Boddingtons Brewery was a regional brewery in Manchester, England, which owned pubs throughout the North West. Boddingtons was best known for Boddingtons Bitter (Boddies), a straw-golden, hoppy bitter which was one of the first beers to be packaged in cans containing a widget, giving it a creamy draught-style head. In the 1990s, the beer was promoted as The Cream of Manchester in a popular advertising campaign credited with raising Manchester's profile. Boddingtons became one of the city's most famous products after Manchester United and Coronation Street.
Whitbread bought Boddingtons Brewery in 1989 and Boddingtons Bitter received an increased marketing budget and nationwide distribution. Boddingtons achieved its peak market share in 1997 and at the time was exported to over forty countries. Boddingtons beer brands are now owned by the global brewer Anheuser–Busch InBev which acquired the Whitbread Beer Company in 2000. Strangeways Brewery closed in 2004 and production of pasteurised (keg and can) Boddingtons was moved to Samlesbury in Lancashire. Production of the cask conditioned beer moved to Hydes Brewery in Moss Side, Manchester, until it was discontinued in 2012, ending the beer's association with the city.
The Boddingtons two bees logo was introduced in 1900. The bees are a symbol of Manchester, from a time when it was a "hive of industry", but the two bees also represent a pun on the company name of Boddingtons Breweries.
Boddingtons largely eschewed above the line advertising until 1987, when it was first advertised on Granada television in the North West of England. The tagline from 1987 until 1991 was "If you don't get Boddies, you'll just get bitter". Under Whitbread's custodianship the comedian Frankie Howerd fronted the campaign in a series of six television advertisements which mainly aired in the North West in 1990–1991. Lowe Howard-Spink was the advertising agency responsible for the Howerd advertisements.