The choice of beer available today is almost limitless. There seems to be more styles and beers than ever before. But what about those popular beers of yesteryear that lay in the beer graveyard. What discontinued beer would you like to see come back?
There are reasons why so many beers have gone forever. A decline in popularity or a brewery takeover are the two main reasons a beer gets dropped. However that doesn’t stop us missing some classic beers of the past.
What Discontinued Beer Would You Like To See Come Back?
The likes of the original Ind Coope Double Diamond, Watney’s Red Barrel and Whitbread Light Ale spring to mind for the British beer market. And maybe Falstaff, Goose Island King Henry or Pete’s Wicked Ale for the American beer market. However there are many more popular beers of days gone by that are missed by many a beer lover.
I wonder if any of these old brews would still stand up against todays beers.
Double Diamond Discontinued Beer
Double Diamond goes way back into the 20th Century. Apparently the words Double Diamond first appeared on a bottle in 1936 from Ind Coope brewery. Which had recently merged with the Samuel Allsop brewery.
Although it is said that Samuel Allsop & Sons produced Double Diamond in 1876.
Back then the style of beer was a IPA. However the beer I remember from the late 70’s was Double Diamond pale ale. TV adverts for the beer used the tag lines Double Diamond works wonders and I’m only here for the beer.
In the 60’s and 70’s it was a very popular beer in bottle as well as draught. It is hard to remember what it tasted like, however I do remember liking it.
Ind Coope merged with Ansells and Tetley breweries to for Allied Breweries. However eventually Carlsberg took over Allied and is said to have sold Ind Coope to Bass Brewery, which is now owned by Molson Coors.
Apparently Carlsberg do still produce a keg version of Double Diamond. But I have yet to find it, and I would be surprised if it still the original recipe.
Watney’s Red Barrel
Another beer from the past I vaguely remember is Watney’s Red Barrel which was a pale ale. Again it is hard to remember the taste, but it was an easy drinking beer.
Although it was said to be one of the biggest selling beers in Britain around 1960, it kind of got a bad name. And by the 70’s was slated by CAMRA (Campaign For Real Ale) who told beer drinkers to avoid it.
Some say that Watney’s Red Barrel was no worse than the beers produced at the time by other breweries of the day. However the bad publicity saw the end of Red Barrel by the end of the 70’s.
Although it did continue as an export beer for a number of years.
Whitbread Light Ale
Whitbread was a huge name in British brewing and produced light ale as one of its beers. I remember drinking this back in the seventies. However I mixed it with bitter, a drink known then as light and bitter.
There is a little confusion around this beer. I do remember the bottle being labelled light ale over a blue background.
However this beer has been referred to as an IPA and also a pale ale, with a label to match. Even though Whitbread no longer makes beer, the light ale has made a come back a few times. Being brewed under license by other brewers.
Again, I wonder if it is the original recipe.
Falstaff Discontinued Beer
Looking at the American beer market, Falstaff is a blast from the past. Originating from the Lemp Brewery of St Louis in 1838.
Once a big name in beer in the US, in the mid 60’s it was the third largest beer in the US and enjoyed by millions.
Eventually popularity waned and in the mid 70’s sites started to close, the original St Louis site being the first. In 1990 the last Falstaff brewery site in Fort Wayne closed.
However Falstaff beer was still produced under license by Pabst Brewing Company until 2005.
A classic American beer that eventually died and went out of production.
Pete’s Wicked Ale
Pete’s Wicked Ale was a brown ale that became a popular choice for many American beer lovers. Pete Slosberg started Pete’s Brewing Company back in 1986 and the beer was Wicked Ale.
By the early 90’s it had become a beer to be reckoned with. At the end of the 90’s Pete’s Brewing Company was bought by the Gambrinus Company which owns Sploetzl Brewery.
However as fast as this brown ale became popular, it also fell out of fashion too. In 2011 the Gambrinus Company stopped the production of Pete’s Wicked Ale.
Although it has gone, I am sure there are plenty of fans that would love to see it back.
King Henry is an English style barleywine produced by Goose Island. It is said to be aged in Bourbon Barrels. However not just any Bourbon barrels, but Pappy Van Winkel 23 barrels.
This gives King Henry a deep body and hints of the famous Bourbon notes along with oak, vanilla and caramel. Although it became a big hit, it is another brew that has dropped by the wayside.
Goose Island no longer produce this 13.4% monster and it was last available in 2011. That is not to say it could be back one day, I am sure some would love to see it back.
So that is some of the beers that have been discontinued. The British ones I have tried and have a fond memory of, but the US ones I never got to try.
How advertising has changed since those commercials.
It is hard to remember those old beers exactly, and if they were still available whether they would hold there own today.
There are plenty of other beers that have gone out of production. If you have a fond memory of a beer you use to enjoy that has now gone. Then do share your thoughts below while you reminisce.