International Society of Label Collectors & British Brewery Research

Desert Island Beer Labels #1

So here they come, in no particular order. I was born in Gillingham. Best football team in Kent, and lived in Strood until I was 12 years old. My father wasn’t the world’s heaviest drinker, probably 100 units in his entire 96 years, but I can remember him talking about Budden and Biggs Body Building Beverages, pointed out where the brewery was and showed me a pub wall with a faded advert on it. Actually when I thought about it much later Budden & Biggs Body Building Beverages works really well. However, at that age I was strangely unimpressed with the information.  About 15 years ago I acquired my first label and courtesy of an auction house near Nottingham added this label to my collection a couple of years later. Simple use of the belt and buckle, uncomplicated, red/black always good. Love it.

Budden & Biggs

Another label I happened to notice on a well-known internet auction site to go with the one I have had in my collection for a number of years. Like the Carter, Milner & Bird label, this new one will be eventually be added to the featured brewery section. I have concentrated on the Yorkshire Breweries for a number of posts. Still a couple more to add, then I need suggestions as to where we focus next.


I know, it’s not the best title I have ever thought of. After all, if any of us were stranded anywhere, the last thing we would think about would be our 10 favourite beer labels. But I am sure you get the idea. This was suggested to me by longstanding society member Nick in Norfolk and I think he is on to a winner. You all know how much we keep asking for contributions, so this is the chance to give us your 10 favourite labels with a little bit of information about why you picked each one. I am sure we can help with the images if you don’t have access to a digital scanner. Actually this idea would work well with pieces of music! It starts this bank holiday weekend and you will get one a day for ten days. That should add to the tension. I hope you can’t wait.

The requests to extend the Yorkshire series continue to land. So here are the pre-war and post-war variants of the Melbourne Brewery Ruby Ale. I used to think they had changed the entire range of beers after the war, but recently, I have come across the 1930s versions of this and the Gold Cup.

Leeds & Wakefield


As a direct response to the torrent of feedback we are getting about these posts, here  are two labels from Carter, Milner and Bird Ltd of the Hope Brewery, Sheffield. Not hard to see the difference I know, but I am sure many of you just like to know what there is out in the big, wide world. I shall probably add the additional label to the featured brewery section as well. How good is that???


Carter Milner Bird

After a valuable conversation with Paul, who seems to have a connection with a North West brewing family, it was suggested that Groves and Whitnall labels appear in our featured brewery section. I was beginning to despair that no-one would comment on our labels, or contribute to the website, so I will immediately respond to that request. As a starter here are two 1930s labels with a number of differences.

Groves and Whitnall


Two labels from Jas. Fox and Sons of the Isle of Axholme Brewery, Crowle near Doncaster. I didn’t know which of the two categories to put these in. To be honest I don’t think most of us would care, we would just be very pleased to have either in our collection. For the terminally sad, the larger is 89mm tall and the smaller is a bit less.


Fox Axholme

Beer labels: Size really matters #7

While I wouldn’t describe this series as an overwhelmingly popular item on our site, it is being added to regularly. Occasionally in response to requests from visitors to the site, and very occasionally because someone sends in the images, thank you James, Phil and John. Here are two Nut Brown Ale labels from E & H Kelsey of the Culverden Brewery, Tunbridge Wells. The larger is 86mm tall, the smaller 91mm. Sorry to ‘Interested of Tunbridge Wells’, it seems no-one else is as interested as yourself to see more of their labels.Kelseytwo