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England Bitter: Carlton & United Breweries’ Sly Nod to the Ashes Stumping Drama

Strewth! The beer-loving blokes over at Carlton & United Breweries have truly outdone themselves this time, putting together a version of the legendary Victoria Bitter that’s bound to get under the skin of those complacent Poms. Yes, you read that right, mates. The VB crew has brewed a bit of ‘England Bitter’ just for our cricketing adversaries.

Related: Get Pumped, We Tried the New VB VX ‘Xtra’ Beer and Copped a 6% Kick!

England Bitter | Image: CUB
England Bitter | Image: CUB

Why, you ask? Well, it’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to the stumping stoush at the recent Ashes match at Lord’s. Our keeper, Alex Carey, got England’s Jonny Bairstow in a stumping that was fair dinkum by the rules but has got the Poms all hot under the collar, reckoning it was a bit sneaky.

As a cheeky response to all the whingeing, warm slabs of England Bitter were sent off to the UK, with a few heading straight to the English Cricket team’s locker room—just a little something to help them get over the ‘bitter’ taste of that stumping.

So, what’s in a name? Well, in this case, a whole lot of good-natured sledging. It’s the ‘Big Warm Beer for our old English foes’ – perfect for a team that needs to remember to protect their stumps and heed the umps. This limited edition grog is being shipped to Old Blighty today.

But the banter doesn’t stop there. To make sure the lads on the English side don’t miss the point, VB is dropping a revised version of their iconic jingle. It’s all part of the larrikin camaraderie that defines our two cricketing nations. And to really hammer the point home, VB’s taken out full-page ads in major Aussie papers just as the third test kicks off at Headingley.

Australian captain Pat Cummins after the test at Lords
Australian captain Pat Cummins after the test at Lords

This little stunt follows the salty move by the English coach, Brendon McCullum, to knock back a beer with the Aussies. VB marketing manager Marc Lord couldn’t resist a jibe: “We know the English are bitter about the Lord’s Test, but when they’re feeling less bitter, we’ve got a beer to shout them … our fresh new England Bitter.”

Not to leave our crew hanging, the brewery is sending some slabs of the new brew to the Aussie team, for taste-testing purposes, of course. VB salutes the boys for securing a famous win in the second test and hopes for more of the same in the rest of the series.

And to top it all off, Aussie fans at Headingley will be gifted with free England Bitter t-shirts today. Just a little something to wear as they cheer on our lads and rib the English team. Get in before the England Bitter fragrance launches, hey!

So here’s to Carlton & United Breweries, doing their bit to keep the banter alive and the beer flowing. After all, it’s just not Cricket without a bit of friendly sledging and a cold one in hand. Speaking of which, what’s on tap at Lords?

Well, here’s the extended menu, according to Man of Many insiders:

  • “Tooheys True Stumping Ale”
  • “Carlton Draught’s Crease Crosser”
  • “Coopers Pale Ale’s Pommie Pilsner”
  • “James Squire’s Stumping Stoush Stout”
  • “Victoria Bitter’s Bairstow Bungle Brew”
  • “XXXX Gold’s Wicket Whinge Wheat Beer”
  • “Tooheys New Twist – Lords’ Lager”
  • “Carlton Mid’s Middle Stump Stout”
  • “Bairstow’s Boddingtons Bitter”
  • “Fuller’s ESB – English Stumping Bungle”
  • “Stella Artois Stumpsweiser”
  • “Beavertown’s Bairstow Blunder”
  • “Carling’s Crease Crosser Lager”
  • “Guinness Draught’s Wicket Wanderer”
  • “Newcastle Brown Ale’s Not-Out Nitwit”
  • “Pimm’s No. 1 – Poms’ Stumping Sour”
  • “Samuel Smith’s Stumped Stout”
  • “Strongbow’s Stumps Cider”
  • “Fosters Ashes Amber Ale”
  • “Carey’s Clean Bowl Lager”
  • “Stokes’ Stumble Stout”
  • “Out of Crease Cider”
  • “Ashes Amber Ale”
  • “Crease Crossing Craft Ale”

Always remember to enjoy these beers responsibly and in the spirit of Cricket! Cheers!