George Gale & Co.
Ltd was an old brewery situated in Horndean
, on the edge of Waterlooville
, near Portsmouth
. It made the nutty HSB (Horndean Special Bitter) and the newer Gales Bitter. It took its water from its own well situated under the brewery which is fed from the South Downs
, and the yeast
and 'liquor' (local water used for brewing), coupled with the local brewing style, produce beers
with a sparse head, quite dark in colour.
In late 2005 Fuller's Brewery bought Gales for £91.8 million. It raised fears as to the future of Gales' Horndean brewery and some of its beers, and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) launched a campaign to encourage Fullers to continue production of the full Gales line at Horndean. However, in January 2005, Fuller's began cutting jobs at the Horndean brewery, and it was announced on 27 February 2006 that the brewery would close at the end of March 2006, although distribution and warehousing would continue in the area.
At that point, production of the Gales brands moved to Fullers' Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, with the exception of Gales Bitter which was one of the few beers that were discontinued.
Gale's beer brands
There are a number of beers brewed under the Gales name in Chiswick:
- Gales' HSB (Horndean Special Bitter) is a cask conditioned 4.8% premium strength bitter.
- Gales' Butser is a 3.4% cask conditioned bitter named after the dominant hill in the downs close to the former Gales' brewery at Horndean.
- Gales' Festival Mild is a 4.8% cask conditioned premium strength mild ale, first brewed as a special for a 1990 beer festival with the aim of helping to revive mild ales . Healthy sales quickly saw it become a regular Gales brand.
- Gales' Prize Old Ale is a 9% bottle conditioned beer, sold in a corked bottle.
- Gales' Swing Low is a 4.1 % bitter brewed seasonally around England rugby tornaments
- Gales' Trafalgar is a 4.3% seasonal ale brewed to celebrate the 200th Trafalgar Day
- Gales' Seafarers is a 4.5% ale where a donation from every sale is given to the "King George Fund for Sailors"
- Gales' Winter Brew is a 4.2% winter ale with which is very similar to Prize Old Ale