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Long Strides in support of the John Rae Society

The Orkney Brewery has launched a new beer called Long Strides, inspired by the Orcadian explorer John Rae, who in the mid-19th Century discovered the North-West passage and the fate of the Franklin expedition which had been seeking it.

Piper at Quoyloo for the launch of the Orkney Brewery Long Strides beer in support of the John Rae Society.
Piper at Quoyloo for the launch of the Orkney Brewery Long Strides beer in support of the John Rae Society. Photo by Kenny Armet.

The new beer was created to raise awareness and funding for the John Rae Society, which is in the process of renovating Rae’s former home at Clestrain Hall with the goal of turning it into a public learning centre. The next step will be to improve the access road, dubbed the ‘Road to the Arctic’.

The Hall of Clestrain, photo by Martin Laird.

Long Strides was launched at the Orkney Brewery premises in Quoyloo, where owner Norman Sinclair presented Andrew Appleby, President of the John Rae Society, with a cheque for £1500. He also announced that proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to the John Rae Society, providing them with a continuous source of funding.

Video of the Long Strides launch on Saturday 17th June 2023, featuring piping and a poetry reading by Harvey Johnson.

The name given to Rae by his Inuit guides through the frozen North was Aglooka, or “he who takes long strides.” Rae learnt much from the Native Americans. He respected their culture and learned their skills, becoming an expert in survival and Arctic travel.

John Rae has been called the “forgotten explorer,” but he was not so much forgotten as vilified and condemned by a British establishment which did not want to hear the truth of what he had discovered concerning the grisly fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew. Rae never received due recognition for his achievements whilst alive, and the campaign to raise his profile continues to this day.

The Long Strides beer is a golden ale, 4.4% ABV, designed to appeal to a wide range of palettes, and made with North American hops in honour of John Rae.

Norman Sinclair and Andrew Appleby speak about the goal of launching the Long Strides beer.

You can find many articles about John Rae and the John Rae Society on The Orkney News: https://theorkneynews.scot/?s=john+rae

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