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Greene King unveils lickable beer igloo

UK brewer and pub operator Greene King has installed an igloo with lickable frozen beer blocks in London’s Southwark to celebrate the launch of its new pale ale called Ice Breaker.

Called the Ale B&B, the five-foot frozen structure has been installed outside the Anchor Bankside pub in Southwark.

The igloo is constructed out of blocks containing over 1,000 litres of frozen beer, with visitors invited to lick the walls as part of the experience.

Passers-by are invited to spend time in the installation, which is equipped with sleeping bags, hand warmers, scarves and gloves. During their time in the igloo, they will have an unlimited supply of the new ale to drink, as well as lick from walls.

Londoners must be quick if they want a piece of the action, as the igloo will be open “until it melts”.

Ice Breaker ale, which is available for £10 a case, is a triple hopped, unfiltered pale ale made with Simcoe and Citra hops as well as carapils malt and torrefied wheat. It is described as having flavours of guava, passion fruit, citrus and pine resin.

Matt Starbuck, managing director of Greene King, said: “There are a multitude of quirky and unusual B&B stays available in the UK at the moment, but we’ve never seen a real frozen igloo, particularly one where the walls are made from real beer.

“Our Ale B&B is the perfect place to cosy up with a friend or loved one and enjoy an ale-tasting experience like no other, and we can certainly guarantee the coldest beer you’ll find in the capital.

“This is the first ale igloo we’ve launched to date, and if it’s successful, we might even roll it out to our pubs up and down the country – it could be the ideal overnight stay for people who don’t fancy getting a taxi home at closing time!”

The new beer is available in over 180 pubs across London.

It has been a significant year for Greene King. In August, Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man and the owner of property developer CK Asset, reached an agreement to buy the brewer for 850p per share (a 51% premium) which is £2.7bn in total.

The following month, the brewer rejoined the British Beer & Pub Association at the same time as its sale was approved.  

However, as reported in The Telegraph, most of Greene King’s almost 3,000 pubs are freehold and this has raised fears that CK Asset may be more interested in selling off prime locations or converting properties to other uses, rather than running a pub chain.

The Unite union also warned of a ballot to decide on strike action after a “paltry” pay offer was given to workers at sites in Bury St Edmunds, Abingdon and Eastwood.

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