Aitken's Falkirk World-famous Prize Golden Ales.
BULK AND BOTTLE.
The thousands of people in Australia who believe in the superiority of British beer over anything else of the kind yet produced, will be downright glad to hear that that colossal English propretary, the Aitken Ale people, have determined on making Australia a separate and distinct field for their enterprise. People who have turned their attention to the subject, will have noticed the marvellous improvements effected in the draught British Ale offered for sale throughout the colonies daring the last few years. Previously it was heavy, always unsuitable to Australia or wants. This, doubtless, arose from a non-acquaintance with the climate of Australia. The British Ale which has come to Australia in bulk has been much improved, and but for the colonial article and the protection duty of 25 per cent, per hogshead, the consumption would have been much greater. The means of communication are more expeditious, and the brew is delivered her in excellent condition. The proprietary of the world famous Aitken's Ale have resolved, however, on yet greater improvement, and for some time past started on the important work on providing a brew specially for Australia. The coming summer season will find this available all over Australasia. The British firm's agents are Messrs. Phillips & Co., of Bridge-street, their agents for New South Wales, and these gentlemen are prepared to do business on special terms in bulk and bottled ales of this special Australian brew at, we are informed, very reduced prices. The attention thus given to the colonies in this important essential of British Ales is satisfactory evidence of the growing importance of these colonies in the eyes of the world beyond the seas.
North Australian (Darwin, NT : 1883 - 1889), Friday 4 September 1885, page 8.
There's lots of good stuff in there. First: Aitken brewed an Ale specifically for the Australian market. What was it like? From the description of the unsatisfactory Ales as being heavy, I suppose it must have been light. Was it a type of Pale Ale. Or was it an "Australian Ale"?
It's difficult to believe that a brewery in Falkirk was a supplier of draught beer in Australia. When you think of the distance involved and the Australian climate. And people think globalisation is something new. It's hard to think of a more global institution than the British Empire. The United Nations, there's one. But you know what I mean.
I'd not realised that the Australian clonies imposed an import duty on British beer. 25% is a fair whack. It's easy to see how Aitken's profit margins could have been squeezed once colonial brewing picked up.
You know those weird Aitken labels with a figure clinging to a lifebuoy? I think I might know a reason why they exist. And why Aitken didn't use their red A trademark in Australia. But that's for next time.