Everything old is 'innovative' at CUB


The action or process of innovating.
A new method, idea, product, etc: “technological innovations”.
You have to feel sorry for big beer marketers. Every day they have to turn up to their desks and think of a new way to put lipstick on a pigtry to come up with new and creative ways to sell their products when sometimes none exist.The release of CUB’s retro labels in Brisbane is an example of digging a little too deep into the makeup kit this phenomenon.

CUB owns the trademark to a huge range of historic beer brands nationally as a result of all of the brewery takeovers that have taken place over the years. CUB has bought breweries and shut down the local labels to concentrate on their core brands. This has left them with brands such as Ballarat Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top that they own trade marks for but for which they have no use. However, if they don’t use them occasionally they can lose the trademark. Rather than forfeit their intellectual property, they wheel out occasional one-off revivals of these brands. All fine, except when they try and dress it up as something that it’s not. They don’t want to call it what it is so they describe bringing an old brand back temporarily as an ‘innovation’. They also also put their brewers in the position of saying things as contradictory as drinkers are more adventurous than ever…so we will give them a comfort brand that reminds them of the olden days. Huh?

I can’t wait to see other ‘innovations’ they have planned. Maybe beer in brown bottles.

The full media release is below, in the meantime it was also suggested to us you might like to watch some gratuitous arse video from a time when beer ads were less culturally sensitive than they are nowin the name of nostalgia.


It was a time when Sallyanne Atkinson was Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, a wink from Matilda the giant kangaroo marked the opening of the Brisbane Commonwealth Games, Expo came and went, pubs still shut at 10pm and Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top were the beers of choice.

Today’s re-release, for a limited time only, of Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top by the nostalgic crew at Carlton United Brewers (CUB) proves that what’s old is new again.

Rarely sighted since the 1980s, these iconic Brisbane beers are sure to rouse memories and bring on plenty of Brisbane history banter across the Christmas table this year.

The revival of Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top follows the breakaway success of CUB’s local Queensland beer, Great Northern, which sold more than 500,000 cartons in less than 12 months.

CUB was keen to stay true to the vintage brands so Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top will look as close to as they did almost 30 years ago. Brisbane Bitter 2011, which was first brewed back in the 70s, will feature that famous 1979 ‘City Scene and Story Bridge’ label while Bulimba Gold Top, which was first released in 1898 stays true to its original blue and gold branding, the colours of the local Bulimba footy teams even today.

These historic beers return under the supervision, experience and know-how of CUB’s Brewing Operations Manager Geoff Day. A brewer of Brisbane Bitter back in the 1980s Geoff said these brands proved that what was once considered old is now back in fashion.

“The success of Great Northern shows there’s a craving for local beer brands. Now we’re going to mix a local beer with a vintage appeal,” Mr Day said.

“Although it’s a limited release, we’re expecting a very positive response from these beers. I think they will take people on a journey, not only down Brisbane’s great brewing past, but also remind them of their own past. We are sure that Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top will appeal to drinkers of all ages, from those who remember them first time around and those who recall their parents or grandparents drinking them.

“I can just hear the conversations around the Christmas table now.”

Mr Day said today’s beer drinker was far more adventurous than ever.

“They are open to experiencing different tastes and styles and are drawn to brands that remind them of home,” he said.

Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top were brewed locally at Yatala, Australia’s biggest brewery. Yatala’s state of the art brewing facilities enable CUB to produce limited edition brands seamlessly alongside the production of 30 beers, one cider and 15 spirits.

Did you know?

  • The key colours for Brisbane Bitter have always been red and yellow, the colours that best represent the idyllic Queensland lifestyle. Accordingly it was brewed to be enjoyed in the warm Brisbane climate.
  • In the 1980s the Brisbane Bitter tag line was “Brisbane Bitter, a taste you can stay with”.
  • Special Brisbane Bitter cans were released to commemorate the1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. They featured particular sports on the front, including: swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, boxing etc.
  • Bulimba Gold Top was first brewed in 1898 in the Bulimba Brewery on the east bank of the Brisbane River beside where the Oxford Street Ferry Terminal still stands today.
  • Bulimba Gold Top, which was marketed as “The Big Big Beer” claims the introduction of the six-pack as a Gold Top first.
  • When Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top were last available to buy, perms were in fashion, power suits were all the rage, video cassette recorders changed the way we watched TV, Live Aid took place, Michael Jackson did the moonwalk, the Gateway Bridge was completed and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre opened.

The limited re-release of Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top are just two in a series of exciting innovations set to hit the Queensland market over the next 12 months.

Brisbane Bitter and Bulimba Gold Top are available now in selected Dan Murphy’s stores across Brisbane. The recommended retail price is $48 a carton. Each 375ml can contains 1.4 standard drinks and 4.9% ABV.


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