New high-strength beer is named after Chorley's giant horse

Herkules the giant horse
Herkules the giant horse
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Chorley's giant horse Herkules is the inspiration behind a new - and especially potent - beer.

Eighteen-month-old Herkules, who lives in Higher Wheelton near Chorley is already standing at 17 hands high and weighing in at 110 stones - and he is still growing.

The beer pump featuring Chorley's Herkules

The beer pump featuring Chorley's Herkules

Owner Stephen Nolan puts Herkules' super size down to his diet of spent grain - the leftovers from a local brewery after is has finished brewing the beer.

And now the top Bank Brewery in Bolton has named a beer in his honour.

Mr Nolan said of his shire: “He is a fantastic horse, lovely to be around but really big and strong for his age.

“By the time he is fully grown he will easily weigh over one ton and he could be 18 or more hands high.

“Shires are considered a rare breed and at risk because all the jobs we once used them for are now done by machines and no-one needs them anymore.

“They are lovely animals but they are getting rarer particularly the likes of Herkules who is a grey which makes him more unusual.

“The brewery knew about him because they give me their spent grain for all the big horses I have.

“They asked if they could come and look at him and then said they would like to name a beer after him.

“Of course I was as pleased as punch. It’s an honour for him.”

The beer - Herkules White Walker, the horse’s full name - is already winning awards for the Bank Top Brewery in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

And at 6.5%, the strong ale is not to be sniffed at.

As well as Herkules, Stephen owns three other Shires as well as four Clydesdales with two young foals at the smallholding he runs with wife Anne, 46.

Added Stephen: “It really is a labour of love. The horses cost a fortune to keep because of their appetite which is why all our friends think we are mad!”