The Commando Hoofing brand is the brainchild of Cotleigh Brewery owner Fredrik Domellof. However, Cotleigh Brewery was no stranger to the 40 Camp and had supported a number of 'Family Days' when the Marines and their families could enjoy a pint of beer or cider from the mobile Cotleigh Bar. The Cotleigh Dray and Horses would also make a regular appearance and a ride in the dray was always very popular with the children!
It was during a visit to the 40 Royal Marine Camp that Fredrik Domellof was asked "why don't you brew a beer to support the Marines and their families?" and so began the Cotleigh campaign to support the Royal Marines Welfare Fund at 40RM.
A bottled beer was the immediate solution with a recipe that would give a light and refreshing character and flavour. When we were asked to support the 40 Commando Royal Marines Parade in Taunton on 17th November 2010, we thought this would be a fitting occasion to launch our new and dedicated brand.
With help from the Marines, we decided to call the new beer 'Hoofing' and for those not familiar with the term, it is Royal Marine slang to describe something fantastic.
We made a bit of a faux pas with the first label we produced for Somerset Commando Hoofing - the dagger was depicted the wrong way round. This was pointed out to Fred 'the civilian' during a visit to the camp and he was the target of much banter!
With the dagger the correct way round, the label was given approval by the MOD and the bottled beer was launched as Somerset Commando Hoofing.
The parade day in Taunton was one of the wettest but this did not detract from the spirit of some 30,000 people who came to support the 40 RM march through the town. The Royal Marines also gave their immediate approval of the beer.
Cotleigh has since hosted Brewery visits for the 42 Kangaw unit and 40 Termoli unit, which are the rehabilitation divisions at the respective camps for the Royal Marines.
Due to the popularity of the beer with the Royal Marine families throughout the country and abroad, word spread fast. It was decided to launch the beer in casks so that further support could be raised in pubs. Many local hostelries now stock the beer and have successfully raised awareness through various charitable donations.
Due to its popularity, in early 2011 the name of the beer changed to Commando Hoofing, giving a wider appeal to the whole Royal Marines Association in the UK. The bottle label has also been changed and now includes Braille text and Cotleigh Brewery has joined forces with the charity Go Commando to raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. For every bottle of Hoofing sold 5p is donated to the Fund.
We also designed a separate pump clip in memory of the 14th fallen hero, 40 Royal Marine Adam Brown. His dream was to have a beach hut at Mudeford, Christchurch. A charity has been set up in his memory to raise money to purchase a hut for the respite and recuperation of Royal Marines injured in battle and their families. The beer has been called Commando Adam's Hoofing Hut and is available in casks. A number of pubs in Hampshire have already ordered the beer and have started the fund raising initiative. We thank them.
On 12th May 2011 we attended the 118 Kings Squad Pass Out Parade at the Commando Training Centre RM in Lympstone. 36 men were presented the coveted Green Beret and it was a most fun, heartfelt ceremony that we have witnessed.
We will continue to develop initiatives and the next step is to promote the beer through various pubs with fund raising events in association with Go Commando.
The Team at Cotleigh Brewery