The History Of The Scarsdale Brewery Company
From: InnSpire - Issue 4 – November 1996
The Scarsdale Brewery was situated on Spa Lane behind the buildings that front St. Mary’s Gate, between the Phoenix Hotel and Anchor Hotel. The original business, however, consisted of a wine and spirit merchant on St. Mary’s Gate. One owner, George Mugliston, lived in the large house on St Mary’s Gate, which would become the Scarsdale Hotel and later brewery offices.
The first record of brewing on this site is in the 1840's whilst owned by George's son, Edward. Another son, Robert, was the licensee of the Vaults (i.e. the public drinking area of a wine and spirit business). In 1865 a share issue was raised to form a new company, known for the first time as the Scarsdale Brewery Company. Illegal dealings of a major shareholder resulted in the bankruptcy of the new company in 1878. The business was then run by the liquidator until the bankruptcy case was resolved in 1885, when the concern was sold to Charles Armstrong for £9,100. His interest was short lived, as around 1888 he sold the business to Mr Francis Stevenson, who built up the business, improving the brewing plant and purchasing tied houses, until he was forced to sell the business because of ill health in 1895.
The brewery was then owned by three generations of the Birkin family. Thomas Isaac Birkin, a wealthy lace manufacturer from Nottingham, bought the business for £42,750. His son, Phillip Austin Birkin, took over in 1919, he was responsible for the rebuilding of many of their tied houses. The lost member of the family was Major Gerald Ivor, who ran the concern with his two sisters, Phillipa and Beatrice. When Major Birkin decided to leave the business, a buyer was sought. Negotiations with the Mansfield Brewery in 1957 came to no result, but in March 1958 the brewery was sold to Whitbread’s' of London, although Birkin kept 6 of his pubs which he ran under the name of Scarcliffe Trading Company. After being taken over the brewery continued in operation for exactly a year before being closed in February 1959, the reason given that the Head Brewer was about to retire and the equipment was outdated. As Whitbread's had no other brewery in the area at that time, trading agreements were made to supply beer to the 33 tied houses. Bitter was supplied by Wm. Stones and mild by the Home Brewery. Six of the Scarsdale pubs were also sold to the Home Brewery.
After closure the Scarsdale offices were used for a short time, but the brewery was sold to the Borough Council in 1960 and demolished in 1961. The buildings on St. Mary’s Gate remain today, the offices are Grade II listed and after being derelict for many years are now restored and used again as offices. The old Vaults are now a carpet shop. The Scarsdale Brewery won many medals for the excellent quality of its ales, the top award being a Championship Gold Medal at the 1905 Brewers Exhibition in London. They produced a full range of ales on draught and in bottle, the largest brew being 120 barrels, but only brewed twice a week. The tied houses were spread over a large area from Sheffield to South Normanton (north to south) and from Retford (east to west).
The loss of the Scarsdale Brewery is typical of that time, when small family brewers sold out because there was no successor to continue the business. Its closure in 1959 brought an end to the long tradition of brewing in Chesterfield.
The History Of The Brampton Brewery Company
From: InnSpire - Issue 3 – September 1996
The Brampton Brewery was situated between Chatsworth Road and Wheatbridge Road where the B & 0 store now stands. The date when it was established is unknown, although there was a brewery operating on the site by 1839. In the early years there were numerous owners, often partnerships, the company name changing with each new owner. In 1889, when trading as C. H. Chater & Co. the senior partner, Chater, withdrew leaving the junior partner Harold Soames as the sole proprietor. From then on it was to trade as the Brampton Brewery Co. When Mr Soames retired in 1897, a Public Share Issue was raised to purchase the brewery from him, together with 142 public houses owned or leased to the brewery.
The new company expanded rapidly, increasing brewing capacity on an annual basis until disaster struck in May 1902, when fire destroyed the brewhouse. As production at the time was stretched to the limit it was decided to build a new brewery on adjacent land. This went into operation on May 2nd 1905, the first electrically driven brewery in the country. The old brewery buildings were converted into stores and workshops. The company continued to prosper, even through the restrictions and shortages of two World Wars, now turning its efforts to improving or rebuilding the pubs in its estate. Brampton's demise came after the death of its long serving Chairman, U. H. Tristram, in March 1955. Warwicks & Richardsons brewery of Newark, who had seats on the Brampton Board of Directors, immediately made a takeover bid, which was accepted by 90% of the Brampton shareholders.
