‘Native Indian’ helps launch beer for town

Nigel Oseland paddles down the Grand Union Canal
Nigel Oseland paddles down the Grand Union Canal

If you spotted a man dressed as a native Indian paddling through Berkhamsted on Saturday, you may have wondered what he was up to.

The fellow was Nigel Oseland – one of the directors of the first beer production company in the town for 100 years, Haresfoot Brewery.

The business began trading earlier in the year and now has four beers.

Its latest one is called Totem – hence his costume.

The American style Indian pale ale is named in honour of Berkhamsted’s very own totem pole.

To mark its launch, Nigel paddled a Canadian canoe along the Grand Union Canal from the brewery at Lock 51, past the pole, to The Boat pub at Lock 54.

Nigel said: “The new beer Totem is named in honour of Berkhamsted’s very own genuine totem pole.

“The carvings on the totem pole, made by the Kwakiutl tribe, represent four figures from North American First Nations legend.

“At the top sits Raven, the trickster and creator deity, who now adorns Haresfoot Brewery’s new Totem pump clip.”

Totem follows another of the brewer’s beers with a local connection - Conqueror’s Premium Bitter.

Conq, as it is known, is named after Berkhamsted Castle.

The construction of the landmark was ordered by William the Conqueror after he defeated the Anglo-Saxons in the Battle of Hastings.

The premium bitter is a chestnut coloured ale with an abundance of roasted barley.

Mr Oseland said: “Haresfoot Brewery has been well received by the local community and is also becoming a recognised landmark within the town.”

But it is up against tough competition – the Red Squirrel Brewery is only up the hill in Potten End while Tring Brewery is only a short drive away.