Saturday, 7 November 2015

Who was branding their beers in 1954? (part three)

More 1950’s brands. This time from two of the key companies in the most enigmatic of the Big Six, Scottish & Newcastle. And the last to disappear into smoke.

They were different to the other five, in that they had a relatively small tied estate. That was partly a geographical thing, as much of their trade was in Scotland where the tied house system wasn’t strong and most pubs, at least technically, were free houses. Though types of loan tie were common.

Merging with the largest brewery in Newcastle made a lot of sense for William Younger and McEwan. Scottish brewers did a lot of trade in the Northeast and owned pubs there. Until their latter days, Scottish & Newcastle’s coverage of England was patchy. They had some tied houses and free-house accounts in London, but in parts of the country their beers were rare. I can think of only one pub in Leeds that stocked their beer: Whitelocks. Around Newark I remember one free house out in a village that served Youngers.

Without the security of a tied estate, it made sense for Scottish & Newcastle to build strong brands. It’s quite a long list in the table. But I don’t think it’s complete. Because it’s just bottled beers. They also had Tartan as a keg brand.

Wee Willie was used for more than one type of beer: I’ve analyses of both a Pale Ale and a Brown Ale branded this way. King of Ales was their No. 1 Strong Ale. Double Century was first brewed to celebrate William Younger’s 200th anniversary, though the founding date they used is almost certainly a decade or two too early. Note the use of 90/- to denote a low-gravity, bottled Pale Ale. It’s only much later than 90/- started to be used to denote a Strong Ale. 90/- Paler Ales were quite common before WW II, being brewed by many Scottish brewers.

Newcastle Breweries also was quite strong on branding, again because of the need to penetrate the free trade. You could claim it was more successful, as both Exhibition and Newcastle Brown still exist. (Amber disappeared in the 1980’s.) While I don’t think any of the Younger’s brands below are around today.

Newcastle Breweries branded beers in 1954
Brewery Beer Type
Newcastle Breweries Blue Star Ales All Types
Newcastle Breweries Exhibition Pale Ale Draught Bitter
Newcastle Breweries Newcastle Amber Bottled Ale
Newcastle Breweries Newcastle Brown Bottled Ale
Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.

Wm. Younger branded beers in 1954
Brewery Beer Type
Wm. Younger Capital Stout
Wm. Younger Castle Brown Ale
Wm. Younger Holyrood Light Sparkling Ale
Wm. Younger King of Ales Strong
Wm. Younger Wee Willie --
Wm. Younger 90/- Ale Sparkling Ale
Wm. Younger Double Century High quality Ale
Wm. Younger Gold Label Ale Heavy gravity pale ale
Wm. Younger Monk Export, bottled
Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.

Probably some more Big Six brands next. Unless I go for Sheffield instead.

1 comment:

Korev said...

Have you an Exhibition recipe? Mid 1970s would be great - thanks in anticipation