Pentlow: Nethergate goes one step beyond traditional ale with a special brew for Madness

Paul Gower, left, head brewer at Nethergate's Growler Brewery, Madness frontman Suggs, centre, and

Paul Gower, left, head brewer at Nethergate's Growler Brewery, Madness frontman Suggs, centre, and keyboard player Mike 'Monsieur Barso' Barson celebrate the launch of the band's official beer, Gladness - Credit: Archant

Members of legendary band Madness have commissioned brewing company Nethergate to produce their own official beer.

Named “Gladness”, it is a traditional English ale but with many characteristics of a lager, or, as the band’s own publicity puts it, “A lager that’s an ale – that’s totally mad.”

Frontman Suggs, who visited the company’s Growler Brewery at Pentlow, near Sudbury, ahead of yesterday’s official launch in London, said the idea was to capture the best of both styles of beer.

Keyboard player Mike “Monsieur Barso” Barson, who was also on the visit, suggested, however, that it came down to the fact that “half the band like lager and half like bitter”.

Nethergate managing director Rob Flanagan explained that Gladness (4.5%alcohol by volume) was brewed using local Maris Otter malt, a traditional ale variety, and Tettnang and Saaz hops, which are usually associated with European-style lagers.


You may also want to watch:


The band first discussed the idea of creating their own beer around 18 months ago at the Dublin Castle music venue in London’s Camden Town, where Madness gained a cult following before hitting the big-time.

Landlord Henry Conlon, whose father, Alo, gave the band their first break, put them in touch with Nethergate, of whose Old Growler porter Suggs was already a fan.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus