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Report - (Courage) Berkshire Brewery, Reading - October 2010

Adders

living in a cold world
Regular User
#1
Firstly, many thanks to Ali Explores on this. I owe you a Fosters/John Smiths/Kronenburg.

These photos were taken over 2 visits, with DHL, The Engineer, God and a non-member. 2 highly-enjoyable visits with good people, it's just a shame there were no cans left around for us.

Now, I'm no expert in business studies, but I'm going to go out on a whim here and say that the main reason for this plant possibly closing, is that they didn't produce any cider.

Let's look at this conclusive evidence.

Bulmers Cider Mill, Hereford - Open
Thatchers Cider, Sandford - Open
Dick Willows Cider Farm, Box - Open
Berkshire brewery, Reading - Closed

Here's some back and forth history on the company who ran the brewery up until April of this year.

Courage & Co Ltd was started by John Courage at the Anchor Brewhouse in Horselydown, Bermondsey in 1787. It became Courage & Donaldson in 1797. By 1888, it had been registered simply as 'Courage'. In 1955, the company merged with Barclay, Perkins & Co Ltd (who were located at the nearby Anchor Brewery) to become Courage, Barclay & Co Ltd. Only five years later, another merger with the Reading based Simonds' Brewery led to the name changing to Courage, Barclay, Simonds & Co Ltd. This was simplified to Courage Ltd in October 1970 and the company was taken over by the Imperial Tobacco Group Ltd two years later.

Their vast Worton Grange (now Berkshire) Brewery was opened on the Reading/Shinfield border in 1978. The Anchor Brewery closed in 1981 and all brewing was transferred there. Imperial Tobacco was acquired by the Hanson Trust in 1986 and they sold off Courage to Elders IXL who were renamed the Foster's Brewing Group in 1990. The following year, the Courage section of Foster's merged with all the breweries of Grand Metropolitan. Its public houses were owned by a joint-company called Inntrepreneur Estates. Scottish & Newcastle purchased Courage from Foster's in 1995, creating Scottish Courage as its brewing arm.
There's a BBC news article about the brewery closure here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8586000/8586089.stm

Now, I (half) apologise about the amount of photos. A couple of the recent reports have had as little as 5 photos in them, which when you're considering the size of the operation and process contained within this site, isn't enough.

If you're unhappy about looking through 31 photos, then press the red X now.

1.jpg


The Brewhouse.

2.jpg


3.jpg


4.jpg


Brewhouse control centre.

5.jpg


6.jpg


7.jpg


Central control room.

8.jpg


9.jpg


Centrifuge operations.

10.jpg


11.jpg


CCT area - Cold Circulation/Concentration (I forgot) Tanks

12.jpg


13.jpg


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Fermentation silos.

15.jpg


Yeast Block.

16.jpg


Yeast Storage Tanks.

17.jpg


18.jpg


Hop storage.

19.jpg


More in next post...​
 

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