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Gallery: Beer advertising through the ages

A collection of beer advertising and marketing books has been donated to The History of Advertising Trust (HAT).

Mike Brown, Brewery History Society Archivist, making official speech at The History of Advertising Trust with Helen McDermott BBC Radio Norfolk

The collection that spans over 80 years comes from brewing companies across the UK and includes bottles, cans, labels, posters, pump clips, beer mats, press advertising and company histories.

Its new accommodation at HAT has been made possible by a donation by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling’s Grants Committee.

Researchers can see how the industry evolved, with family breweries growing into national companies, the popularity of microbreweries, and the creation and development of marketing brands in the 1950s and 1960s.

This includes the development of the Watneys red barrel and how this developed into a distinctive calling card for the brand.

Mike Brown, archivist for the Brewery History Society, said: “Brewing plays a pivotal role in the UK’s culture and economy. The Brewery History Society’s collection provides a unique insight into how the marketing of our national drink has evolved and we are delighted that it is now available to researchers from the industry, historians and beer lovers.”

Chloe Veale, archive and library collections manager at The History of Advertising Trust added: “As the largest archive of British advertising in the world, it is a real coup for us to have received this unique collection concerning that most quintessentially British product – beer.

“Brewers have created some of the most memorable advertising for over a century and this wonderful material will enable researchers to study how beer brands have become part of our national heritage.”

Simon Jackson, the chief executive of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, said: “Marketing plays a vital role in the brewing process. The enormous skill and experience that brewers dedicate to making beer would be pointless if people don’t get the chance to find out about the fruits of their hard work. What is so striking from this fascinating collection is just how often marketers draw on the rich provenance of beer’s natural raw materials and the brewer’s art when  promoting their brands.“

Researchers are able to book an appointment to view the material by emailing or calling 01508 548623.

A small selection of  the beer advertising collection is on the following pages.

All images are courtesy of The History of Advertising Trust,

Brewery Label Album
Promotional Puzzle Pictures. Signed artwork by Barnett Freedman (1901-1958)
Page from a compilation of special Queen’s Silver Jubilee beer labels 1977
Advertisements in the Brewer’s Guardian, April 1955
Four volume publication by Alfred Barnard 1891 (1)
Brewers’ Society health & saftety poster


Beer mat collection – sample page


Leather bound Brewers’ Journals
A second Brewery Label collection


More Brewery label collection


Brewers’ Almanac


Plaque dedicated to late Brewery History Society president Geoffrey Ballard (1929-2009) 9.7.2012

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