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Here’s to the Ju-BEER-lee! – Britain’s brewers and pubs gearing up for a right royal celebration


With the Diamond Jubilee just over a week away, Britain’s brewers and pubs are hoping for a bumper bank holiday weekend to mark this unique national celebration. With promising weather and the extra pub hours on Friday and Saturday, the British Beer & Pub Association says it expects to sell between 60 and 80 million extra pints of beer, and an extra 7.5 million pub meals over the special, four-day weekend.

Many of Britain’s greatest brewers are also joining in the celebrations, with a growing list of commemorative beers being brewed to mark the occasion. Beers like Glorious Spitfire, Jubilation, and Elizabethan Ale bring together two of the very best of British – Her Majesty the Queen, and of course Britain’s world-renowned beers.

While brewing commemorative beer is a tradition that goes back to the Queen’s coronation and beyond, the Great British pub has changed a lot since the Queen’s reign began. In 1952, traditional cask beer was the beer of choice for the majority in pubs, according to the BBPA’s Beer Genie website. Not so common today, mild, a sweet beer (available in both dark and light forms) was still the most popular beer with working men in the public bar. Bitter was the tipple of choice in the middle-class saloon bar.

Several styles of beer were popular then which have almost vanished now: among them brown ale, milk stout and Burton ale, a strong sweetish dark draught beer which was popular during the winter. Lager, which now accounts for 75 per cent of beer sold in the UK, was offered in bottles in pubs in the late 19th century - but until 1960 it accounted for less than one per cent of the British beer market

These days, pubs are family friendly places where everyone is welcome. In 1952, women rarely went into pubs, particularly during the week, unless accompanied by husbands or boyfriends. In some areas - South Wales, for example - women would not be allowed in certain pubs at all. The public bar was off-limits, but there was often a ‘snug’ which they could use.

The pubgoers of 1952 would hardly recognise the food revolution that has swept through our pubs in recent years. Pub grub was a rarity back then, yet today’s pubs now sell 1 billion meals per year – more than all of Britain’s restaurants. And of course, state-of-the-art, wide-screen TV, the perfect way to watch an historic national event while savouring a great pub atmosphere, was the stuff of fantasy.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“Here’s to a great Jubilee weekend for Britain’s pubs. When it comes to celebrating a great occasion, beer and pubs have so much to offer that says something special about being British. With so many great Jubilee beers on sale, I hope people visit their local to raise a glass to the Queen.”

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.

The full story of beer and pubs in 1952 is on the Beer Genie website.

The BBPA has produced a special certificate for pubs and pubgoers to mark where they were for the Jubilee. It can be downloaded here.

A list of the commemorative Beers being brewed for the Diamond Jubilee, compiled by, follows:

Shepherd Neame: Glorious Spitfire (cask and bottle) ABV 4.2% cask, 4.5% bottle
Theakston’s: Theakston Royal Salute (cask) ABV 5%
Arkells: Queen’s Tipple (cask) ABV 4.5%
Donnington Brewery: Diamond Queen (cask) ABV 4%
McMullens: Jubilation (cask) ABV 3.6%
JW Lees: Diamond Jubilee (cask and bottle) ABV 4.3%
Elgoods: Royal Pageant (cask) ABV 4.3%
Elgoods: M&S Sandringham Diamond Ale (bottle) ABV 5%
Fuller, Smith & Turner: Hope and Glory ABV 4.7%
Skinner’s: Royal Wave (cask) ABV 4.4%
Wadworth: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Ale (bottle) ABV 6%
Wadworth: Red, White & Brew (cask) ABV 4%
Everards: Diamond Jubilee (cask) 4.8%
Hop Back: Cherry Diamond (cask) ABV 4.6%
Marston’s: Sovereign (bottle and cask) ABV 4%
Chiltern Brewery: Jubilee Sparkling Ale (bottle) ABV 6%
Harvey’s: Elizabethan Ale (bottle and cask) ABV 7.5% bottle, 5.0% cask
Hog’s Back: MajestT.E.A. (cask and bottle) ABV 5.2%
Adnams: Diamond Ale (cask) 4.1%
Castle Rock: Diamond Reign (bottle) ABV 4.4%
Acorn: God Save the Queen (cask) 4.4%


Community, Culture & Tourism

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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