I was indulging in a crafty pint a while when I noticed an old Toby Bitter beer pump fitting sat on the top shelf above the bar. I had not seen or heard anything of Toby Bitter for years.
Toby was at one time very widely available in these parts of the West Country. It was a basic session keg bitter brewed by the giant Bass Charrington brewing company.
The pump adornment I spotted was one of the later ones that took the form of a moulded Toby jug character on a wooden plinth, the earlier ones I remember were square plastic boxes that had a light inside that shone through the translucent plastic with the Toby image and name printed on it.
My memory of Toby Bitter is not fond, it was nothing special and the major changes in brewery ownership along with the returning rise in popularity of real ale killed the brand off. I guess few mourn its passing.
I did find a couple of 1980s television adverts for Toby Bitter on YouTube which portray Toby as “Good honest bitter”. Watch them below and see if you remember them.
I had thought that the keg beer Toby Bitter had disappeared from sale into the annals of history.
It would seem I was mistaken as when I popped into the Rock Point Inn in Lyme Regis in late 2015 I was surprised to see the old familiar Toby Bitter logo on one of their pumps. I mentioned I had not seen Toby for years and was told I was not the first to say that. By the time I spotted the beer pump handle I had already bought a real ale so did not get the chance to wander down memory lane and see if Toby Bitter is as bad as I remember it to be.
I have not seen it again since.