Hofmeister – There’s a Bear in the Pub and He’s Wearing a Trilby

So far as I can tell Hofmeister never went anywhere near Bavaria and was brewed in the UK by Scottish and Newcastle. It was a 3.2% lager low-strength, low-flavour brew that was, by all accounts, not much stronger than drinking washing-up water.

All that was really of note about Hofmeister were the adverts in the early to mid-80s, by John Webster at Boase Massimi Pollitt, the man who created the Honey Monster, the Cresta Bear and the Smash Martians among countless other brilliant campaigns – and the key figure behind the John Smith’s Arkwright series.

The Hofmeister Bear, named George, lived in the forests of Bavaria, where he used to sit around in his trilby hat bored of watching the leaves fall. Until he tasted Hofmeister Lager, leading him to leave the forests for a life of playing darts, shooting pool, chasing birds, and generally tearing it up in the pub, at the beach, at Ascot, and on the football field.

For great lager, follow the bear. That might not have been strictly true, but it did at least make for some interesting ads featuring what has to be the lairiest, wide boy of a bear ever to feature on UK television.