The ales produced by the Bentley & Shaw Breweries of Lockwood, Huddersfield were designed to honour the town’s local football club. Originally I thought that this only applied to two or three brands or brews, but further research has revealed the fact that Town actually featured rather more often as will be seen below. Not only were there a number of different brews, there were also differently sized labels for the differently sized bottles. As a rule of thumb, the smaller bottles had labels measuring 58mm x 75mm whilst the larger ones were roughly 65mm x 85mm.
Everything changed in 1955 when Hammonds closed the Fountain Brewery in Bradford and all their labels changed to Hammonds United Breweries (hence H.U.B. on the later examples below).
Dating all of the following items is difficult although I have managed to find several adverts in Town programmes of the day. The first is from a 1933 programme and clearly shows the label with the FA Cup at the bottom and pretty much perfectly matches the metal sign towards the end of this page.
This second advert is from a 1939 programme and clearly advertises all of the beers that I know of.
The two early labels that I do possess (below) are from 1/2-pint bottles, i.e. the smaller variety.
Below are photographs that I have been sent of the labels which I am missing. As you will see, there are differences in size and also of brews. I also presume that there would have been two sizes of ALL the labels shown here.
And here are two examples of the post-1955 Hammonds United Breweries (H.U.B.) varieties that I have, together with a photograph of one (pale background, blue writing) that I know is out there but is apparently much harder to find.
It’s perhaps worth me mentioning here that in October of 2016 three of the labels above went to auction at Loddons Auctions of Arborfield and each fetched an astonishing price: a large ‘TOWN MILD’ in very good condition fetched £95; another very good large ‘TOWN BITTER’ went for £100.00; a small ‘TOWN ROYAL’ in good condition went for £240.00, so I’m guessing that I won’t be picking up any of these cheaply any time soon!
I couldn’t resist also showing you this enamel advertising sign featuring the F.A. Cup trophy for Bentley & Shaw’s ‘TOWN ALES’, mounted in a double-glazed wooden frame, 915mm x 720cm which appeared in Graham Budd’s Auction of 7th-8th November 2016, with an estimated value of £250-£350, although it was actually withdrawn before it even went under the hammer. It’s absolutely stunning and I really wish that I owned it.
And, still with Bentley & Shaw, I picked up this vintage bottle opener in May 2018. It’s an authentic ‘TOWN ALES’ one with a head in the shape of a panelled leather football, probably dating from the 1930s, and it cost me just £2.20 on eBay.
This beer mat might not class as memorabilia per se, but it is collectable – and there aren’t any more out there now, making it rare! These were produced by Quarmby Promotions Ltd. in 2002 and were only available in the Canalside Complex.
This beer mat, also from Canalside, must have been produced after the one above as it has lost the “AFC” in the motto – and the weekly cash prize has increased significantly too! My thanks got to Jim Clarke for supplying me with this in July 2020.
Another beer mat, this time seemingly produced by the club itself. Once again this was only available in the Canalside Complex – in 2011 this time – and they are very hard to find these days.
BOSUN’S BREWING Co. 2017
’Huddersfield Terrier’ Pump Clip
Although this is not strictly speaking a beer bottle label it is still what is classed these days as ‘breweriania’ and so I feel completely justified in its inclusion. Brewed in celebration of Town’s success in the Championship Play-Offs in May 2017, this design encompasses Skippy the Terrier in a striped shirt and Head Coach David Wagner’s spectacles and beard, together with the familiar blue and white striped background and the legend ‘UTT!’ – ‘Up The Town’. Also of note is the legend around the edge which plays on the popular stadium chant of ‘Ooh To Be A Terrier!’ – clever.
In 2017 Magic Rock Brewing of Huddersfield produced a couple of ales to celebrate Town’s footballing successes. The first was ‘HAT-TRICK’ brewed in honour of Town’s historic Triple Championship wins of 1924-1926. The second was ‘PROMISED LAND’ a beer brewed especially to mark Town’s May 2017 promotion to the English Premier League. Both beers were advertised back-to-back on this one beer mat which employs the club badge and the famous blue and white stripes.