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So, what does the phrase “Gert Lush” actually mean?  By all accounts, it’s a positive statement and a colloquial phrase from the South West of England.  For many, gert lush is a quintessentially Bristolian phrase where gert means very/big and lush means lovely/good.  Used in the context of “that’s a gert lush beer” for example ?

The roots of the phrase can be traced back to the mid-19th century if Reddit is to be believed, or we could dig a little further perhaps… nothing against the fact-wielding truth of Reddit’s keyboard warriors.

What does Gert/Gurt/Girt mean?

Gert appears to have its first use in English in times of middle English (1150-1500AD) as a variant of gret (or great), typically meaning more than great.  Given that middle English can be said to be etymologically linked to Old Norse and Proto-Germanic routes (when the Vikings and others paddled over to lovingly pass on their language and genes) we can track this further back still…

Which leads us to the Old Norse geragøragørva, from Proto-Germanic *garwijaną (thanks Wikipedia – one up on Reddit, I feel).  The meaning here is to do, to make, or to prepare.

Taking a slightly different etymological path, takes us back to this deriving from Danish gære, from German gären (thanks to Wikipedia again).  These terms mean to brew or to ferment.  From gær (“yeast”) +‎ -e (mark of the infinitive).

You see where this is going yet?

So, we have a modern (colloquial) use of gert meaning very and an historic use of this implying the making of something, perhaps most likely the brewing of something.

What does Lush mean?

I think we can all agree that the word lush is both colloquially used to mean lovely/good in the South West and Wales, as well as being used in common parlance to mean something similar – as in lush vegetation; healthy and full of life.

Looking to the Cambridge Dictionary for more explanation points us towards the meaning of healthy plants, attractive to the senses and simply good.  As a noun, lush means alcoholic, but lets not dwell too much on that eh.

Why Gert Lush Beer?

Well, I suppose it started with an innocent compliment when someone took a sip of beer I’d brewed a few years back (a very, very close relative of the Spring Hippy recipe we’re now brewing).  From that first utterance of “That’s a gert lush beer mate!” to me looking for inspirations for a brewery name, it just fell together really.

That’s not to say we are telling you our beer is gert lush – it’s more that we aim to brew every single beer to elicit that response from our drinkers.  It’s as high a goal as any to aim for.

But what better fitting etymological routes than to be something which is made/prepared/brewed to be lovely?  I think that fits well.

Here’s to bringing gert lush beer to many more lips.