Answers to follow here.
Later that same day… Answers are pouring in and many of you have guessed correctly that the brewer to be closed is Young’s of Wandsworth, Britain’s oldest whose beers are to be brewed by Charles Wells of Bedford. Many of you therefore think I am referring to Young’s wine arm, Cockburn & Campbell, but I did refer specifically to a fine wine trader, rather than a general merchant. Below is some relevant correspondence. You’re looking for a beer-drinking, south London fine wine trader who is not a grammarian. Come on, come on! (If you are already a purple pager I’ll still give you a sub to give to someone else, or extend your own membership by 12 months.)
fine wine trader sends giant emailout with news of the closure:
WHAT A DISASTER!
THIS IS THE MOST TERRIBLE NEWS......!
My deepest commiserations.
fine wine trader:
Thanks! Some of us are close to tears..............
fine wine trader’s customer:
'Vertically integrated' me arse! [a comment on the jargon in the press release]
My sympathies ...
But as robust mercantilists living in a capitalist economy, you can't have it all ways. Mine's a Pardoe's Bumblehole please, mate, next time you're up.
Robert Rolls, fellow fine wine trader, Hammersmith (crucially, north of the Thames):
What do you expect from Sarf London ! My advice, buy shares in Fullers.
Rob Chase, Adnams:
Diabolical. The first proper beer I drank - after Palmers and Eldridge Pope. Thank god for Adnams. I shall wallow in a pint on your behalf at lunchtime.
Chase Down- but not Out
fine wine trader:
Thank God for Adnams indeed. There's not many real breweries left now........
Have one for me!
24 may (Judgment of Paris re-run day): I can't bear it. I'm dying to give this sub away and the answer seems so obvious to me! A firm of London fine wine traders south of the river who enjoy a pint of Young's... I'm still being sent all sorts of answers that aren't south of the river and aren't fine wine traders. See my recent list of same...
a few minutes later... Congratulations to Ben Williams who has supplied the right answer at last: Farr Vintners. The biggest of all and the only London fine wine trader I can think of south of the river in fact, though doubtless I am overlooking someone. Ben is already a purple pager and is gamely plumping for an additional 12 months of purple prose.