Britannia never had it so good! This figure, complete with Cornish flag, Cornish pasty and other novel accompaniments, is an ace cartoonist’s way of celebrating a recent Duchy triumph at the 2008 Great British Beer Festival at Earl’s Court, London.
Betty Stogs, the hugely popular creation of Truro-based Skinners Brewery, chalked up a Cornish first when it won the Champion Best Bitter of Great Britain award at the festival, the undisputed showcase for British beer.
Betty has been Skinners’ best-selling beer throughout the brewery’s 11-year history and her befuddled image on her bottle label has long since become instantly recognisable to many an imbiber across the land.
But after the Earl’s Court triumph, brewery owners Steve and Sarah Skinner decided Betty had earned a new image to reflect her stunning success.
So they commissioned their long-serving cartoonist, Nick Berringer, of Baldhu, to design this new label, aided by graphic designers Stuart Thorn, of Perranporth, and Barney Trevivian, of Truro.
“It’s working title was ‘Betty Waves The Rules!’” says Steve. “The idea was to show Betty returning to Cornwall from London in Coronation style, depicting her triumph with a victory parade.
“There aren’t quite 20,000 Cornishmen on the road with her, but you can see that she is certainly well supported by the Cornish people, with one of them bearing the cup just behind her. We wanted an image that was essentially Cornish and fun and our team have definitely come up trumps once again.
“It looks like being another big hit, with strong demand already for the bottle – very much a pre-Christmas special!”
One hundred thousand special edition labels are being printed and the image will also go on various points of sale and gift mugs.
Betty’s success in the Champion Beer of Great Britain competition capped a series of prestigious awards at numerous festivals over the years.
She is named after a folklore character of west Cornwall, who was unkempt and lazy, could never mend her stockings, couldn’t knit or cook – and definitely liked her ale!
Her child was taken from her by the “small people”, washed in the morning dew and returned. The shock of it is said to have turned Betty into a reformed character.