Thursday, 1 October 2009

S&N bites the dust

Another great name in British brewing will disappear in November when Scottish & Newcastle is renamed Heineken UK. S&N was created in 1960 when Scottish Brewers (the result of a merger between McEwan and Younger) merged with Newcastle Breweries. For many years, S&N was the smallest of the "Big 6" national British brewers, finding it difficult to break out of Scotland and the North-east as a result of the dominance of the likes of Bass, Allied Breweries and Whitbread.
But when Allied was broken up and Bass and Whitbread left brewing in 2000, the way was open for S&N to become Britain's biggest brewer. But its fortunes declined instead of flourishing. It went on a rampage of brewery closures, axeing the historic George's Brewery in Bristol, Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, Courage in London, and the Newcastle Brewery. It had won a prestigious guarantee of origin for Newcastle Brown Ale from the European Union but lost it when it moved production to the former Federation Clubs Brewery in Gateshead. It announced it would close the former Courage Reading brewery in 2010.
Last year S&N was taken over by Heineken and many thought it was only a matter of time before the named changed. Heineken is left with the giant Royal brewery in Manchester, Gateshead and John Smith's in Tadcaster. It also owns the Caledonian brewery in Edinburgh that produces the award-winning cask beer Deuchar's IPA. Cynics say Caledonian will survive as long as Heineken thinks Deuchar's is lager, not ale.
The company name will change officially on 23 November.
*The Big 4 British brewers are now all foreign-owned: AB InBev, Carlsberg (which will close Tetley next year), Coors and Heineken.

3 Comments:

Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 October 2009 at 15:59  
Blogger Barm said...

I heard that there is a steady stream of Heineken executives trained in the world of computer-controlled brewing now visiting Edinburgh to marvel at their quaint little Victorian brewery.

6 October 2009 at 16:50  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

I just cannot understand these firms. can they not see that people want local, not some international brew with no identity. So what do they do close the local breweries. Even Green King has become one of them. Run by accountants who want short & medium gains and will end up with a long term disaster.

11 October 2009 at 23:09  

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