English brewery O’Hanlon’s last week announced it would no longer be brewing Thomas Hardy’s Ale. While another brewery could decide to buy the rights, for now, Thomas Hardy’s is a beer of the past.
Since 2003, O’Hanlon’s had been brewing Thomas Hardy’s under license for U.S. importer George Saxon, who had bought the rights to the beer from original brewer Eldridge Pope. Thomas Hardy was created by Pope in 1968 as a tribute to the English author and continued production until 1999, when the company got out of the brewing business. Saxon eventually bought the rights and hired O’Hanlon’s to brew it to the original recipe.
While sales were decent for what was an expensive, niche product, O’Hanlon said they weren’t good enough to justify the difficulties of producing, packaging and selling the beer.
Saxon is reportedly trying to find another English brewery to take on Thomas Hardy.