Brewery, Press Releases

Shackleton Beer & Centenary

Celebrating the Shackleton Centenary …

With Shackleton Beer

(A collaboration brew dedicated to the explorer’s indomitable spirit)

One of the world’s most celebrated explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton CVO, whose leadership, resilience and fortitude in surviving the hostile conditions of Antarctica and saving the lives of all his crew when the Endurance Expedition of 1914 -1917 met with disaster, will be honoured in a centenary thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey on Friday (May 20th).

Led by Shackleton, the team’s epic journey, beating the odds to return to safety, took Shackleton over hundreds of miles of ice floes, wild ocean and uncharted mountain ranges.  His courage is celebrated and he ranks alongside fellow famous explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott – all key characters in Antarctic exploration history.

Whilst the centenary is remembered across the globe in a comprehensive programme of official events, it is also possible to commemorate Shackleton’s achievements much closer to home by raising a glass of hand-crafted, real ale, dedicated to one of the greatest polar explorer heroes of all time.  A range of beer celebrating the courage and spirit of Shackleton has been created by The Shackleton Brand, based in Norfolk, in partnership with Brentwood Brewing Company in Essex.

“We’re very proud to be brewing the Shackleton beer range of flavoursome, characterful real ales for The Shackleton Brand which is dedicated to the spirit of the inspirational Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

“When you listen to the amazing story of Shackleton’s virtually impossible survival challenges, his cool-headedness, leadership and sheer gutsy determination, it stirs a deep admiration for the man and his accomplishments, showing what people can achieve when tested to the limits of endurance,” said Roland Kannor, MD of Brentwood Brewing Company.

Owned by The Great British Banjo Company Ltd in Norwich, The Shackleton Brand offers a range of quality hand-crafted English ales inspired by the explorer’s extraordinary and heroic adventures.  These craft beers are traditionally brewed in Brentwood, using locally sourced malted barley and whole-leaf hops.  The range includes:

Centenary 3.7% ABV Lightly-hopped Pale Ale

The beer celebrates the grit and heroism of the officers and crew and the leadership of such an inspirational man.

Endurance 6.5% AVB Chocolatey ‘Old Ale’ with oranges

The expedition ship was re-named, it turns out rather aptly, after Shackleton’s family motto – Fortitudine Vincimus meaning ‘by endurance we conquer.’

The Boss 4.5% Full-bodied, red premium bitter

Known to his men as The Boss, Shackleton along with five companions, sailed 800 nautical miles over the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat to raise the alarm and get help in South Georgia.

Nimrod 5.2% ABV Full-bodied strong ale.

On his second Antarctic expedition, Nimrod in 1907 – 1909, (his first time leading), Shackleton made it within 97 miles of the South Pole.  It was the furthest south anyone had ever travelled and he was Knighted for the achievement. His reputation as a sound leader was boosted following the decision to turn back to save the lives of his men.

South! 4.5% ABV Light golden ale with citrus tang

In 1919 Shackleton published South, an account of his epic, incredible Endurance Expedition journey.

Snuggery 4.3% ABV A rich, golden ale.

When the men lived on Elephant Island in 1916, they fashioned a shelter from stones found on the beach and upturned rowing boats.  It was dubbed The Snuggery.

Beer lovers in Norfolk can also enjoy draught Shackleton beers in selected Norwich pubs.  They include The Leopard, Bull Close Road, The Angel Gardens, Angel Road and The Murderers, Timber Hill.

To lift spirits whilst stranded on the ice floe, Shackleton’s men would tell each other stories of the sumptuous food and drink they dreamed of enjoying when they returned home.

Before setting off across the ice, the men were each allowed to take limited personal possessions.  An exception was made for meteorologist Leonard Hussey’s banjo as Shackleton deemed its entertainment value to be ‘vital mental medicine’.

British-made musical instruments (crafted in the country’s only banjo factory) and a clothing range inspired by the great explorer are also produced by The Shackleton Brand.

The Shackleton beer range, brewed by Brentwood Brewing company, is available to buy in casks and bottles from

Brentwood Brewing Company celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer and to mark the occasion will be hosting The Flashback Beer Festival at the brewery on 18th June.  The company produces a wide range of award-winning, quality cask and bottled, craft ales.

