Death Becomes Him

John Barleycorn must die


We were contacted by our friends at Whitby Brewery with an idea to celebrate the end of summer / autumn equinox. A special time marked in years past of the harvest of grain, essential to the brewing of your favourite ales. A time to honour the barley used, to reconnect with the seasons and the land and to pay our respects with the ritual murder of John Barleycorn.


The well known poem was recited, we chose the version that mentions the North, a breakdown of the violent occurrences in the poem can be read here and Wiki


A new ’tradition’ was created with the tossing of the the severed genitals, the 'seed sack' of John Barleycorn into the crowd. To be caught like a brides bouquet and returned the following year. All to be repeated again.


The barley that spilt into the bowl from the disembowelling will go to make the Christmas ale. The head was removed from the body and is now on display above the bar area.

A small performance created in a very short space of time has definitely captured the imagination of all present and certainly looks like this will become an annual event with much to explore.


Hear the rowdy crowd cry, 'John Barleycorn, John Barleycorn, John Barleycorn must die'



Featured Posts