Friday, 22 May 2009

Beer O’Clock: The Bottle of Britain [updated]

The general rule with beer ads is 'the lesser the beer, the better the ads.' Budweiser Light for example has some of the best beer ads around. Q.E.D. you might say.

But "What about Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale?” I hear none of you cry. What of that? What indeed. Here there appears a beer that breaks our rule of thumb. Ouch!

I remember Spitfire Ale well from six months spent renovating a house down in Kent, from which I was supposed to drive back home to London on Fridays after work. My way home however passed by a Shepherd Neame’s pub where myself and colleague would stop for post-work refreshments . . . and the rest of this particular story you can guess for yourself. Many an unplanned Friday night was spent in Kent rather than at home in London, for which I lost several points each week, and frankly I blame the Spitfire Ale. The tasting notes for the beer describe it as follows:

The deep amber Kentish ale piles in the aroma and flavour with three different locally-grown hop varieties adding a wealth of fragrant interest to its bank of well-rounded malts.
This premium Kentish ale has wonderfully generous aromas of tangy malt, soft raisins and sweet oranges, freshened by the floral, grassy notes of three different Kent-grown hop varieties (flowery Target, tangy First Gold and orange-fragrant East Kent Goldings). In the mouth, the finely balanced flavour opens with a blast of rounded malt before the rousing, almost spicy hops follow through to provide a complex, multi-layered finish. Etc.

All I can tell you from memory myself is that it was a damn fine session beer for a damn fine unplanned session. Very moreish. Very easy to drink. Very likely to get you into trouble.

So why am I telling you all this? Because this fine drop also has a fine ad campaign to go with it: Spitfire Ale, the Bottle of Britain. Here’s just a small selection below from a huge offering.


I don’t suspect it’s a big seller in Europe.



RugbyA5versions_1 ad32003thad92003th






  1. the drunken watchman22 May 2009, 18:54:00

    FFS (for fuck's sake)

    we back to having a frigging poetry competition every Friday afternoon?

  2. While in Denmark on business back in '03 I had the opportunity to sample a Spitfire and came away with a souvenir coaster that had the slogan "No Fokker comes close" which sits on my desk at work to this day!

  3. When it makes it over here in the bottle, it's still a tasty drop too. Shame they use clear bottles. Store out of the light to avoid that skunky flavour of light + isomerised alpha acids. But yeah, nicer on handpump at the Sun in Faversham.

    Damn you PC, I want one now and it's only 8:40am.

  4. This has got to be any advertising guru’s dream-account.

    They did an advert for The World Cup Rugby tournament.

    Scene One: Picture of Rugby Ball and caption “Odd Shaped Balls”

    Scene Two: Picture of Hitler and caption “Ditto”.

    Gotta love it.


    PS: Average drop if you ask me.

  5. I remember there being an ad for, maybe, this beer a few years ago that went along the lines of "Spitfire - downed all over south-east England, just like the Luftwaffe"

  6. Wasn't it "spitfire, no wonder so many german pilots landed in kent"

  7. I love the Spitfire ale glasses as seen in pub in Gravesend. There that three lines on the pint glass, one a third of the was down that says -----------Goering,
    another two thirds of the way down
    that says------------Goering,
    and one at the bottom of the glass that says------------Gone!

    The Welshman.


Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
(Spam will be removed, unless it's been asked for.)