Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Hull Brewery

Hull Brewery were prolific in their output of beer in bottles, and so this first selection is just edited highlights of my collection of their bottle labels. What's nice for me, is the thought that a real human artist working on behalf of the brewery actually sat and created the designs by hand - no computers - no C.A.D. I was lucky enough to find a collection of the original artwork for their labels, some of which was used and some that was not and I will feature both here in the coming weeks, as the whole forms an evocative reminder of a better time. Other items of Hull Brewery ephemera will follow - come back soon ...

These are in roughly alphabetical order, with beers they bottled for other people, as well as wines and spirits, at the bottom of the page eventually. The dates are taken from a hand-written 'label history' that I have in my collection, which is not complete, but gives a good idea of the majority of their labels. I'd welcome any additions if any has ones that are not featured here. Click on any image for a closer look - Cheers!

introduced in November 1928

small wartime label (paper rationing) in use from 1939 until 1946

introduced in 1948

introduced in 1963, with later versions have 'minimum contents' details

introduced 1949, discontinued 1953

introduced 1953, discontinued 1954

introduced 1954, discontinued 1955

introduced in 1955 as a glossy label, discontinued 1956

first introduced in round corner form in 1956 (this one discontinued in 1960). I have eight variants of this label, each with differing wording, issued up until 1963

introduced October 1971, half pints only

large wrap around label for ring pull cans issued in 1971, and larger size in 1972

introduced in 1957, and ran until at least 1967 - latterly in cans

introduced in 1963

introduced August 1972

for Queen Elizabeth II coronation in 1953

introduced in May 1925, discontinued in May 1941

introduced early 1900s and discontinued in 1940 (smaller but identical version issued until 1945)

introduced 1946, discontinued 1953

introduced 1953 and replaced in 1955

'extra strong' version, introduced in March 1955 and discontinued in 1962

introduced in June 1962, discontinued in 1965. Further three versions available with gilt background

introduced October 1971 ('nips only')

introduced 1890s, discontinued 1932

introduced 1950, discontinued 1955

introduced 1955 and known as 'the meet', discontinued 1956. At least two sizes issued.

export version, introduced in April 1956

introduced in 1969; three versions available

introduced post 1969, not certain of dates for this style of label, with the repeated words

these arched labels were introduced in August 1972 to celebrate the new white illuminated signs at Hull Brewery pubs

no dates for this one - lovely name -
was it a type of hop, or a family name? Same style as other 1920s labels

self explanatory celebratory ale

introduced c.1900, discontinued 1925

introduced 1925

'war economy' label, 1939-1946

introduced in 1946

introduced in 1963, with at least five variations such as minimum contents etc

introduced August 1972, and kept on under the 'Hull Brewery Mild Ale' name by North Country Breweries following their take-over

one of the last Hull Brewery ales, and introducing the name of their new parent company in 1972

introduced 'about 1932', discontinued 1941

introduced 1953

introduced in 1963, with at least five variants

again, not sure when these repeated word labels came in - but post 1969

introduced c.1900, discontinued 1920s

introduced 1920s, unsure of dates for discontinuation

no idea where this one fits in, but I suspect 1920s or early 1930s

'war economy' label, 1939-1946

introduced in 1946

introduced in July 1962 ('dumpy' only)

introduced 1963 with four differing versions at least

post 1969? - who knows?

introduced August 1972

not sure about this one, certainly post 1965, as it has minimum contents noted

introduced early 1900s, discontinued c.1940

Top Score lager was introduced in half pint bottles in August 1972. Hateful stuff

taken from a 'miniature' -
1950s I guess

Guinness's stout was one of many ales bottled and sold by the company.
This is one of the earliest labels.
Hull Brewery's own stout was discontinued in 1932, so this may be a possible date for the introduction of the dark stuff

... however, the brewery's own label history (authors collection) states this label was introduced 'early 1900s' and 'discontinued in 1932, so is this the earliest known Hull Brewery Guinness label? I guarantee someone will tell me ... this example is pin stamped July 1929

introduced 'about 1932', discontinued 'about 1941'. I have at least four other designs of Guinness label for the Hull Brewery, all pre-1960, but I'm sure there will be more

Bi-centenary label - 1959

possibly the last Guinness label for Hull Brewery, issued in 1965

archived by
the British Library