International Society of Label Collectors & British Brewery Research

Nick D

Abington Brewery Co - Pale Ale

This choice is very appropriate to start the ball rolling – as it is in fact the very first label in the first of the eleven albums of labels that house my collection of almost predominantly UK Brewery and Bottlers labels (with a sprinkling of non UK labels that attract, amuse or have appeared mysteriously!). I have no record of where this label came from (like so many of my labels) but one day I will dig through old correspondence etc. (it was pre emails!) and perhaps be able to identify the source.

Kay & Grimshaw Accrington – Light Ale

This label I bought some while ago because it has great family connections. I knew both families as a boy and my father played a great deal of golf with the owners of the business. Knowing what I now do – I only wish that I had asked for a few spare labels in those days – as they supplied bottled beers throughout the North West. My family lived in the Burnley area and mixed with many of the northern Brewery families. Yet more opportunities missed to scrounge some interesting labels. What a wasted opportunity! If only I knew then, what I know now,

Loco Brewery Co – Genuine Loco Bitter

Another pretty rare label (and neck label) with plenty of character and from the 1930’s I believe. I was lucky to be offered these by a collector who was rationalising his collection and concentrating onlabels from particular Breweries/Counties. Unfortunately (from a financial perspective) I have never been as disciplined as that and as a result have labels from Breweries spread all over the UK. I do try to specialise in Scottish, Lancashire/Yorkshire and East Anglian Breweries plus Guinness labels – but I seldom end up being that focused. My collection is therefore very much a hotch pot!

Old Albion Brewery – Wee Mac

The final choice – bringing together various threads. (My collection specialities are Northern Breweries/ Scottish Breweries etc. plus my daughter lives in an ex. Brewery in Ecclesall Road, Sheffield – as it happens Wards Sheaf Brewery rather than Old Albion!). These two labels are very attractive and serve as a reminder what a major brewing city Sheffield used to be.


Pattison's Brewery - Extra Hopped Beer

Another lovely older label with a marvelous Trade Mark. As mentioned previously, this has been in my collection for a very long time. I first started collecting beermats (and some labels) when at school. I spent a lot of time writing off to breweries and thus have masses of (not very exciting) 1960’s labels. Unfortunately for obvious financial reasons – related to being at school – I did not in those days seek to acquire much older labels at auctions etc. (something of course I now regret!).

Steward & Patteson - Stout labels

These labels were sold to me many years ago by Keith Osborne, who very generously let me have them for a very reasonable price. Over the years he and several others have encouraged, helped and generally supported my efforts to put together a collection. Keith knew that I lived in the Norwich area and clearly felt that I should have at least some decent older local labels to display! Judging by the pencil mark on the smaller label – these were 1920’s labels. A nice pair.

W.B. Thomson’s Ltd – Pale Ale

This is clearly a very old and rare label and a very early addition to my collection. I believe it (along with the third label in my selection) materialised nearly fifty years ago – when I swapped my beermat collection (my first Breweriana foray) for a small label collection. It would be interesting to find out who (with loads of hindsight) had the better bargain on that occasion!

Daniel Thwaites – John Bull Ale

Not particularly rare – but a label that I had wanted to have in my collection for ages – but never been prepared to pay the price. Eventually – as is so often the case – the price was suddenly right and I was able to acquire it (all the way from America as it happens). This is my idea of a fun label – full of character. In my beer drinking days my favourite bottled beer was Thwaites Lancaster Bomber. The local pub in my parents village (near Clitheroe in Lancashire) was (and still is) a Thwaites house. There were in fact three pubs in the village (and still are, which in these days of pub closures is very pleasing).

Wrexham Lager Beer Co - Selection

I bought these at Auction four years or so ago and they are so full of character. In fact I left a postal bid and thought I was getting one label whereas it turned out to be three! Unusually therefore a great bargain – so doubly pleasurable – lovely labels/reasonable cost. I have several other older Wrexham Lager labels and all are extremely attractive and interesting.

Jeffrey's - Rose Brand Light Beer

A switch here to demonstrate the sort of labels that I love to collect – I.E. those full of character. To me (these days a non beer drinker -gluten issues I am afraid) the fascination of beerlabels lies in their depictions of everyday events, their place in our various countries histories and in so many cases wonderful designs and print qualities. This particular label has even more meaning though – because my daughter is named Rose!