Founder’s Day 2023

Each Founder’s Day on June 8th, we bring out a special limited-edition beer to celebrate the founding of Hall & Woodhouse back in 1777. In the countdown to our 250th anniversary, we are celebrating key people from the history of Hall and Woodhouse, the home of Badger Beers. This year marks the start of that series with a special ale dedicated to John “Jock” Woodhouse.
Photo of John 'Jock' Woodhouse when younger

John “Jock” Woodhouse

John “Jock” Woodhouse, so named to avoid confusion with his cousin also named John, joined Hall & Woodhouse in 1962 after a distinguished career in the army and eventually served as Chairman until 1988. During his tenure, Jock is best known for creating and growing the much loved “Panda Pop” brand of soft drinks.

Prior to Jock’s accomplishments at Hall & Woodhouse he had forged a successful career in the army, most notably as one of the leading pioneers of the SAS in the post war years.

Jock saw active service with the East Surrey Regiment in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy, and was awarded the Military Cross in 1943 for a patrol raid on German headquarters, before being captured and held prisoner in Italy for the last year of the war.

Photo of John 'Jock' Woodhouse

During his period with the SAS, the then Major Woodhouse was responsible for introducing what became known as ‘selection course’ in 1952, which is now reputed to be one of the most demanding military training courses in the world and has helped to secure the SAS’s reputation as one of the most formidable and capable fighting forces in the world.

When he joined Hall and Woodhouse, Jock was tasked with turning around the small Sunparlour Soft Drinks Company, from which he created the iconic Panda Pops brand, that was a key part of the business until it was sold in 2005, as it was felt that sugary children’s drinks didn’t fit with the views of the business.

Jock was famous in the business both for his fierce punctuality, but also for his kindness and loyalty to friends and colleagues, traits that live on today in the values of Hall and Woodhouse.

Photo of John 'Jock' Woodhouse

Jock’s son Michael remembers him below:

John Woodhouse, or Mr Jock (as he was known at Hall & Woodhouse), was much respected as a soldier and director, and to us he was a much-loved father.

As the elder of two boys, my earliest recollection was of him coming home from work as CO of 22 SAS. We had no real idea what he did, of course, to us he was just our Dad. A move to Dorset in 1965 was a new adventure for two small boys, with a bigger garden to play in and bedtime stories which he enjoyed reading to us, such as Winnie-the-Pooh, a firm favourite.

We had an idyllic childhood, and whilst strict, our father was much loved as we grew up at the family home. His advice was simply this…

“Do your best to be loyal to friends, be unselfish to others and do your duty.”

Old-fashioned common-sense values. He followed these three principles throughout life, in the Army and in the world of business, before he retired as Chairman on 31 January 1998.

Jock's Dedication Strong Ale in bag

The Badger Brewery is proud to celebrate with Jock’s Dedication Strong Ale


Brewed to a satisfying 6.2% to highlight the year Jock joined the board (1962), with hops that spell out SAS – Simcoe, Amarillo and Sabro for tropical hop notes, we celebrate Jock’s Dedication in everything he did.

Malts: Pale Ale Malt, Wheat and Cara

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