Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

24 March

Terry’s Ale: a renaissance for Carlton beers

Thunder Road Brewing’s revival, or renaissance, of Terry’s Ale went public this past week. And a fine launch it was at Young & Jackson pub in Melbourne.

Terry's Ale goes public at Chloe's Bar at Young & Jackson

Terry’s Ale goes public at Chloe’s Bar at Young & Jackson

The historical venue, at Chloe’s Bar, was a perfect setting for the launch, or rather relaunch, of this old recipe.

The nostalgia of the event was capped off by attendance by the authors of the history of the Carlton Brewery, Mike Bannenberg and Andrew Bailey.

Indeed it was Andrew who discovered the brewing handbook of Alfred Terry which ultimately led to the rebirth of an ale in his honour out of Thunder Road.

A blast from the past
The brewers tried valiantly to recapture the ingredients from the 1800s using rare versions of hops and sugar. You have to try it.

Andrew Bailey (centre) presents Alfred Terry's book to fellow ale fans at Y&Js.

Andrew Bailey (centre) presents Alfred Terry’s book to fellow ale fans at Y&Js.

I found it a complex brew; it was no euphemism to say it was interesting. While clearly a great feat in brewing I looked forward to a cleansing Brunswick Bitter after one or two Terry’s.

Thunder Road (and Terry's Ale) brewer Marcus Cox chats with beer writer Charles Coll at the Y&J launch.

Thunder Road (and Terry’s Ale) brewer Marcus Cox chats with beer writer Charles Coll (and shirt) at the Y&J launch.

Where next for Thunder Road?
Thunder Road is clearly cutting some profile with their renaissance efforts and public jabs at CUB’s claim to heritage beer brands. From a PR point of view this is getting good coverage. But, behind this profile, is it building the Thunder Road brand? I think that question is worth another post and maybe another Terry’s Ale.


  • I tried the Brunswick Bitter and enjoyed it immensely. As an IPA tragic I found it a little light on – very clean and pleasant – almost lager. Not what i would have called a classic bitter. Your thoughts?

  • beerlinesblog

    Thanks Richard. I think BB is a great beer. It’s not trying to challenge like many IPAs. I think it’s essentially right in the mainstream tap beer market – riskily challenging the leader – but better in some ways. The definitions get a bit hazy across bitters, ales and lagers I find. Most punters get confused – indeed so do some brewers! I like BB the way I like Matilda Bay’s Minimum Chips; it’s trying to nudge the mainstream offer in the direction of more flavour. In the case of MChips it’s helping to give mainstream lager a better name – well in my opinion. And in my opinion the local lager segment needs it! I just hope they don’t start brewing MChips at one of their big breweries as I understand they did with Fat Yak. The Yak seems to have lost some of the hoppy freshness. Thanks for your note.