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Arctic Alchemy

British-Style Barleywine / Old Ale

ABV 12%
IBUs 50
Original Gravity 1.130
Malts Amber, Caramel, Chocolate, English Pale
Hops East Kent Golding

Born of a recipe collaboration with Fegley’s Brew Works Brewmaster Beau Baden and homebrewer, adventurer & beer historian Chris Bowen. Fegley’s Brew Works recreated this fine ale from a 158 year old recipe under the direction of Brewmaster Beau Baden. A historic beer with flavors of bready malt, molasses & vanilla, dry notes of earthy hops, and just the slightest hint of citrus. At 12% ABV this beer is fully capable of washing your scurvy woes far out to sea!

The Story Behind The Beer

The original commissioned brewing of Arctic Alchemy was in 1852, by her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria, with the purpose of providing aid to Arctic Explorers in search of the Northwest Passage. Sir Edward Belcher, captain of the five vessel British fleet, had several hundred bottles of the brew distributed within his fleet of ships.

By the late eighteenth century, beer had become a stable beverage and was a daily article of food rationing. While at sea, explorers faced the issue’s of malnourishment as well as punishing weather conditions. Sir Edward Belcher, wrote in his captain’s journal that the Arctic Alchemy was “a great blessing to us, particularly for our sick” and that “it refused to freeze until the temperature dropped well below zero.” The brew was also noted to help in the fighting of scurvy, a deadly malnourishment disease affecting many explorers at sea.

Sir Edward’s voyage aimed towards the Northwest Passage was a failure, and the caption was forced to abandon 4 of his 5 ships. One of those ships, H.M.S Resolute, which was featured in the hit film “National Treasure,” was stuck in the frozen sea where it was left for ruin. Three years later, an American whaling vessel discovered the abandoned ship adrift and towed it back to America. Upon further investigation of the ship, men discovered a few bottles of Arctic Alchemy on board. The ship was then purchased by the Unites States government and returned to Britain in fully restored condition. Through military advances the ship was no longer effective and was decommissioned 23 years after its return to the Royal Navy. On November 2nd, 1880, the White House received a large crate, with the contents unknown. President Rutherford Hayes stood by as workmen opened the peculiar package. Inside was a beautifully hand carved desk presented by the Queen of Great Britain for the return of their lost vessel. The desk was hand made from planks of the H.M.S Resolute and today the desk still stands inside president’s oval office.

Great American Beer Festival: Gold Medal Winner 2014
(The Bowen/Baden team had previously won a 2007 GABF Gold medal together in the Pro-Am category for their “William Allen IPA”.)

Great American Beer Festival: 2011 Bronze Medal Winner

World Beer Championship: 2012 Gold Medal Winner


Serve in a Tulip Glass. Pairs with rich cuisine like lamb and roast beef. Stilton and Double Gloucester cheeses. Dark chocolates, and spicy, tart desserts. Perfect as an after dinner sipper all to itself.


Pours a deep chestnut reddish color with a malty aroma. Malty dark grains marry raisin, molasses, dark cherry, and brown sugar notes. Boozy, earthy hops cut through a slick, slight sweetness. Aging the corked & caged bottles will mellow the profile and deepen the complexity.


Available seasonally on draft at the Allentown and Bethlehem Brew Works, in 750ml corked & caged bottles, 1/6 and 1/2 bbls. Late July through September.



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