On Wednesday 15th June 1955 the lost brew was made, the fact being strongly denied by the management, in the local press. The brewery was immediately stripped of fittings and put up for sale. Various businesses occupied the brewery buildings until they were eventually demolished during August and September 1984 for the building of the B&Q store. It is claimed that the last pub to sell Brampton Ale was the Shakespeare Inn on Saltergate (now demolished).
After the take-over a major problem for Warwicks was the huge dislike locally of their beers, which together with the new detrimental tenancy agreements, forced many landlords to leave the trade and was even said to have contributed towards the suicide of two Brampton licensees. Eventually Warwicks had to brew a new beer to tempt customers back. This was called 'Impy' and was said to be as close to a Brampton mild as could be brewed at Newark. Warwicks themselves only survived until 1962 when they were taken over by John Smiths, who replaced Warwicks beers with those of the Barnsley Brewery, another Smiths acquisition of 1961.
Although Brampton is fondly remembered for its draught mild (o.g. 1035), they also produced best bitter (o.g. 1043) and Extra Strong (o.g.1048). Bottled beers included: Pale Ale; Nut Brown; Golden Bud and Stout. They brewed 5 times a week (6 times at busy periods). The brew size was between 85 and 130 barrels depending on beer type and demand.
Closures of pubs through licensing legislation and town redevelopment reduced the number of Brampton tied houses to around 116 at the time of being taken over. The tied estate covered a large area, the extremities being Sheffield to the north; Denby to the south; Mansfield to the east and Eyam to the west, these being concentrated mainly in colliery towns and villages rather than rural areas.
The sod ending to the story of the Brampton Brewery Company is one which unfortunately has been repeated hundreds of times throughout the country. Unfortunately it also a story of the present, with the closure of Home Brewery and Websters by Scottish Courage this summer. No doubt it will be repeated again many times in the future.
Hardys and Hansons
From: InnSpire - Issue 1 – May 1996
We are to run a series of profiles on all the breweries who supply beer in our region, the first being Hardys & Hansons of Kimberley, Nottingham.
Hardys and Hansons were initially two competitive breweries situated across the road from one another. Hardy's Kimberley brewery was established in 1832 and expanded onto the current site in 1857. Meanwhile in 1847 a second brewery, Hanson's was formed. In 1930 the two family-run businesses combined forces.
The great great grandson of the original founder of Hanson's brewery, Richard Hanson, is the current Chairman and Managing Director of Nottingham's last independent brewery, while other members of both families sit on the main board.
The old Hanson's brewery has been demolished and the maltings closed but they still brew by time-honoured traditions and do not pasteurise their beers. Despite extensive use of modern control systems the process is still very much 'hands-on' and uses open fermentation vessels.
The brewery owns more than 250 managed and tenanted public houses of which 200 serve real ales. Their pubs include 'Ye olde Trip to Jerusalem', reputedly the oldest inn in England. There are around 100 tied houses in Derbyshire with 9 entries in the 1996 Good Beer Guide, of which 4 are in the Chesterfield region. These are; The Chesterfield Bowl (the only 10 Pin Bowling Alley to make it into the GBG), The Three Stags' Heads at Darley Bridge, The Bell at Cromford and The Boat House at Matlock.
After evaluating market trends and listening to feedback from landlords and customers, Kimberley Classic was introduced in 1990. This year Hardys and Hansons are to launch a series of six guest seasonal beers. The first is Raging Rooster, a 4.2% ABV bitter. This is a pleasantly dry beer with a distinct dark oak colour. Others in the series include a stout and a pale lager style beer. To ensure individuality different yeast strains as well as malt and hop varieties are to be used.
The first beer is now available. The remaining five will be launched at two monthly intervals. I sampled Raging Rooster at the Chesterfield Bowl and found it to be a satisfying, malty brew with a good long aftertaste.
In a deal particular to the Chesterfield and Sheffield areas, Hardys and Hansons pubs are to take Stones Best Bitter as a guest ale. The introduction of seasonal ales such as Raging Rooster clearly increases the choice for the real ale aficionados, however in a region with extensive Bass houses, the tie up with Stones could mean that the smaller micro- breweries (of which there are now several in Derbyshire) will have a greater struggle to secure guest beer outlets.