Mystery Label #8

My turn to contribute to this popular series. We have been really pleased by the number and quality of the responses. Keep them flooding in. Here is one I have had for a number of years. Who bottled it and possibly a more difficult question, who brewed it? I have even wondered whether it is one of those Belgian labels designed to look like a locally brewed beer.

Three Crowns



  • Dale Adams

    Hi Peter D
    If it is an ‘A H’ at the bottom of this mystery label, would lead me to think that it was maybe from Arnold & Hancock Ltd.
    But it looks more like ‘A K’ and although a big clue, I don’t have a clue as to who that is!

  • Alastair W

    It might be from Rogers Jacob Street Brewery, Bristol. As well as using the “crossed bottles” trademark which appears on most of their labels from the early teens of C20th till closure in the 1950s, they also used “AK” as their trademark from the latter part of the C19th since it was their most popular beer. The “AK ” in the mystery label could be their AK trademark although a little more “curly wurly” in style. However, the fact that the label is for “Three Crown” rather than “Three Crowns” is indicative of someone who designed it not being aware English grammar and, therefore, could point to the label being foreign. Mmm – a bit tricky, eh?

  • Pete S

    OK, so I don’t have a clue either, but what if it is K A rather than A K. A quick flick thru Century throws up the following 2 possibilities. Kay’s Atlas Brewery or Knotty Ash Brewery. Mind you Alastair’s comment about ‘Crown’ rather than ‘Crowns’ may well blow my suggestion out of the water. Mind you do the Crown(s) look British? They may well do, so brewed overseas in the ‘colonies’.


    Excellent !!!! Not sure why these comments and even the scan have made me grin !! My views , NOT UK !! Shame Keith or Mike haven’t written their views AGM

  • Michael Jones

    It looks to me to be Belgium’ spoof’ label – but I could well be wrong!

  • Dale Adams

    Hi Mike
    Just exactly what do you mean by ‘spoof’ label? Was this an attempt to make the Belgium market think this was an English beer?

  • Keith Osborne

    I have had this label under Scottish bottlers for years but have no idea who issued it!

    The late David Tew also referred to a Four Crown No. 1 Strong Ale in his notes and I have a label. He has the name “Simon & Co” in brackets next to it but this does not ring any bells re: breweries or bottlers! It retailed at 1/1 a nip bottle before the War. Can any Scottish collectors shed any further light on it as it might then lead to the answer on Three Crown Imperial Ale.

  • Alastair

    This label has really been bugging me. I’ve been researching Dead Brewers Soc files and on delving deeper and deeper till I nearly ended up comining up somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean – which is where you apparently come out if you dig through the earth to the other side – I found that there was a Three Crown Brewery in Pontypool, Wales . Its alternative title was The Pontypool Steam Brewery Company. It Operated until 1881. Now, being that Pontypool is in the UK, and UK brewers used the title of ale known as AK as well as the fact that the Pontypool Brewery was a small outfit serving only the local community from a couple of pubs as well as home trade, I think we might just be getting near to the identity of the issuer.

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