One of the most underrated British beers there is, Mackeson.

I bet readers of a certain age will well remember the very old TV advertisement extolling the virtues of a very special beer. It went something like this “Mackeson, looks good tastes good, and by golly it does you good.” For those younger than Bruce Forsyth’s hair piece this advert aimed to promote a dark, rich , old southern English style of sweet stout once known as milk stout, so-called because it contained lactose, a sugar derived from milk, which added character and calories to the finished beer. Marketed by Whitbread, it was a major brand for many years, even being offered as a draught product back in the sixties.

Since the only Stout beer generally available in pubs these days is Guinness, bottled or draught, it is unlikely that most dark beer fans will have tasted this wonderful brew. At just 3% ABV it is an incredible beer and part of our brewing heritage. Not as bitter as Guinness, some people might say even sweet, it has a complex set of flavours, ranging from dark chocolate, through coffee and perhaps vanilla. It is a very creamy beer that looks great in the glass with it’s cappichino type head and distinct aroma.

As I mentioned earlier, Mackeson was once sold in draught form with some success. Given the enormous innovations the beer dispense industry has made I wonder how Mackeson would fair in the present extra cold, nitrogen filled brewing world. Cask ales continue to be the only growth area in the on trade indicating drinkers may be willing to try new darker brews. Another different type of keg Stout may give Guinness something to compete with and give us drinkers a better choice. In recent years Beamish Stout and Kilkennywere both pitched against Guinness but in my opinion where  not sufficiently different to impact on the brand leader. I think Beamish is still out there if you can find it.

Asda and Tesco sell small cans of Makeson. It is a unique beer that you should try if only once. I think you may get a really nice surprise. And remember this “Mackeson, looks good tastes good, and by golly it does you good.”



  1. Tesco have dropped MACKESON from their stock what do we do now I would gladly buy by X case lots if someone willl supply !!!!!

  2. Fantastic tasting and satisfying beer, rich, dark with a great quenching bite. So much better than all these wheezy gassy lagers. Can you get this beer on draught? I just wish the pubs would stock it more.

  3. I can’t buy Mackeson in Nottingham any more now that Sainsbury’s have dropped it. Tesco don’t sell it and neither do Asda. My last can was over a month ago and I have withdrawal symptoms……

  4. Oh dear!
    I bought some “Mackies” from Asda about a month ago I hope they haven’t stopped stocking it at my store. It is such a great beer and I bet a lot of people have never even tried it.
    Im off to Asda today with fingers crossed. Is this the end of Mackerson?

  5. The guy doing the advert was Bernard miles. He also supported an ad for eggs. It bought a humorous take from David Frost. It looks good, tastes good & who left that bloody egg in it

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