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Monday, 18 February 2013

Goodbye Higsons (again) ~ hello Bier Head!

The beer formerly known as Higsons
The chequered history of Higsons has taken another unexpected turn - well, I didn't expect it anyway. Liverpool Organic Brewery (LOB), who have been brewing Higsons in recent years, having carefully refined the recipe to try to recreate the taste of the classic Liverpool beer, no longer have the right to use the name. They had an agreement with the owners of the brand to redevelop it and market it for a limited period, which came to an end on 31 January. So no more Higsons from LOB.

The good news is that the recipe belongs to LOB,and they will continue brewing the beer under the name Bier Head. LOB say that they have no idea what the owners of the name (one of whom is apparently an employee of Heineken) intend to do with it. If they're thinking of trying to market yet another version, it will suffer from serious credibility problems, being the third relaunch of this brand in half a dozen years. It would have to be good - cobbling together a recipe and calling it Higsons won't be enough - but I doubt anyone would take the necessary time and care over a new Higsons, certainly not to the extent that LOB did.

As you can see, the Bier Head pump clip retains the Higsons red colour and Liver Bird, so it will look familiar on the bar - although I'm sure that the Liver Bird has been slightly redesigned.


  1. There are quite a few beers that live on as recreations, like the Manchester Bitter at the Marble Arch brewpub in North Manchester that is supposed to taste like Boddington's before it was run into the ground by InBev.

  2. Interesting. I never knew that Manchester Bitter was supposed to be like the original Boddies, another beer I used to enjoy in the 1970s.

  3. Nev - Sad that, but the recreation wasn't much like old Higgies in my view. Earlier attempts were better.

    Matt - I think you'll find that Boddingtons started the demise, but InBev sure finished it off.

  4. I can't understand why they didnt just leave the brand where it was. As you say, any attempt to do anything now would be just further devaluing its credibility.

  5. tandleman, the ex head of quality control for higgies stuart thompson who helped with both relaunches and who i worked closely with on the recipe said our version was pretty damn close. obviously there was discrepencies, the water chemistry was never 100% spot, on we used different grain and had to replace a hop variety due to them being not grown anymore. we went for a late 70's winter higsons profile(slightly higher gravity and darker colour as selected by the tasting panel)i have the recipe for the earlier attempt , it bears no resemblance to the brewlogs(spanning over 50 years!)i have been priviledged to study, as stuarts recomendations were ignored

    critch liverpool organic

  6. Critch - I can only speak as I find and readily admit to limited sampling, so happy to withdraw that remark until I taste it again. Ibut I will seek it out when next in Liverpool. I was there a few weeks ago and didn't come across it, but had plenty of your other beers which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Sorry to see the name go. Again.

  7. you and me both mr Alexander, you and me both.

    regards, critch

  8. I was so happy to see it's return, but it's always been as rare as Liverbird's teeth!


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