Anniversary Beers

Knaresborough Mummers have not had a great success with Anniversary beers whether by accident or by not knowing the right way to go about things!

I do have to say that the ideas came from me in the first place, being a long time member of CAMRA and dedicated to the perfect pint in the ideal pub!  At the risk of sounding as if I “can’t run a pxxs-up” in a brewery, I will relate the two stories.

10th Anniversary

In 1984 I got permission from the team to spend some money on a bottled beer commemorating our 10 years in active service, Theakston’s of Masham being the target to provide the beer “Old Peculier” in the guise of “Bold Slasher”.   We would get a limited number of bottles, individually numbered for every member of the team through the years and dispose of the rest as prizes or gifts.   The big problem and the thing that bumped up the cost was the all important label.  At the time there wasn’t any home desk-top publishing and we were referred to the only firm that provided beer bottle labels to Theakston’s brewery.  This was not a problem but we got the labels at the cost of an “arm and a leg” and Stuart Rankin provided a mechanical stamp for the individual numbering.  At the last minute the beer arrived with a workshop arranged to glue on the labels.   What I had failed to appreciate was that Theakston had changed their bottles to a new dumpy “milk bottle” shape, a total change to vintage bottles that one normally sees in collections!

The bottles were presented to as many members as possible on the 10th Anniversary celebrations at Staveley Village Hall on Saturday 22nd December, 1984.   For some time after that, bottles kept appearing as prizes in raffles at the Folk Club, Ceilidhs or wherever we could get rid of them!!  I believe some may still exist in someone’s cellar in Knaresborough – now what about Ebay?*!

30th Anniversary

As the team as a whole was not particularly enthusiastic about my idea, I decided to go it alone with this one, as I was the only long term member of the team.  My objective this time was to have a draft beer and I persuaded the excellent Roosters of Knaresborough to provide one of their bitters, branded as King Slasher (following on from Bold Slasher) to whichever pubs on our Blue Stots tours would take the beer.   The pump clips worked out about 70p a go (my daughter doing the artwork on the computer!) so there was very little expense.  I had reckoned without the strength of the “tie” something that changes in legislation were supposed to have sorted out to give more freedom to smaller brewers.  Instead it seems the PubCos, as they are known, have just as much stranglehold on pubs as when they were brewery owned.  The end result was that only about 3 pubs that already stocked Roosters showed any interest and, come the night of the tour, 2 of them couldn’t be bothered!!

So thanks must go Roosters and the Tap and Spile in Harrogate for entering into the spirit of it – the photo shows King Slasher meeting (and supping) King Slasher – an important photo as it is one of the last outings of THAT jacket!!   (see Ramblings of a Blue Stotter) Thursday 16th December, 2004.

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