Sunday, 27 July 2008

A special kind of company

"Few companies survive for two hundred and fifty years". That's what it says in the foreword of "Good Company", a history of Scottish & Newcastle, published in 1999. Clearly, even fewer survive 260 years.

They aren't the only brewery to have this "it couldn't happen to us" attitude to takeovers. I've a pile of brewery histories and most of them are guilty of this way of thinking. Especially ones that bought and closed dozens of others.

Does anyone have any idea who now owns the rights to the name Courage Russian Stout? I've been considering buying them. I've plenty of the original recipes. And images of old labels. I'm sure I could find a brewer to do the actual brewing.

4 comments:

zythophile said...

Yes, there seems to be a curse on companies that start producing their corporate history, from Manns (taken over before the book was finished in 1958) to Marstons (ditto 1999 - in fact Marston's ex-chairman, IIRC, had to pay personally for the book to be published).

Who owns the rights to CRIS? My guess would be either Wells & Young's, which now produces the other Courage brands. or a post-S&N takeover Heineken.

Sorry I've not been in touch with an address as you requested, btw, been very tied up with an exciting project I'm trying to have come to fruition before the GBBF. Try writing to me at firstinitialfullname at blueyonder dot co dot yewkay ...

Tom Fryer said...

Found these on the UK Intellectual Property Office website:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=1423401
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ohim?ohimnum=E163188

Only lists S&N as the owner though, so you'd need to contact them to find out what's happened to it.

An attractive idea, btw - buy the name, then get a friendly brewer to help restore it to its former glory. Unlikely to be cheap, but maybe you could persuade a consortium of your readers/fellow beer bloggers to stump up some of the cash - after all, it's a worthy cause :-)

There might even be a book in it too...

Stonch said...

Disappointing that Wells & Young's don't own it, as they might have been prevailed upon to brew it.

A Wells & Young's chap came in my pub today to ask if I had "all the support I need" then was horrified to see I'd dropped both Young's and Bombardier from the bar.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Do it Ron, the World needs it.