A social group promoting the history and amenities of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

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Stow & District Civic Society

 

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Friday, 1st Feb 2019

 

'Winchcombshire'

The forgotten county

 

By Tim Porter

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Stones in his pockets

 

Wednesday 24th April 2019

Malvern Theatre

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Stones-in-his-Pockets

Brewing in Stow

Staff outside the Brewery Tavern (aka Eagle & Child and The Royalist)

The Victoria Brewery, Stow

BS Tavern 1939

The Victoria Brewery was founded in what is now known as Brewery Yard in Sheep Street at the time of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1837. It was founded by 3 local men, 2 church wardens and a librarian, so what they knew about brewing was unclear. Later, it was known as Green’s brewery, after one of the owners. A private well on the premises was used for brewing and the selling of spring water. As Stow wasn’t connected to mains water until 1937 there were regular occurrences of polluted water in the town so this no doubt helped the sale of beer. Beer was seen as being safer to drink than water as the combination of boiling the water during the brewing process and the alcohol content in the beer killed most bacteria.

 

In 1864, a cellar, an engine room and offices were built at No 4 Brewery Yard. In 1870 the main brewery office was built at the entrance with a rather unique design faced with flint. One of the owners was a Mason and so the upper floor was designed as a Lodge meeting place.

 

Opposite Brewery Yard, on the other side of the road, is a driveway to the brewery’s Malt House. Malting is the process where barley is soaked in water to germinate and then quickly dried with hot air to stop the process. Metal railway tracks led across the road to transfer the barley in handcarts.

 

Rising costs and competition from larger breweries caused the brewery to close in December 1913 and it was sold to the Original Brewing Co. in Cheltenham. They sold off some of their assets including 3 pubs to the Donnington Brewery.

The Victoria Brewery, Stow

BS Tavern 1939

Staff outside the Brewery Tavern in 1939 after it was sold off by the Victoria Brewery (aka Eagle & Child and The Royalist).

The Victoria Brewery was founded in what is now known as Brewery Yard in Sheep Street at the time of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1837. It was founded by 3 local men, 2 church wardens and a librarian, so what they knew about brewing was unclear.

 

Later, it was known as Green’s brewery, after one of the owners. A private well on the premises was used for brewing and the selling of spring water. As Stow wasn’t connected to mains water until 1937 there were regular occurrences of polluted water in the town so this no doubt helped the sale of beer. Beer was seen as being safer to drink than water as the combination of boiling the water during the brewing process and the alcohol content in the beer killed most bacteria.

 

In 1864, a cellar, an engine room and offices were built at No 4 Brewery Yard. In 1870 the main brewery office was built at the entrance with a rather unique design faced with flint. One of the owners was a Mason and so the upper floor was designed as a Lodge meeting place.

 

Opposite Brewery Yard, on the other side of the road, is a driveway to the brewery’s Malt House. Malting is the process where barley is soaked in water to germinate and then quickly dried with hot air to stop the process. Metal railway tracks led across the road to transfer the barley in handcarts.

 

Rising costs and competition from larger breweries caused the brewery to close in December 1913 and it was sold to the Original Brewing Co. in Cheltenham. They sold off some of their assets including 3 pubs to the Donnington Brewery.

The Donnington Brewery

donnington donnington 2

The only local brewery still operating today is the Donnington brewery some 3 miles outside of Stow with 17 tied pubs in the area. This was founded in 1865 by Richard Arkell and is still run by the family today using the local water from a natural spring.