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Fancy this beer? Or maybe a spirit?

PUBLISHED: 09:47 13 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:02 01 August 2010

SHE was a lowly hotel chambermaid whose doomed love for a groomsman came to a tragic end when he fled in her hour of need.

Heartbroken - and pregnant - she took her own life rather than face the hardship and shame of having the child on her own.

SHE was a lowly hotel chambermaid whose doomed love for a groomsman came to a tragic end when he fled in her hour of need.

Heartbroken - and pregnant - she took her own life rather than face the hardship and shame of having the child on her own.

But some say the desperate Matilda never quite left the hotel and centuries later her lonely spirit still wanders the corridors and rooms late at night.

She may not have swept a hearth or made a bed since 1709, but the Beccles hotel where she once worked is honouring their most famous maid with a special brew in her honour.

And, with a name of Matilda's Revenge, guests and drinkers in the bar at the King's Head will be raising a glass to the poor young girl who was so cruelly wronged exactly 300 years ago.

The hotel has joined forces with a microbrewery for the anniversary of her death and created the new real ale with a “distinctive flavour”, Boudica hops and, fittingly, a secret spirit.

Engel Fine Ales of Opa Hay's Brewery in nearby Aldeby will be launching their ghoulish glassful at the hotel next Friday.

Martin Grove, the hotel's food and beverage manager, said: “My father is an avid ale drinker. I had mentioned that this brewer from Aldeby had come in and that we were thinking of getting an ale brewed exclusively for us. He came up with the idea of naming it after Matilda, our resident ghost. Most people in the town know about her and she is mentioned in the ghost walk here in the summer.”

Dr Arnth Engel combines his microbrewery business with being an anaesthetist at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

His Opa Hay's brewery is named after his great grandfather Heinrich Hay who was a master brewer in northern Germany at the turn of the last century.

Yesterday, Dr Engel said he was delighted to be involved. “This is a special commission. It has a distinct flavour and that is down to the spirit within,” he said.

Mr Grove said tales about Matilda had attracted interest from paranormal investigators who plan to carry out some experiments in the hotel on Monday.

But there's no telling exactly what Maltida's revenge is - her ghost's restless presence at the hotel, her bitter vengeance against the groom, or maybe just a sore head the next day.

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