1978 Carling Black Label

1978 Carling Black Label ad

Carling brands are currently owned by the Molson Coors Brewing Company. In South Africa it is distributed by SABMiller.

Carling Black Label is the name of a brand of Canadian lager in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and South Africa. In Sweden it is known as Carling Premier.


The history of Carling dates back to 1818, when Thomas Carling, a farmer from the English county of Yorkshire, took his family to eastern Canada, settling at what is now the city of London, Ontario. During his first year there Carling cleared a small area of land.He called on his neighbours to help at a “stumping bee”, a cooperative effort in which each man brought his own oxen and tools and the land was cleared of tree stumps. All the neighbours asked inreturn was food and refreshment. Thomas Carling’s refreshment, a home-brewed ale, was of such quality that soon he was brewing it for other stumping bees.It grew so popular that he abandoned farming for full-time brewing. The first Carling brewery was a modest affair – two kettles, a horse to turn the grinding mill and six men to work on the mash tubs. Carling was his own sales and shipping department. He started by selling his beer,on the streets of London, Ontario,from a wheelbarrow.

In 1840 Carling began a small brewing operation in London, Ontario, Canada selling beer to soldiers at the local camp. By 1878, when his sons, John and William, built a new six-storey brewery in London, Carling was a household name in Canada. The new brewery was destroyed by a fire just a year after opening. Thomas Carling,shortly after helping to fight the fire,died of pneumonia.

His sons William and John took over, naming it the W & J Carling Brewing Co. John Carling died in 1911 and the company has changed hands numerous times since. It was acquired by Canadian Breweries Limited which was eventually re-named Carling O’Keefe, which merged with Molson, which then merged with Coors to form Molson Coors Brewing Company.

In 1999 Carling achieved sales of one billion pints in the UK, breaking the previous record and strengthening its position as the best selling lager. In 2007 they sold 2.3 billion pints in the UK, over six billion worldwide. During 2009 the sales reached a new record with 4.1 billion pints, and 11.6 billion pints worldwide. And the estimated worldwide sales during 2010 is 17.6 billion pints due to a new worldwide campaign they are planning for the year, starting early February. Despite this, the organisation lost its sponsorship deal with the Reading and Leeds festivals, which lasted between 1998 and 2007, resulting in lost revenue that would have been mostly made from pints sold at the event.Also Carling went on to lose its sponsorship deals with the UK’s academy venues to O2, alongside losing the Hammersmith Apollo to LiveNation.

Carling are the main sponsors of the Scottish national football team, and from 2010–2011 will be the sponsors of the Scottish Cup. Carling are also the head sponsors of the Football League Cup, currently called the Carling Cup.

One of the largest pub chains in the UK, Wetherspoons, decided in September 2009 not to sell Carling anymore.They have instead entered into a seven-year exclusive deal with the Danish brewery Carlsberg.

info gleaned from Wikipedia

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