“The only thing you cannot predict is the future”

Brewers have not been immune from the habit of trying to predict what will happen in the future … and their predictions have sometimes turned out to be wide of the mark, as this extract from the Middlesex Chronicle of 15 September 1934 shows. Nevertheless, some of Mr Watney’s comments from over 80 years ago may still resonate with brewers today, especially regarding what we would now call ‘recycling’.

It was just a year later, in December 1935, that canned beer was first produced in the UK. “Canned Beer Arrives” was the headline in a Llanelli newspaper about Felinfoel’s Brewery, which along with a neighbouring rival brewery, Buckley’s, had been in a race to produce the first British beer in tins. Both South Wales breweries saw the potential advantage of being close to the area’s large tinplate manufacturing industry. The special canned ale which Felinfoel’s produced for King George VI’s Coronation in 1937 proved a particular success. Sanders Watney’s. prediction that tinned beer would never catch on, this side of the Atlantic, never came to pass.