Having now consulted the P&BUB King Street Brewing Books for the period 1940-1954, located at the Portsmouth History Centre, I can confirm that Pompey Royal was not originally brewed for the present monarch’s coronation in 1953. I was leafing my way towards the end of the brewing book for the period 23rd February to 8th December 1948, running my eye along the initials of the beers (this shorthand being a habit of the Head Brewer) and their corresponding succession of low gravity figures when I was brought up sharp by a column entry of 605. Up quick to the top of the page expecting to see PR where, instead, the Head Brewer had written out the whole name, Pompey Royal, for its first ever brew on Wednesday 27th October 1948.
I am not disputing that Pompey Royal Golden Ale was brewed during the occasion of the Queen’s coronation - a brew took place on 30th May 1953 - and may have been released as a Coronation Ale. But a beer of that exact name and original gravity was brewed and marketed by 1949 with the first ever brew of Pompey Royal having taken place in October 1948, more than three years before the death of King George VI. Philip Eley suggests that Brickwoods replaced bottled United Pompey Royal in 1962, and this would leave the name available for the re-branding as Pompey Royal of cask Brickwoods Best in the late 1970s.
Eley, P. (1994) Portsmouth breweries since 1847, The Portsmouth Papers, 63, Portsmouth: Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices.
Personal email correspondence from Philip Eley to David Muggleton, 15th November 2011
Portsmouth Museums and Records Services, National Archives, Portsmouth & Brighton United Breweries Ltd, King Street Brewing Book 1948, 412A/7/33, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/onlinelists/GB0042%20412A.pdf