Buckfast monks who brew hooligan wine.

The Monks of this Historic Abbey Brew Hooligan Fuel

The Monks of this Historic Abbey Brew Hooligan Fuel

Atlas Obscura
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March 19 2015 8:45 AM

“Wreck the Hoose Juice”: The Monks’ Wine That Fuels Hooliganism


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The lovely, historic Buckfast Abbey in Buckfastleigh, England, has been around since the late 1800s and is home to a traditional order of monks who would not look out of place in a Friar Tuck casting call. However, they are also the creators of a popular brand of fortified wine with an astronomical caffeine content, which has become the favorite drink of rowdy drunks across the country.

Buckfast Tonic Wine, as it is officially known, has a number of colorful nicknames, like “Commotion Lotion,” “Wreck the Hoose Juice,” and “Cumbernauld Rocket Fuel,” all of which give a pretty solid accounting of the drink’s effects. The thick, sugary “wine” began its life as a medicinal tonic but as its more recreational qualities became apparent it began being marketed as a liquor. While Buckfast’s wine does not have a particularly massive alcohol content (about 15 percent), the hooch does have more caffeine than most coffee, adding an amped-up quality to the drink.


The wine has become especially popular in certain areas of Scotland where the local hooligans (known to many as “neds”) use it to get enough liquid courage to break some faces and public property. The issue has become so bad that concerned politicians have tried to get Buckfast banned entirely, but were not successful.

The abbey itself seems to be removed from the damaging effects of its draught. The grounds are a quiet place of peace and industry in the English countryside, providing bees and produce in addition to their wine export. Not exactly the place that springs to mind when regrettable drunkenness seems to be the order of the day.

Buckfast Abbey.

Photo: Necrothesp/Creative Commons

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Eric Grundhauser is a head writer and editor at Atlas Obscura. He lives in Brooklyn with his comic book collection. Follow him on Twitter.