A brief history of some of the lost Shropshire breweries.
Lodge Brewery (Weston Rhyn)
Situated adjacent to the Lodge pub. Founded by James Edwards (born in the Lodge in 1849). At one time J Edwards & Sons owned 8 local pubs – the Lodge & Cross Keys (Weston Rhyn), Butchers Arms (Wern), Cross Keys (Selattyn), New Inn (now Poachers) (Gledrid), Bridge Inn (Chirk Bank), Plough (Rhosymedre) & Hampden Arms (Acrefair). The pubs were sold in the 1920s.
Dorsett Owen & Co (Oswestry)
Located in Leg Street, founded c1865. Merged with Soames Brewery & Green Brewery (both Wrexham) in 1931 to form Border Brewery (Wrexham). The Dorsett Owen Brewery was then demolished in 1933 and replaced with a cinema. Border Brewery was later acquired by Marston’s (Burton) in 1984.
Dodington Brewery (Whitchurch)
Brewery active in Alkington Road from 1838 to c1910
Pearce’s Crystal Fountain Brewery Co (Market Drayton)
Opened in 1861, acquired by Marston’s (Burton) in 1925. By this time Marston’s had already absorbed the Newport (Salop) Brewery Co (Newport) and the Wrights Crown Brewery (Market Drayton). The latter was established in 1880, acquired in 1904 and promptly closed in 1905.
Shifnal Brewery Co (Shifnal)
Hinckesman’s Brewery Co formally established itself at the Hinnington Spring Brewery site in 1897, becoming the Shifnal Brewery Co in 1899. After closing in 1910 it was revived in 1927 before being acquired by Broadway Brewery (Shifnal) in 1934. In turn this was acquired by Banks’s (Wolverhampton) in 1960. Banks’s later merged with Marston’s (Burton) in 1999.
Potter & Co (Wellington)
Acquired by Butler & Co (Wolverhampton), who themselves were acquired by
Mitchells & Butlers (Birmingham) in 1960. M&B had previously acquired A H Clarke (Wellington) in 1945. In 1961 M&B merged with Bass (Burton).
Wrekin Brewery (Wellington)
Established in Bridge Road in 1871. They acquired and promptly closed the Red Lion Brewery (Wellington) in 1924. This had been established in King Street in 1905, and owned 9 pubs, 7 nearby plus 2 Shrewsbury pubs (the Wheatsheaf, Frankwell & the Red Lion, Battlefield). Wrekin was acquired by Greenall Whitley (Warrington) in 1966 along with its 94 tied houses, the brewery closed in 1969. In 2014 the Wrekin name was revived following the move of Ironbridge Brewery to Wellington.
Shrewsbury & Wem Brewery Co (Wem)
Formed in 1895 following the merger of the Talbot Brewery (Wem), the Drawwell Brewery (Wem) and the Circus Brewery (Shrewsbury). The Talbot Brewery was located behind a pub on Aston Street for most of the 1800s until it was closed shortly after the merger in 1900. The Drawwell Brewery was located in Noble Street from 1880 on. The Circus Brewery was established by Henry J Hearn in Bridge Street in 1860, it was closed in 1912. Shrewsbury & Wem were acquired by Greenall Whitley (Warrington) in 1951, who stopped brewing at the Wem site in 1988.
Trouncer & Co (Shrewsbury)
Brewing on the site in Coleham commenced around 1805, the brewery was purchased by Thomas Trouncer in 1845. Trouncer & Co were acquired by Ind Coope (Burton) in 1954, who closed it in 1955. The brewery building has since been converted into apartments. Ind Coope, who also acquired nearby Wrexham Lager in 1945, merged with Tetley (Leeds) & Ansells (Birmingham) in 1961 to form Allied Breweries.
Southam’s Brewery (Shrewsbury)
Brewing on the Old Salop Brewery site in Chester Street first started in 1792, Thomas Southam took over in 1852. They were acquired by Threlfalls (Salford) in 1966, at the time they owned 94 tied pubs. Threlfalls themselves were acquired by Whitbread (London) in 1967, who immediately closed the Shrewsbury brewery (it was eventually demolished in 1983).
“Wrekin Ales” was also used for the beer produced in The Unicorn pub-brewery in Ketley (late 1980s).