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Unlike the other large brewing groups, which had mostly coalesced around one large brewery, Allied was more like a merger of equals. Those parties being Tetley Walker, Ind Coope and Ansells, which joined together in 1961. And, to some extent, they kept their regional identity. Other than Double Diamond and Skol, they didn’t really have national draught brands.

The grouping made a lot of sense. Tetley Walker was active mostly in the North, Ansells in the Midlands and Ind Coope in the South. Combined, they covered most of the country.

Allied didn’t go for a standard livery across the group, as most of the Big Six did. Well, not quite. The whole group had yellow signboards with brown lettering in a standard font. However, this was accompanied by the trademark of one of the constituent breweries

In the 1980s, this uniform look was dropped and the constituent breweries reverted to something like the livery they had before they grouped together.

In 1973, the group owned eight breweries, split amongst the three original companies. The relatively low number of breweries meant that Allied closed fewer breweries during the 1970s than most of the Big Six.

They also owned two breweries in Holland: Oranjeboom in Rotterdam and Drie Hoefijzers in Breda.

Let’s look at the three members of the group in detail.

Founded in 1857, Ansells grew to be one of the largest breweries in Birmingham. In 1973, it operated two breweries in Birmingham: the original Ansells plant in Aston and the former Holts brewery. The latter had been acquired in 1934 and remained active until 1974.

In 1973, the brewery served 1,890 pubs. Which was less than a third of the 8,000 or so pubs controlled by Allied.

The Ansells brewery in Birmingham was the scene of much industrial unrest. Which led to its closure in 1981, with the Ansells beers being moved to other breweries in the group. Mainly the Ind Coope brewery in Burton. Though the pubs retained their Ansells branding.

Ind Coope

Based in Romford, just outside London, Ind Coope moved into the big boy leagues in 1934 by merging with Allsopp. Whose brewery in Burton they continued to operate in the 1970s.

Two cask beers were brewed in the Romford plant, a Light Mild called KK (1031º) and Bitter (1037º). I can’t remember ever drinking either. Though I might have tried the Mild at a beer festival.

In the mid-1970s, Burton Ale, a cask version of Double Diamond, was introduced. Taken by CAMRA as a reassuring sign of a Big Six brewer taking cask seriously. Despite its confusing name. It being a Burton Pale Ale and not a Burton Ale. Which is a completely different style. At a gravity of 1047.5º, it was amongst the stronger Bitters brewed in the UK. And an excellent beer, when in good condition.

The only other cask beer from Burton was a fairly bland Bitter of 1037º.

Double Diamond, which had been a premium bottled Pale Ale, was first sold in keg form in 1962. It was a big success, becoming the best-selling keg beer in the UK. It was exclusively brewed in the Burton plant.

Tetley Walker
This arm of Allied operated two breweries, the former Walker plant in Warrington and Tetley in Leeds. Each serving one side of the Pennines.

In Yorkshire, Tetley was much better than most of the Big Six. They didn’t mess their pubs around and were happy for most of them to sell cask beer. It’s a brewery I had a lot of affection for. Obviously, it’s now closed.


The Tetley brewery West of the Pennines was a little schizophrenic. It brewed versions of the Leeds Mild and Bitter, but also Walkers Bitter, named after the original firm. They later also introduced a Walkers Mild.

Of the many breweries that once graced Alloa, in the 1970s just two remained: this and Maclay.

Formerly known as Arrols, this was one of handful of brewers making Lager between the wars. When Allsopp went bust just before WW I and John Calder was called in to sort the mess out, the extremely expensive Lager kit was moved from Burton to Alloa.

That kit was the reason this was the group’s principal source of Skol, their main Lager. A beer which had started life between the wars as an Arrol’s beer called Graham’s Golden Lager, with the name being changed to the more Germanic Skol in the 1950s.

Wrexham Lager Brewery
It’s really strange that two of the six breweries producing Lager between the war, two ended up in the hands of Allied.

Wrexham was one of the specialist Lager breweries in the late 19th century. But, unlike most such breweries, it didn’t go bust after a few years.