Monday, 1 February 2010

What Goes Round Comes Round


I read with a wry irony and a feeling of distinct scorn, that Carlsberg has decided that the Tetley Huntsman, relegated to a very minor role in its advertising, is being recalled as a centrepiece of a new advertising campaign for Tetley Bitter. “The Huntsman is at the very heart of what Tetley’s cask ale is all about,” said director of brands at Carlsberg UK Paul Davies. “The Huntsman signifies quality and heritage. In many ways he never went away – but he is now back: front and centre again where he belongs.


Well I beg to differ. The Huntsman did go away. Of course he did, he was relegated to a minor blurry image at the bottom of the new pump clip. But he's back now so that's all right. Or is it? Maybe these twerps at Carlsberg would have been better off leaving things alone and allowing the Joshua Tetley heritage to shine on without their "help". If they had done so, they might just be looking at a success story.

Now I drank a lot of this beer in my early days in England and have very fond memories of it. This just doesn't feel right. Call me cynical, but it seems to me this is just a sop to try and hide the fact that the main bit of heritage associated with the brand is being done away with. I mean of course the brewery at Hunslet Rd, Leeds, founded in 1822, where the beer was first brewed and which the dastardly Danes will close next year.


Oh and another point, it was always Tetley Bitter, not Tetley's!

26 comments:

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

In a similar way to EON sponsoring the FA Cup so that they are accepted by the folks of England after the Powergen takeover? (a sponsorship which is coming to an end now we've all got used to the new powers that be!)

I wonder if the huntsman is an admittance of the inability of high profile and no doubt expensive rugby sponsorships that failed to rescue the decline in sales?

Then again I'm not sure the huntsman would have survived on its own at all, not nationally anyway, given the dominance of John Smith's in that category (where I grew up at least).

Paul Garrard said...

The first Tetley cask beer I ever had was mild. That was in my youth, and at the time I thought it was the best beer I'd ever tasted.

I think the rebranding is a marketing person's idea to 'connect' with the traditional real ale drinker.

RedNev said...

Cynical ploy? More a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the closure of the Leeds brewery. I thought Tetley bitter went downhill after the closure of the Warrington brewery. We all thought we'd be drinking Leeds Tetley; instead we ended up with something worse than both the Leeds and the Warrington brews. Still, I don't welcome the brewery closure; I just think they could and should brew better beer.

My first beer was Tetley mild in Liverpool. It cost me 10d for a half, as I recall.

Curmudgeon said...

Isn't the Huntsman a bit politically incorrect now anyway?

Incidentally, is there any further gossip as to where brewing of Tetley Bitter is to be moved to?

Tandleman said...

I thought of mentioning that, but it would have distracted from my main point.

As for where, I don't know, but I suspect there might be different homes for the cask and smooth versions, unless it all goes to John Smith which I reckon is the only Yorkshire brewery big enough for it in a lump.

Boddingtons has set that precedent, with cask brewed in Manchester and smmoth/keg/ cans in Wales and Salmesbury.

The Beer Nut said...

When are Robertson's bringing back their golliwog?

Tandleman said...

Umm.Dunno. Would you like them to?

The Beer Nut said...

If it somehow made their marmalade edible: yeah, go for it.

Tandleman said...

I'm a Sainsbury's Finest Bitter Seville Orange Marmalade (or something like that name) man myself. I just discovered it a few weeks ago and wish I hadn't it is so good.

Chunk said...

Can highly recommend Sainsbury Finest Strawberry jam too. Most excellent.

What was the official reason for removing the hunstman in the first place? I could understand it being taken away for PR reasons, but it then wouldnt make sense that its been brought back.

Chunk.

Tandleman said...

I suppose some bright spark thought it a good idea. Modernise the brand and all that.

Whorst said...

Fuck The Huntsman! Are you an advocate for fox hunting Herr'man?? The Huntsman signifies bloodsport, which is something civilized people frown on, or is that your idea of entertainment??

Tandleman said...

I'm in favour of the old logo matey boy. That's all.

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

Whilst it's a topic, ASDA Extra Special preserves knock the socks off the competition.

StringersBeer said...

For all of you interested in marmalade, there's "The World's Original Marmalade Festival" at Dalemain nr. Penrith on the 14th Feb.

Private Poontang said...

Tetley Bitter holds fond memories for me.
It was the very first pint I ever drank as a 16-year-old lad who used to sneak out of his boarding school dorm at night to a nearby pub.
The barmaid who poured it for me was also the first person I ever had sex with.
It's funny but I can't remember her name but I remember that first pint as if it was yesterday.
Happy,innocent days,

Tyson said...

Personally I think this is a brilliant move that will not only revitalise Tetley's (sic), but the real ale market as a whole. I predict that in 5 years time all pumpclips will feature a huntsman.

Marmalade is for elderly ladies and gentlemen of certain sexual proclivities.

Tandleman said...

All my sexual proclivities are uncertain these days.

Woolpack Dave said...

Of course most people don't actually care where it is brewed.

ChrisM said...

Tetley, Tetley's, Tomayto, Tomato. I did hear a rumour about Camerons contract brewing it, but that would be outside the remit of keeping it Yorkshire. Then again, does anybody really believe that either? I'd be very happy if the Tetley Milds made a comeback, though; even the Blue Bell in York has stopped selling them.

Tyson said...

Last time I was in Leeds, word was that Black Sheep were the favoured option. I wouldn't be surprised if they do actually keep it within Yorkshire. After all, Inbev, despite closing Boddingtons, threw a nod to tradition (ie no need to change the advertising) and kept the brand within Manchester.

Barm said...

Didn't they do that because most of the cask sales were in and around Manchester anyway?

Tandleman said...

Tyson. I doubt if BS has the capacity.

Tyson said...

I don't know the capacity of Black Sheep, but presumably whoever gets the job, the Boddingtons model will still apply. That is separate the cask and keg production. That way a much smaller producer can handle the cask only production as that is a small percentage of the total. Hence cask Boddingtons could safely be left in the hands of Hydes.

John Clarke said...

Cask Boddingtons is currently dying on its arse. Hydes contracted to brew a certain volume of beer from Inbev and if they can't fill this with Boddingtons they will be given other beers to brew (they make Mackeson, I believe) - incidentally, when they transferred Boddingtons cask to Hydes, the largest market for it wasn't Manchester at all, but the Fylde coast.

Cask Tetley is down to either 20,000 or 30,000 barrels a year (I have heard both figures quoted from people who should know) so I guess there are quite a few breweries that could take it on (even if, as with Hydes) they had to commit to a certain amount of investment first. It will certainly be interesting to see where it ends up. And despite Woolpack Dave's comment , I think where it is brewed matters to a fair few people - particularly those in Yorkshire (and especialy those aboiut to lose their jobs as a result of the brewery closure).

Leigh said...

interesting post - but I can't see Black Sheep doing it, surely they dont have the capacity?