You appear to be in the United States. View our US site to see content specific to your location.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time… for a Beer

For us at Ruark, there’s no Christmas cheer without a festive beer to warm our cockles. So, for the fourth year running, we’ve enlisted our friends at Leigh on Sea Brewery to create an exclusive Ruark beer for the friends and partners that made 2022 a year to remember.

Inspired by our coastal home, Seaside SUP is a double dry-hopped pale ale that combines hearty aromatic haze with a smooth mouthfeel that hits all the right notes - especially when combined with a couple of mince pies by the fire and a few spins of ‘Last Christmas’ on the new R2 Mk4.

With a sublime natural alloy label created by local artist Neil Fendell, Seaside SUP looks as good as it tastes - and serves as a reminder for all of us to get out on the paddleboard come January.

Neil has been working with Leigh on Sea Brewery for several years, describing it as “the perfect partnership”.

“I was approached by the brewery just as they were starting out and I jumped at the chance. It was great to be involved from the beginning and play a part in shaping the visual style of the brewery”, he told us.

When we asked Neil about the inspiration behind his artwork for Seaside SUP, he explained that while he hasn’t tried paddleboarding himself, he’d “love to give it a go”:

“I realised that a good friend of mine did it and she was the inspiration for the artwork. She’s promised me a go on her board so, when the weather is warmer, I’ll hold her to that”, he clarifies.

Ruark Audio Celebration and Ruark ‘n’ Roll posters by Neil Fendell

Part of the appeal of Neil’s artwork is his ability to capture the real essence of a time and place - having spent most of his life by the River Thames in Leigh-on-Sea, he grew up with the fresh salty air and the sound of fog horns on the busy Estuary. Take one look at his posters, and it’s clear how the places he loved to visit growing up have informed his artistic style.

“I like to draw from my imagination, memories and experiences as much as possible when creating artwork”, he says. “In this case, I had to rely on photographic references, but I did watch the paddle boarders in Leigh on Sea one late afternoon, which gave me the feeling and colours I wanted to portray.”

Aside from conjuring up feelings of nostalgia with references to vintage railway posters from the golden age of UK rail travel, Neil’s bold use of colour makes his work instantly recognisable.

“I am constantly inspired by art, illustrations and anything visual, in particular, noticing how colours work together in different ways”, he explains.

“Colours are of utmost importance to me, and I rely on limiting my palette and enjoy playing with various colour combinations. I like to push expectations of what people might expect from the colours to create pleasing, interesting images.”

Ruark Audio Beach Hut Brew poster by Neil Fendell

As for what Neil will be listening to while indulging in a well-earned swig of Seaside SUP? “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney is a very underrated Christmas song. It may not be most people’s first choice, but I bet when it comes on you know all the words!”

Seaside SUP is a one-of-a-kind beer created for our extended Ruark family. However, if you’re in the mood for a brew, check out Leigh on Sea Brewery’s full menu of delicious craft beers, including our award-winning summer collaboration beer, Beach Hut Brew.

Leigh on Sea Brewery

Neil Fendell