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Who remembers Watneys bitter?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Their ads when I first bought a pint of beer had the slogan "Wot we want is Watneys!" I can remember ordering a pint of Red Barrel at the age of 16 and knowing no difference, thought it was what beer was supposed to be like. It was some three years later before I had my first taste of real ale and I have to confess it was something I didn't immediately take to, but now would have nothing else.

    For whatever reason, the Campaign for Real Ale picked on Watneys as being the worst example of keg beer and after a time, the brand went under, but most keg beers were similar and didn't get the same abuse.

    My personal venture into real ale only came about because the band I was in were able to get regular gigs in a pub where CAMRA hang out. An oasis in central London where every beer fanatitic and weido would flock to. For all I know, I might have had Nigel Farage bump into the table we put our beer on and knock a pint of mine over when he was drunk and leading the audience in a chorus of the Irish Rover. It was quite a raucous place in that sense, but never a threatening atmosphere.

    I was reflecting that thank goodness we can get proper beer in most pubs now, but before I had the chance to try it, Watneys didn't seem too bad and nobody other than CAMRA was complaining about it, so maybe it wasn't as bad as they made out after all?

    Like everything though, we all have our own tastes. Lager will be last on my list of beer choices, but for others it's their first choice, so I wondered whether there are those among who lament the demise of the Watneys brewery and are able to say why.
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Our village pub in the 1970s stocked Greenalls lager, which some marketing genius had rendered authentic by translating the name of the brewery into German. Naturlich, the ads featured buxom, braided blonde barmaids and chaps in lederhosen: ‘Noch ein Stein Grünhalle, bitte, mein glücklicher Gastwirt!’

    Having been weaned on William Younger’s Scotch Ales, American ‘beer’ was something of a shock when Mrs M and I first visited the USA in the mid-eighties. Our son, whose christening was celebrated with a pin of Everard’s Tiger, is married to an American girl and our recent yearly visits to Minnesota have taken us to both micro and macro breweries where the craft beer is usually excellent, if occasionally bizarre. At a Christmas event we attended a couple of years back the venue was warehouse with a dozen guest beers and the clientele of several hundred was mainly drawn (!) from the young and upwardly mobile of both sexes with hardly a beard or pair of socks with sandals in sight.
  3. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    I wish that I couldn't remember watmey's.

    American beer has improved immeasurably.
    artboyusa likes this.
  4. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    "Roll out Red Barrel, Let's have Red Barrel tonight
    Roll out Red Barrel/ A pint refreshing and light.". Sing along!

    Watneys, Allbright, Welsh Bitter. The reasons I never drank beer until CAMRA got hold of it. And Harp lager. :eek:
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    During my student days I won a party seven can of Watney's Red Barrel in a pub raffle. We kicked it all the way home, by which time it had burst. No way would you be seen drinking the stuff. The Monty Python Spanish holiday sketch had something to do with its poor reputation in student folklore.

    Ruddles County was the local real ale at home, and I quite liked it. When working in the summer on the Isle of Wight I can recall making considerable effort on our days off to visit a pub that served draught London Pride. I still like London Pride, although its brand name must have different connotations these days.

    Nowadays I prefer Belgian Trappist beer, and stock up whenever we're travelling across the Channel.
    Duke of York and nomad like this.
  6. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Watney's was like making love in a canoe.
  7. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I remember Watneys from ads on the telly, our local regional variant was Whitbread Trophy with an ad that went "Whibread Bighead! Trophy bitter, the pint that thinks it's a quart". That was awful too.
    nomad and Aquamarina1234 like this.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    The last time I heard watneys red barrel mentioned was in a neighborhood bar in chicago in the early 90s.
    The locals thought it was pretty cool to have english beer on tap. I explained, perhaps not too diplomatically, that it was not a revered beer in england.

    I gave up drinking beer in america as it gave me massive headaches after even one beer. I switched to tequilla and never looked back.
  9. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    If you're ever back down that way, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Fullers who make London Pride, bought Gales, which was a Hampshire brewey that owned every other pub, so these days London Pride is common around the area.
  10. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I called my hamster Watney - it was my Dad's idea. After what you have all said I now wonder why.
  11. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    There was also "Double Diamond works wonders"

    lexus300 likes this.
  12. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    As an under age drinker in the 60's I quite liked DD. :rolleyes:
    Later I graduated to Marston's Pedigree then on to Bass.
    Nowadays I prefer a glass of red preferably with a meal.
  13. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

  14. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    What one had the slogan "It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly, it does you good"?
  15. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Mackeson Stout. (As voiced by Bernard Miles).
    Aquamarina1234 likes this.
  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I lived in Wandsworth in the 1970s, a time when Whitbread were running localised advertising. One huge billboard was adorned with a picture of a pint of Trophy with the words "Big heads go down well in Wandsworth ".

    Within 24 hours it had been spray painted "**** off! This is Young's bitter country".
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  17. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter


    Mackeson was a bit sweet for me, and I preferred Guiness.
    Mangleworzle likes this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Was it Watneys Party Seven? Those giant tins!
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    There were two sizes - Party Four and Party Seven.

    Ruddles County did four pint cans too.
    ROSIEGIRL likes this.
  20. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Ruddles County - Now there is a beer - The Beehive in Grassmarket Edinburgh sold an excellent pint.

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