Pedigree celebrates 60 years

30 March, 2012

Marston’s Pedigree is celebrating its 60th birthday with the launch of a special edition bottle.

The “retro” bottle will be on sale from April and will feature the original 1952 label, with an exclusive offer to own one of a limited number of special edition Pedigree pint glasses.

Marston’s had been brewing a pale ale using the Burton Union method since 1834, but in 1952 head brewer George Peard ran a competition to find a name for the brew. Pedigree was the brainchild of Marjorie Newbold, of the brewer’s typing pool.

At the time, Sydney Evershed – the chairman of Marston, Thompson & Evershed – said: “We are now marketing our best pale ale under the name Pedigree Pale Ale, because it is descended from a long line of famous brews and is really a thoroughbred.”

Today’s head brewer Emma Gilleland said: “The Burton Union method of fermenting cask beer is a way of propagating the particular strain of yeast that we use in Pedigree. The yeast grown in each brew is then collected and pitched back into the next one thus perpetuating Pedigree’s unique pedigree. It will be a treat for fans of Pedigree and cask beer to see these bottles on sale – they will be a fitting toast for the Diamond Jubilee.”

Gilleland, who is Marston’s first female head brewer, added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be Marston’s head brewer. Although beer is traditionally a man’s world, making sure our ales go out in top condition is my absolute passion. It would have been unthinkable to have a woman as head brewer in 1952 as Queen Elizabeth was just ascending the throne. Marston’s Pedigree still tastes as good today as it has always has, but at least some things have changed for the better.”

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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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