I was intrigued by news that local microbrewery Blythe Brewery, in Hamstall Ridware, had marked Johnson's Tercentenary with some new beers.
A quick enquiry reveals that they were commissioned by the Johnson Birthplace Museum in Lichfield and the Johnson House in London to produce three bottled beers to be sold in a presentation pack in the museum shops, and they recently launched both Tetty's Tipple and Mrs Thrale's Pale at the Lichfield Winter Beer Festival.
Tetty (or Tetsey) was Johnson's affectionate nickname for his wife, Elizabeth Porter, who by all accounts liked a tipple. David Garrick ungallantly described her as: 'very fat, with a bosom of more than ordinary protuberance, with swelled cheeks, of a florid red, produced by thick painting, and increased by the liberal use of cordials'!
The third beer is their classic Johnson's (pictured above left), which is an old-fashioned porter. The packs will be available at the museums from March, and if you're in Lichfield, you may spot the beers in the local pubs too.
Toile de Jouy, circa 1760
2 hours ago