Friday, 18 December 2015

Branded Bitter in 1953

How could I have forgotten Bitter? Only the second most popular style of the day. I blame Pale Ale.

Because in my own table I make no distinction between Bitter and Pale Ale. I list both as Pale Ale. Why? Because there is no effing difference between them. Simple as that. No need to make things any more complicated than they already are. You can see the confusion of the two terms was common: several of the brands in the table are called Pale Ales.

I’m sort of wondering how they came to classify some beers as Pale Ales and others as Bitters. They haven’t even used the conventional Bitter = draught, Pale Ale = bottled divider. It all just seems . . . random.

As only one of the breweries – Everard’s – still exists, it should come as no shock that most of these beers are long gone. Ruddle’s County is the only one to have survived, though obviously not at its home brewery. I’m surprised it made the list. In the 1950’s, Ruddle’s was a tiny brewery in a not very fashionable part of the country.

I can remember seeing bottles of English Stock – with its distinctive, garish label – in Whitbread pubs in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Fremlins was, of course, long gone by then. But the brand continued a sort of zombie exietence. I was never tempted to try it, just intrigued by the odd labels.

Getting back to County, it was a very trendy beer, in its day, amongst nerdier drinkers. Never cared for it myself. I always found it too sweet and heavy. Mind you, I didn’t like their Ordinary Bitter, Blue, much more. Just one of those breweries whose beers just didn’t appeal for some reason.

Nice to see Newark beer Hole's Golden Age make the cut.

Branded Bitter in 1953
Brewery Brand Type
Hartley's Brewery Golden Star Best Bitter
G. Ruddle County Ale Best Bitter, bottled
Alton Court Brewery Diamond Pale Ale Bitter
Alton Court Brewery Queen's Ale Bitter
Bents Brewery King Hal Bitter
H. & G. Simonds Reading Pale Ale Bitter
James Hole Golden Age Bitter
Tennant Brothers Queen's Ale Bitter
Thomas Ramsden Riding  Bitter
Whitwell, Mark Amber Ale Bitter
Fremlins Ltd. English Stock Bitter Ale
The Ely Brewery Golden Gleam Bitter Ale
Moors' & Robson's Red Cap Bitter Beer
Buckley's Brewery Special Welsh Bitter, bottled
John Aitchison Best Cellar Bitter, bottled
West Auckland Brewery Oak Tree Bitter
Everard's Red Crown Burton Bitter
Duncan Gilmour Windsor Ale Draught Bitter
Newcastle Breweries Exhibition Pale Ale Draught Bitter
Lamb Brewery Rouser Strong Bitter
Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.

I’ve definitely not finished. I spotted some other categories I’ve missed when plucking this set.


StuartP said...

Fremlins' was available in Kent in the 1990s and a good pint, too.
I don't know who was actually making it.

I never likes Ruddles either.
Too fart-inducing.

dyranian said...

Last had a bottle of Fremlins Stock 1992 at Sandown, Isle of Wight. Amazing what rubbish can be dredged from the back of mind when prompted.