A brewery historian and breweriana collector has emailed me to ask for a few points of clarification on M&B beer bottle labels. I have replied to say that asking questions on this site does not have a history of success, but we will try. He is not primarily a label collector, but a small collection has recently come into his possession and he believes these are the dates but would like confirmation. Oval labels with the measure disclaimer 1920s and 1930s. One is shown below. Oval labels with appointment to the King are George V., late 1930s. Oval labels with George VI are 1940s, oval labels with appointment to the late king are 1952/3. The comes rectangular labels. Mitchells & Butlers curved across the top followed immediately after the last ovals, then very quickly a small M&B. In the 1960s the M&B was enlarged and around 1964/5 the deer’s leap was dropped leaving a small deer above the name of the beer, although there was no room for it above the Sam Brown.
And one last thing. All the oval labels in the collection were the same size except two which are a little bit smaller. Both these two were beers bottled by A. Probyn of London. Are there smaller labels in existence with no named bottler? And where do they fit into the timeline.
Couldn’t resist. The small one is 82mm tall, the other is much bigger.
Thanks to Nick for prompting this post. He sent an image of a Simonds label and asked about the apostrophe. Rather than just post that image and the question, I decided to combine it into Spot The Difference #175 and Size Really Matters #27. So when did Simonds drop the apostrophe? IN the smaller label, it is clear it has just been erased and no attempt made to adjust the position of the name. I think the Ld abbreviation dates it to the 1930s or earlier. The 1947 Royal Tour labels have no apostrophe. So anyone with any more information? Nick’s original image, which prompted the question is here as well, because I like it.
There are many things to like about this label which I can date fairly accurately to 1933/4. It is a cask label for a naturally carbonated dark beer. It does say fully aged, but I suspect not cask conditioned, that would have attracted the “Keep cool, not pasteurised warning”. Cremo Brewing Co, unusual name, some would have used a less complimentary adjective, but the brewery operated under this name from 1905 until prohibition in 1920, so was well established. And finally the city of New Britain, however I should tell you that it is also known as New Britski, because of the large Polish migrant population.
I also think it is very attractive.
The Alton Court Brewery in Ross lasted until 1956 when it was taken over by the Stroud Brewery. There are two versions of this label, 220mm wide and 195mm wide. This image is of the larger label. There are slight differences other than size, it is not just an upscale.
I suspect this label is a fairly early example from a brewery that survived until 1961 when it was taken over by Whitbread. Thanks to whoever sent me the image.
It took me ages before I realised what was different about these two. You might see it quicker. You might also be able to explain.
No matter how hard you try to put us off posting more mystery labels, here is another one. Now I know it is almost certain that someone will know who bottled the beer, and may even know the address, but my guess is that a Burton brewer will have provided the beer, but which one? Maybe we could beat the total number of replies to Mystery label #32
This is really unexpected. There must be several hundred John Fox Special labels filling up drawers, envelopes and shoe boxes in collectors houses all over the world. I am not going to argue that there is a different die in existence to enable a print of an arctic fox as well as the quick brown variety, but I am going to be searching for the Arctic fox version from now on. Thanks to Nick for spotting and sending the images,.