The beer, made from 100% English ingredients and long promoted as “the drink of England”, has removed the flag of St George from its marketing and is now being branded as “British amber hopped beer”.
However, Kevin Costello, 54, who runs the Haywain, in Bramling, near Canterbury, in Kent - which was presented with a silver award in CAMRA's Canterbury Pub of the Year in 2017 - has refused to adopt the “horrendous” new branding and expressed concerns that it will damage sales at his pub.
Costello commented: “Bombardier always used to have big campaigns around St George’s Day and things like that – it was all about being English.
“But now it looks like an imperial German beer. The beer is the same; it hasn’t been changed. I can’t understand why somebody would change a brand that worked.
“If Bombardier was a Welsh or Scottish beer, I bet it wouldn’t have changed. It’s like Englishness doesn’t matter any more.”
Costello claims the changes, made by Marston’s to keep the brand “fresh”, will have a negative impact on sales of his best selling beer – which he estimates he sells five barrels of per week.
“I’m using the original signage that calls it an English beer. I’ve shown the branding to all of my customers and they hate it.
“If I went into another pub and I saw this branding on the pump, I would not buy Bombardier. I’d get something else.”
Marston’s Brewery, which acquired Bombardier from the beer’s original brewer Charles Wells, decided to make changes to the beer’s marketing in July last year.
A spokesperson for the brewer described Costello’s decision not to use new pump clips, glasses and beer mats as “fine with us”.
“The most important thing is the beer, which has not changed, and of course that the customers continue to enjoy the same great beer they always have.”