February 14th 2016 is the first anniversary since we released our Sneaky Owl dark ale to the world and to celebrate, we’ve got a big prize to give away.


Some of you may have noticed some coded letters written in the background of our Sneaky Owl label.  This is a real Enigma code and you’d have needed to be pretty smart to figure it out, or else we’d be asking if you can account for your movements between 1939 and 1945.  So we’re going to help you out with this.

A typical Enigma intercept from the Bletchley Park operation in England. These messages were transmitted in Morse code as groups of five letters, which were easily intercepted -- but were impossible to understand without sophisticated decryption. (Photo courtesy Dr. David Hamer)

Enigma intercept from the Bletchley Park (Photo Dr. David Hamer)


The idea for the label colour on Sneaky Owl came from the faded yellow of an intercept sheet of German radio transmission from England’s code breaking team at Bletchley Park during World War II.



So, here’s the important stuff.  There’s two messages written in code on the bottle label, so here’s the full code for both messages to help you out.


First coded message


Second coded message



Now here’s the fun spy bit.  You’ll need a German enigma machine to break the code, but if you don’t have one lying around the house don’t worry, there’s some very good simulators out there on the Internet.  If only someone had told the Bletchley Park team to search for “Enigma machine” on the internet back in the 1940’s.

The information you need to break this message is code from Enigma U571 codesheet dated 14th February 1945, 70 years before the release of Sneaky Owl.

Rotor UKW = B codesheet

Rings III   I   V

First trigram GMA

Second trigram is highlighted in the coded message.


So what do you get for breaking the coded messages?

SO-Full-labelThe first person to email phil@mountainmanbrewing.com with the full decoded message wins a fantastic hamper full of beer, posters and a T-shirt & Hoodie of your choice.




Good luck my crack team of code breaking spies……….