood by our guests.”

Purple Reign ale will be available across the country in time for the first May Bank Holiday weekend and guests will be hard-pressed to miss it on the bar, thanks to distinctive purple beer pump branding.

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Chris Houlton, managing director of Greene King brewing and brands, said: “This new ale continues our time-honoured tradition of brewing beers to commemorate royal occasions, including our Jubilee Ales brewed in 1977 and 2002 for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver and golden jubilees.

“Many of our pubs will also be holding events, including garden parties, during the two months of celebration.”

The recipe for Purple Reign features sweet pale malt made from East Anglian barley and classic English Challenger, Pilgrim and First Gold hops, with Styrian late hop variety adding tropical and citrus fruits.

Purple Reign will be available on cask in Greene King Locals, Taylor Walker, Chef & Brewer, Old English Inns and selected pub partner pubs across the UK from the end of this month.

Many of the participating pubs will auction off the purple hand pump once the celebrations are complete, so guests will also have the opportunity to take home a commemorative piece of history.