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Origins of beer names - Monkey Wrench

Updated on May 4, 2017

Monkey Wrench beer.


The sad story of Monkey Wrench

A ship wreck and a hanged monkey provide the back drop for Daleside Breweries most famous beer. The CAMRA award winning Monkey wrench was created in the mid 1980s, a strong Old Ale created for a beer festival in Hartlepool, the scene of a French ship wrecked off the coast during the Napoleonic Wars. There was one sorry looking survivor, the ship’s pet monkey who appeared to be dressed in a miniature French uniform. The fishermen held a beach trial and somehow came to the conclusion that the monkey was a French spy and hanged the poor creature.

It all sounds too ludicrous to be true and despite it's comical overtones it is possible the Hartlpudlians concocted the story to hide a dark secret. The good folk of Hartlepool recount the story with pride these days, despite the fact residents from neighbouring towns mock them with the chant of: “Who hung the monkey?”. Powder-monkey was commonly used term in the 1800's for young boys present on warships who primed the cannon with gunpowder and ran around like little monkeys to keep the gunners supplied. Rumours have long abounded that the monkey story was concocted to cover up the fact that the locals panicked and murdered a young powder monkey.

Whatever the truth the legend has endured for over two centuries and is even gathering strength thanks to The Daleside brewery's creation.


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