Shackleton Centenary What’s On 

To mark the 100th anniversary of this incredible feat, a diverse programme of centenary events is being held across the globe.  It got underway in January 2014 and runs until next march.   Events include exhibitions, talks, and films as well as special expeditions.

The service in Westminster Abbey, giving thanks for the courage and endurance of Shackleton and his men, will be held at at noon on Friday 20th of May, a century after Shackleton arrived at a whaling station at Stromness Bay in South Georgia to raise the alarm.

A major exhibition telling the story of the ill-fated expedition and how Shackleton and his 28 men survived, By Endurance We Conquer: Shackleton and his Men, runs until 3rd September at The Polar Museum at The Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.

Letters, diaries and objects from the Scott Polar Research Institute along with artefacts from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and other private collections, feature in the exhibition.  Highlights include a pannikin (metal drinking cup) marked with Shackleton’s initials and navigation instruments used on the lifeboat voyage.

Following the exhibition, the museum will house a display on the Ross Sea party, commemorating the centenary of Shackleton’s arrival at Cape Evans to rescue survivors in January 1917.

Admission is free.   The museum (entrance in Lensfield Road) opens 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Saturday (and Bank Holiday Mondays).  The museum is closed on Friday 20 May 2016.

On TV, the first episode of a two-part drama about Shackleton’s attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic, starring Kenneth Branagh is being repeated on More 4 on Saturday 21st May at 9pm.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s return to civilisation (20th May), the Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly, London, is holding a Shackleton Night on 25th May, showing the original 1919 film, South, depicting the 1914 – 1917 Endurance Expedition.  Afterwards, adventurer Tim Jarvis will hold a question and answer session about the recreation of Shackleton’s journey that he undertook in 2013, using 1916-spec equipment.

In August a concert of electronic music honouring the legendary explorer is being held in Chile and a statue dedicated to Shackleton is to be unveiled in County Kildare, Ireland, where he was born.

The Shackleton Story

Bound for the Antarctic via the South Pole, the expedition ship Endurance set off from Plymouth in August 1914 just days after WWI was declared.

In 1915 disaster struck when the ship got stuck in pack ice, leaving it trapped and drifting.  Months later, under the pressure of the ice, the vessel was crushed, forcing Shackleton to abandon ship.  Several weeks later Endurance finally sank.  All hands were marooned, leaving them fighting for survival on the treacherous sea-ice.  Meanwhile the world was oblivious to their plight and location.

Despite poor odds, they survived for several months in harsh, extreme conditions before crossing open waters and ice floes to reach Elephant Island, a remote place where their chance of being discovered was highly improbable.

Known to his men as The Boss, Shackleton along with five companions, sailed 800 nautical miles over the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat to seek help in South Georgia.  Shackleton and two of the lifeboat crew then endured an arduous trek over challenging mountainous terrain, glaciers and snowfields to get to a whaling station at Stromness Bay where they raised the alarm.  From there the rescue operation began and after two years of being stranded, all 28 of Shackleton’s men were saved.

Shackleton failed in his aim to be the first man to cross the Antarctic.  Vivian Fuchs achieved this four decades later. The disastrous Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 – 1917 may have put the team in mortal peril and failed to reach its goals but a hundred years on Shackleton continues to be recognised for his inspirational leadership, preserving the lives of his crew and his indomitable spirit in the face of exceptional adversity.

Shackleton named the expedition ship after his family motto: ‘Fortitudine Vincimus,’ or ‘by endurance we conquer.’

Fourteen nations bestowed 27 awards on Shackleton in honour of the man’s remarkable qualities and achievements.  He was Knighted, awarded the Polar Medal with three clasps and received the Royal Geographical Society’s special Gold Medal.

In 1919 Shackleton published South, an account of his epic, incredible journey.

He died in1922, the year after he set out on his fourth South Pole expedition, aiming to circumnavigate the Antarctic.  On January 5, he had a heart attack on board his ship and died.  Shackleton is buried in South Georgia.

Further Information

The Shackleton beer, brewed by Brentwood Brewing company is available in casks and bottles from www.the and can also be ordered by calling Brentwood Brewery 01277 200 483.

For details of the official events for Shackleton’s centenary see

See for details about Shackleton exhibitions at The Polar Museum, Cambridge.

Tickets to the Westminster Abbey service on May 20th are available (free) via EventBrite:

For Shackleton Night 25th May at Picturehouse Central, Piccaddilly, London details see:

01277 200 483

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