Friday, 2 December 2016

Advertising Gold Label (part four)

Searching the newspaper archives for Gold Label throws up an odd set of results. Loads from1954 and then a couple from 1966. By which time it had morphed into a Whitbread brand.

the beer that’s matured like a wine

and blended like a whisky.

Take a very special sort of beer. Allow it to mature for several months. Blend it with all the finesse of a whisky-blender. And you’ve got a smooth, full-bodied, miraculously glowing drink called a Gold Label. Try one. Should you have any difficulty in finding a local supplier, write to Whitbread & Co, Chiswell Street, London ECI. A Whitbread beer, brewed at Tennant’s brewery, Sheffield. 
Illustrated London News - Saturday 12 March 1966, page 29.

That’s quite informative in some ways: it tells us that Gold Label was still matured and was still being brewed at the Exchange Brewery in Sheffield. And still being blended.

What they’re really trying to do is big up Gold Label by comparing it to drinks considered classier than beer such as wine and whisky.

This next advert is quite bizarre:

We discovered gold in a Sheffield cellar.
Now it’s in bars all over the place.
When Tennants Brewery joined us, they invited us to have a good nose round their cellars in Sheffield.

And what do you think we found ?

A pure golden, ambrosial drink called Gold Label. Matured like wine for several months.

And blended like a whisky.

We obviously had the secret of Yorkshire CC, Sheffield Wednesday and Wakefield Trinity on our hands.

There was only one drawback.

We also had a rival beer on our hands. Our own Final Selection with a virile supporters’ club.

With shelf space like gold dust and delivery costs crippling, it seemed wise to give one of them the chop.

But which one ? We just couldn’t decide.

So now we sell them both throughout the country where you see our sign.

The buck is passed, the choice is yours.

Not ours.

Whitbread for choice.”
Illustrated London News - Saturday 10 February 1968, page 38.

You may remember that all of the other Tennant’s brands were discontinued after the Whitbread takeover. Gold Label must have been something special to survive. In the early 1970’s, Whitbread were brewing both it and Final Selection at Chiswell Street. Not sure when Final Selection was discontinued, but I can’t remember it at all. That says something.

Final Selection was a very different beer to Gold Label. For a start the was very different, a dark brown. And while the Chiswell Street version of Gold Label was just lager malt, lots of sugar and flaked maize, Final Selection had a grist of pale malt, a little sugar and some chocolate malt. The hopping was different, too. Gold Label: Hallertau, Styrian, MK and Worcester hops; Hop extract. Final Selection: EK hops; Hop extract.

The choice of Yorkshire sports teams is interesting. I doubt they’d pick Sheffield Wednesday today, while they languish in the lower divisions. I wonder which footy team they would select? The only Yorkshire sides currently in the Premiership – Hull and Middlesborough – aren’t exactly the most fashionable clubs.

Wakefield Trinity are a Rugby League team. I believe they’re called something else now. Just looked it up. Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Bloody stupid name. Though not quite as bad as Leeds Rhinos which doesn’t even alliterate.


dyranian said...

Last found Final Selection in an off licence in London in 1973.

Donnellski said...

After weeks of Gold Label posts I've finally given in and got a four pack from Asda for £5. Not bad but not great, tastes a lot stronger than 7.5%.
Do we know where it's brewed these days? Just says Inbev, Luton on the side of the can.

eavyumble said...

Drank some Final Selection recently (which I`d bought in a job lot of old beers at auction). There was little life to it, but it was superb. Very winey in body.