The Great Watney's debate

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Arcs

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In a couple of weeks time I am gonna start to BIAB. I was going over this book by Dave Line 'Brewing beers like those you buy' first published in 1977. Perusing through this fine book. I found many recipes for beers still sold today. And then I came across these Watney's recipes (ie Watney Cream label, Watney Mann Brown Ale, Watney Mann Special Bitter, Watney Mann Starlight Beer and Watney Mann Mild - but no red) So I thought, hmm I had not heard of this brewery so I'll check it out. I did some research and there seems to be a plethora of hate towards this brewery in particular it's red brew. Hard to judge.

So if you have memories of Watney's brews. I'd like to hear about them which ones you liked or not, even if the views are incendiary. If you had any of these recipes to hand, would you brew them? xD 3-2-1 Go!
 
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trueblue

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The only good thing about Watneys was because because of them CAMRA was born and turned the tide of crap bland keg beers that were taking over British beers. Red was bad, special was worse and starlight I can't describe how bad it was. Aged 16 to 18 I knew no better.
 

Rodcx500z

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The best thing that happened to watney's was it closed, party 7 come's to mind and red
 

Random Badger

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A battered old copy of "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy" by Dave Line was what originally got me into all grain brewing. That was many years ago, but even then Dave Line was already dead and gone and Watney's was just a name from history.
 

Arcs

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Trust me mate, my recollections of watney's are dire and nothing will change my mind
I am not trying to, currently the name is owned by Heineken. But is being rented out by a new brewer who has taken over the mantel of that name with a few new brews of his own ;)
 

Arcs

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I heard the stout was pretty nice though, I don't have the recipe for that :c
 

Manners

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Being of a certain vintage, Id not heard of Watneys until their recent re-launch. However I mentioned it to my Dad and lets just say the review was not very positive and rather colourful in language.

From his description (and the comments here), I can only assume the attempt to bring this brand back to life is reliant upon the rose tinted specs and those hazy memories of the halcyon days of youth to gain a little initial market traction, rather than be another new brewery amongst thousands?
 

darrellm

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Watneys was everything that was bad about beer in the 1970s. But it wasn't just Watneyx, that brand was singled out as the worst of the worst, poor beer was everywhere and it was really difficult to get anything decent. Hard to describe if you weren't there: I went round lots of pubs and clubs with my dad's Skittles team and every single time it was a tough choice to decide what beer to have from the bland range of keg beers on offer. Never saw a handpump back then, and kegging was all about economy. Things gradually improved to where we are today, almost a complete reversal: quality ale mainly served via handpumps.

I'm surprised the Watneys brand has been resurrected so soon, not many of us who were around at the time will have fond memories and just the name and branding puts me off buying what actually might be a good beer.
 

An Ankoù

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The only good thing about Watneys was because because of them CAMRA was born and turned the tide of crap bland keg beers that were taking over British beers. Red was bad, special was worse and starlight I can't describe how bad it was. Aged 16 to 18 I knew no better.
We must be of a similar age since that's what I had to drink otherwise it was Whitbread Trophy.
 

An Ankoù

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Grotneys was well named. I think Ron Pattinson might have some recipes for Red Barrel in one of his books, somewhere. But he's I braver lad than I am.
 

Oneflewover

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I grew up in the shadow of the great Eldridge Pope brewery, so was perhaps spoilt in my youth. Never heard of Watneys, let alone endured it
 

trummy

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'What we want is Watneys' ( No we don't) I am old enough to remember the adverts but not the actual beers. A couple of years ago I had the unfortunate experience of being served a pint of Allbright Bitter - that was as bad as anything I have ever tried, reckon thats a throw back to those grim dark days.
 

Cheshire Cat

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I really don't know why I started drinking beer as in the late 60's in mid Cheshire it was awful. Greenall Whitley, Red Barrel, Double Diamond, Mcewans all crap.
 

RichardM

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I really don't know why I started drinking beer as in the late 60's in mid Cheshire it was awful. Greenall Whitley, Red Barrel, Double Diamond, Mcewans all crap.
Double Diamond works wonders....

I remember Greene King bitter or McMullen's AK were our main drinks when I was a teenager in the late 70s in north Herts. Abbot Ale was the scary, strong alternative
 

darrellm

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Double Diamond works wonders....
Double Diamond was still sold in my old local until about 1992, maybe later as I moved away then. Can't remember anyone actually ordering one as they had Burton Ale on handpump.
 

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