For #20 and 21 we are featuring cask labels from one of our corporate members, Shepherd Neame Ltd of Faversham, founded in 1698, and therefore the oldest brewer in the United Kingdom. The company has been family owned since 1864. A wide range of beers are bottled and can be found all over the country, however the Double Stout, currently one of my favourite beers, is less common in the frozen northern wastelands.
The main interest in this label, which is in fairly poor condition, is that the beer was brewed by Simonds in the former Philips & Sons Brewery in Dock Road, Newport, that they purchased along with over 120 pubs in 1949. This is the only label I have come across which states that the beer is brewed by Simonds in Newport. I don’t have any idea of where the A.K. came from either, I can’t recall any of Simonds beers by that name.
Another big thank you to Nick for sending in a scan of this recently acquired label from Flowers Breweries Ltd. Fairly specific instructions I think you will agree. A number of these labels were picked up off the floor of the Flowers Laboratory just before demolition in 1975 by a collector who currently resides on an island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Very recently sold on a well-known internet auction site for a substantial amount of money, we have permission from the purchaser to add this very attractive example from Gibbs Mew & Co Ltd of Salisbury to this blog. Presumably the name of the beer was added later.
George Biggs & Sons owned the Crown Brewery in Bath and three public houses when they were taken over by the Bristol Brewery, George & Co Ltd in 1924. This is the only label I have ever seen from this brewer and it raises 2 questions. What else did they brew? and Did they ever bottle their beers?
Another more recent example; Tony and Robinetta Bunce started the brewery at Netheravon in 1983, having bought the disused power station from the Ministry of Defence. They brewed there for 8 years and the brewery is now home to Stonehenge Ales. This large label gives no indication of the contents, but it is a particularly striking design.
Sometimes you wonder why brewers produce such elaborate labels which will just get slapped on a barrel. One thing is for sure, it wasn’t because someone in the office thought ‘this will really please the label collectors of the future’. Whatever the marketing reasons, this example from Clinch’s Brewery on the Isle of Man has really pleased label collectors.
Very pleasing to have had a few comments recently and this should bring a few more. The Mortlake Brewery was bought by Charles Phillips in 1852 and soon afterwards was transferred to a partnership between Phillips and James Wigan. At that time output from the brewery was less than 5% of that of London’s largest brewers. The Phillips and Wigan partnership lasted until 1877 when Wigan bought a brewery in Bishops Stortford. This dates this label quite well. The brewery finally closed in 2015, sparing it any further, the indignity of brewing Budweiser.
I know the Sir Henry Meux label didn’t raise an eyebrow or was everyone so gobsmacked they were unable to comment? Nevertheless here is another from the same source; the McCord museum in Ottawa via Frank Mrazik. Thanks to both.
I think this raises a lot of questions. Did Bass ever use a London Address? Was it used because London was well-known around the world in the 19th century but Burton on Trent probably wasn’t? Where is the triangle, red or otherwise? Give us your thoughts. We like thoughts, thoughts are good!
Stout wasn’t the obvious choice for our first venture into Scottish cask labels. This one is particularly interesting because it comes from Steel, Coulson’s Greenhead Brewery in Glasgow, which closed in 1946, rather than the Croft-an-Righ Brewery in Edinburgh, which appears to be ever-present on bottle labels.