International Society of Label Collectors & British Brewery Research

First one of these for a few months; I realise it is a bit of a specialised subject aimed at the dedicated collector, but this one also serves as an advertisement for The Berwick Breweries Ltd page in our featured brewery section. You can find it HERE.

These two could also be a Spot the Difference entry as the labels have undergone a design change rather than simply an

Just so that it is firmly out there. A half pint and a pint label from the Black Eagle Brewery, Westerham, dating from the 1930s, before they had to put the contents on the label. More labels from Bushell, Watkins, Smith Ltd can be found HERE.

Bushell's Size

There were pint and half pint labels for Fielder’s Stout, Special Bitter and Brown Ale introduced when they were registered as a limited company in 1947. Previous to this the labels all appear to be one size. We have added another four labels to the Fielder section in our featured breweries. Thanks to Geoff for sending in the missing images.

Size really matters

Good to see such interest in the Mackeson Milk Stout label. Thanks to Dale for sending in this pair of Milk Stout labels, presumably for the pint and half pint bottles. The pint label is different from the one illustrated in 10oz Pure Dairy Milk #1 and I believe was issued later. I also think the half pint label goes with the earlier pint label.

Mackeson - Milk Stout

It is a long time since we featured a ‘Size really matters’ and I think that is part of the reason that a growing number of labels for sale on a well known internet auction site dont tell us what we need to know. I can’t be more blunt;  Size really does matter. to illustrate here are the half pint and pint labels for Hole’s Olde English Strong Ale. They also feature an accurate representation of Newark Castle.

Castle Spot the diff

For about thirty years I had assumed that the large Newcastle Breweries labels were destined for pint bottles. Then a couple of weeks ago I saw a Special Pale Ale label on a well known internet auction site. Fortunately the seller of the label always includes the height of a label in the description, well done Mark, so now I have three variants. So are these labels half pint, pint and quart or nip, half pint and pint? And are there all three sizes for each of the beers brewed at the time, which I think is the 1930s.  Sizes are 71mm, 82mm and 101mm.


On this occasion it really really mattered to me. First of all I love the labels from the Waterside Brewery. So when I saw a Strong Ale advertised for sale on the interweb, I thought, if I haven’t got that, I will buy it. 103 mm the description said. Out with the album and ruler and I have a Strong Ale but it only measures 92mm. So bought it with no hesitation. And here they are. You will notice they are different designs, the relationship between ‘Prize Medal Beers’ and the rest of the wording at the top is different and the position of ‘Brewed with English Hops’ in relation to E. Mason & Co is also different. Not sure I would have trusted myself to buy without the size, which really matters.


We can claim a little bit of a success with this series of postings. There are a number of sellers, both on the well known internet auction site and in private sales who now include accurate indications of the size of their offerings. However, there is still some way to go before it is automatic, particularly for those sellers who rarely, if ever, look at this website. To further illustrate the point, here are two No. 1 Strong Ale — Old Star, the half pint label is 63mm tall and the less common pint label is 87mm.

Star 2

Here is the second blog post before we add Amey’s Borough Brewery, Petersfield to our featured brewery section.

A pair of Dinner Ale labels, the larger is 86mm tall and the smaller, which I presume is for the half pint bottle is 76mm tall. Unlike some pairs of labels, these show a slight design change rather than a simple enlargement.

Amey size matters.bmp