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Court Leet Ale Tasting

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Two Market Officials whose duties were to assess the quality of the ales offered for sale in the inns of the town, whether brewed on the premises or not, together with ensuring that these were only served in correct measure vessels, and at the right price – the “Assize of Ale.”

Also known as Ale Connors or Ale Kenners, these gentlemen would wear leather breeches, and pouring a small amount of ale upon the wooden bench, would then sit in it for some while, whilst drinking and conversing with others present. If upon rising they stuck to the bench, then they knew that the sugar content in the brew was too high, and that therefore the alcohol content was too low, and they would reject the brew as being of inferior standard.

Today these Officers organise one visit annually to each of the licensed premises within the Manor, where in a scripted ceremonial, they pronounce upon the ale’s quality.