Bess Bowyer commemorated in a new fruity summer ale by the Wincle Beer Company

Jessica McGirr pays tribute to Bess of the Roaches

Jessica McGirr pays tribute to Bess of the Roaches - Credit: Archant

A Congleton beer company is reviving memories of a legendary old lady

Jessica McGirr is bringing to life the story of Bess Bowyer, an old crone who once lived high up in the Roaches. Jessica and the family legend are now the inspiration for a summer beer.

Jessica, a family descendent of the historical figure, put her name forward when the Wincle Beer Company launched a competition to find a character to personify their full-bodied and fruity summer ale.

Head brewer Giles Meadows said: ‘The idea was to give a local character the opportunity to appear on the pump clip. We had no idea what the response would be and are delighted to have come up with such a great story.’

It is said that Bess lived in a cave within the rocky outcrop of the Roaches close to the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. She is said to have lived in Rock Hall into the eighteen hundreds where she assisted smugglers and deserters to escape the soldiers who were sent to capture them.

The legend also goes on to say that she had a beautiful young daughter whose singing could be heard among the rocks in the summer. Some people say she was carried off one winter’s morning and was never seen again, others think she has links to the mermaid who apparently lives in Doxy’s Pool at the top of Roaches.

Jessica said: ‘I was tipped off about the competition on Wincle’s website and it sounded like a bit of fun. The Bess Bowyer legend goes back a couple of hundred years but it still makes a good story.’

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The 4.5% abv full-bodied and fruity summer ale is arriving in local pubs now with Jessica on the pumpclip. Flip top bottles will be on sale soon after.

The brewery say a Belgium Saison yeast is used to impart a seasonal taste with a hint of spice in the flavour.

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