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Thread: Extinct breweries and not really missed.

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    Real Ale Drinker Crossste's Avatar
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    Default Extinct breweries and not really missed.

    We often lament on here on the closing of pubs and breweries, right so. But occasionally it can indeed be a blessing.

    Today i was looking through some of my old Nicholson canal guides for an up coming trip along the Llangollen canal over Christmas. I am not sure how old the guides are, perhaps late 80s early 90s, but the pubs en-route were still listed with the beers which they sold, unlike the modern day guides which just state "real ale sold here".

    The most plentiful, i was going to type popular, brew along this route appeared to be Greenhall Whitley! What a dreadful brew GW was. I can honestly say i cannot remember having ever had a decent pint of the stuff.

    So my nomination for "Gone and good riddance" is Greenhall Whitley of Warrington. Any more.
    From the home of the kebab of doom

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Greenall Whitley (no h in the first word) was indeed a truly rubbish brewery. Sadly they owned numerous pubs across the North West and North Wales. I remember the first time I drank in Chester, Greenall's had a stranglehold on the city.

    They took over the Southern England Devenish in the 1990s and one of my local pubs which was an early JDW had been sold to Devenish and ended up as a Greenall's pub after which it started to go downhill. It is now a "Star pubs and Bars" keg Sports Bar and I find it difficult to describe it without swearing.

    Anyway, back on track another rubbish brewery over that way was Border Brewery of Wrexham. They had I believe some 200 oubs but there beer was really awful.

    Here's one to stretch the coffin-dodger's memory, Paine's of St Neots in Cambridgeshire. In my early days in CAMRA I actually visited this brewery twice. All I can remember is that their stronger beers were far too sweet and in some of their tied houses it was vinegar. I think they had an estate of about 20 pubs. The 1974 GBG claims that they are "a complete waste of time", but they did afterwards go down the real ale route. The 1974 guide also describes one of my favourites Holden's as "Too much gassy beer". The argument in those days was pressurised beer whether cask or keg versus cask beer served with no external gas pressure.

    Anyway, enough waffle from me!

    GAGR Paine's Of St Neots

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    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    Here's one to stretch the coffin-dodger's memory, Paine's of St Neots in Cambridgeshire. In my early days in CAMRA I actually visited this brewery twice. All I can remember is that their stronger beers were far too sweet and in some of their tied houses it was vinegar. I think they had an estate of about 20 pubs. The 1974 GBG claims that they are "a complete waste of time", but they did afterwards go down the real ale route.
    By 1975 Paines had indeed gone down the real ale route-I made a circuitous bus trip from Norwich to St N's.I didn't do notes then , but seem to remember the bitter to be a traditional deep,riverlike beer. When I'm fed up with pale 'n' hoppies I sometimes find myself pining for the likes of Paines,though I wasn't brought up on the stuff. Latterly, they produced a stronger bitter called EG or ?Eynesbury Giant?-that wasn't too bad.
    Now John Smith's is the only truly awful real ale I've drunk,and they still make it!
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    By 1975 Paines had indeed gone down the real ale route-I made a circuitous bus trip from Norwich to St N's.I didn't do notes then , but seem to remember the bitter to be a traditional deep,riverlike beer. When I'm fed up with pale 'n' hoppies I sometimes find myself pining for the likes of Paines,though I wasn't brought up on the stuff. Latterly, they produced a stronger bitter called EG or ?Eynesbury Giant?-that wasn't too bad.
    Now John Smith's is the only truly awful real ale I've drunk,and they still make it!
    Yes, I think you're right about Paine's EG, I can't remember who inherited their pubs was it GK or Wells?

    I didn't want to mention the Big Six as it would generate a never ending Aqualung rant!!

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    Fully paid up beer belly Farway's Avatar
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    Another not really missed is Brickwoods, who had a stranglehold on Portsmouth and surrounding area, but it got worse because it was bought by Whitbreads who closed it down eventually & sold the land for housing or some office blocks
    I drink to make others more interesting

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    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    Charrington's Anchor Brewery in Mile End was responsible for the insipid Charrington's IPA which was the only real ale option in my first local.The brewery closure wasn't mourned by many but the IPA limped along brewed in other parts of the Bass empire.I shudder to think how many pints of that stuff I must have consumed.
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

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    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    From my neck of the woods, it has to be Samuel Webster's of Halifax. The thought of Green Label and Pennine Bitter still make me shudder. It will be interesting to hear Crosste's view, particularly as an ex-licensee in the area, but of the big three Yorkshire bitters it was always Tetleys first, John Smiths second and Websters a very poor third. The fact it was rated behind JS tells you something. A quick bit of research on Wikipedia quoted the 1990 GBG's view: 'Weak flavour(ed), reminiscent of a poor quality home brew - worty, bland, cloying, with a dirty finish on the tongue'
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    Roving RAT ROBCamra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleandhearty View Post
    From my neck of the woods, it has to be Samuel Webster's of Halifax. The thought of Green Label and Pennine Bitter still make me shudder. It will be interesting to hear Crosste's view, particularly as an ex-licensee in the area, but of the big three Yorkshire bitters it was always Tetleys first, John Smiths second and Websters a very poor third. The fact it was rated behind JS tells you something. A quick bit of research on Wikipedia quoted the 1990 GBG's view: 'Weak flavour(ed), reminiscent of a poor quality home brew - worty, bland, cloying, with a dirty finish on the tongue'
    I've been round the brewery. The automatic kegging line was impressive but nothing else was.

    They were brewing Yorkshire Bitter when we were there in a gigantic mash tun.

    The girl who was taking us round asked if there were any questions.

    Someone asked what the "Big Red Button" was for on the mash tun.

    An unidentified voice from the back said "When you press it, it removes all the flavour".

    She was a "bit off" with us for the rest of the tour.

    Our "choice" in the bar afterwards was Websters Green Label or Yorkshire Bitter. One weak and the other weaker.
    A pub is for life not just for Christmas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    Charrington's Anchor Brewery in Mile End was responsible for the insipid Charrington's IPA which was the only real ale option in my first local.The brewery closure wasn't mourned by many but the IPA limped along brewed in other parts of the Bass empire.I shudder to think how many pints of that stuff I must have consumed.
    Charrington's IPA was all there was across great swathes of London when I was cutting my beer drinking teeth in the seventies. Watney's and most Whitbread pubs were keg only. If you were lucky you might find a Courage pub with Director's in it.

    Young's and Fuller's pubs got pretty thin on the ground the further north and east you went - we used to go miles out of the way to find them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    Yes, I think you're right about Paine's EG, I can't remember who inherited their pubs was it GK or Wells?
    Beermad says they were bought out by Tolly Cobbold who were then bought by the famously dodgy Brent Walker. It presumably flogged the pubs off before it went skint and its proprietor had his run-in with m'learned friends. But who ended up with them isn't stated anywhere that I can find.

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