Rutland Breweries

 

Baker's Dozen Brewing Co. (Ketton) -

Opened in June 2015, the 'Baker's Dozen Brewing Co.' is run by Dean Baker, landlord of the 'Jolly Brewer' in Stamford.  Its first brew was 'Electric Landlady', a 5% ale.

 

Barrowden Brewing Co. (Barrowden) -

Located in the outbuildings of the 'Exeter Arms', this brewery started life in 1998 as the 'Blencowe Brewing Co.', operated by Peter Blencowe, but changed its name in 2005 when landlord Martin Allsop purchased the company.

Barrowden Brewery

Geeston Lodge Brewery (Ketton) -

Brewing had begun in Geeston in the early 1860's under Francis Whincup, but only lasted until 1916.

The last recorded head brewer, Claude Walker, went to war in 1914 and never returned.  Brewing ceased within two years, but the 'Geeston Tap' continued in the brewery buildings until 1970 when it was converted into a private residence.

 

Grainstore Brewery (Oakham) -

Housed in a converted railway grain warehouse, the 'Grainstore' was set up in 1994.  Tony Davies had been Production Director at Ruddles before, and, with the opening of the Grainstore, he re-introduced 'Ruddles Bitter', so reclaiming its protected geographical indication status.

The ''Brewery Tap opened in 1995.

Grainstore Brewery (Oakham)

Ketton Brewery Co. -

Situated behind the 'Northwick Arms', the 'Ketton Brewery Co.' operated from the mid 1870's until 1900, firstly by the Whincup family and then by brothers Frederick and Henry Wilde.

It amalgamated with the @kings Cliffe Brewery' in Northampton, which itself was bought out by 'Smith's' of Oundle around 1910.

 

Ruddles Brewery (Langham) -

Established by Richard Westbrook Baker in 1858, 'Langham Brewery' was sold, in 1876, to Leicester maltster George Harrison.  On his death in 1881 the firm was sold to 'Boys & Style' who also brewed at the 'Shakespeare Brewery' in Southgate Street, Leicester, but they only lasted a year before going into liquidation.

By 1886, Harrison's nephew, Henry Harrison Parry, who owned the 'Brunswick Nrewery' in Christow Street, Leicester, had taken over.

The 'Ruddle' name entered in 1896 when George Ruddle became Parry's brewing manager.  In 1898, a change of policy at 'LB&M' saw them concentrating on town trade and Parry obtained a number of outlets from them, including the 'Old Greyhound' and 'Queen's Head' Billesdon, 'Fox & Goose' Illston, 'Golden Fleece' South Croxton and the 'Cheney Arms' at Gaddesby.

Parry died in 1909 and by 1911 the sale of the brewery, 13 pubs, 3 beerhouses and 6 off-licenses was finalised at a price of £19,500 to George Ruddle.  George died in 1923 aged only 48, and, a year later, George Kenneth Fordham Ruddle (later Sir Kenneth) took over.  He became chairman when 'G. Ruddle & Co. Ltd.' was formed in 1945.

Ruddles 'County' had made a brief appearance in the 1930's when brewed as a mild, but 1950 saw its re-introduction as a strong bitter with immediate success, being awarded a Brewex prize as 'best cask beer'.

 

1957 saw the building of a new bottling plant in association with 'Whitbread's', and, in 1963, to celebrate Rutland gaining independance, they produced a barley wine called 'Victory Ale'.

Tony Ruddle became joint MD in 1968, the year which also saw the first supply of their own label beers to supermarkets and the sale of the 'Bewicke Arms' at Hallaton.

Sir Kenneth retired in 1970 leaving Tony Ruddle as sole chairman, and he immediately tried to expand sales into the London area.

By 1975 output had reached 32,000 barrels per annum, but, only two years later, had reached 100,000 barrels pa.  The business continued to expand and by 1978 Ruddles had 38 tied houses and over 1,000 off-licenses being supplied in the London area.  However, that year saw a big change.  'Whitbread' who owned 31% of the company, wanted to rationalize and sold their shares to Ruddles.  This obviously needed financing and Ruddles achieved this by selling all but one of their tied houses (24 of which went to Everards).  Ruddles retained the 'Noel Arms' at Langham as their only tied house, but also cut back on its supplies to more outlying areas.

 

The 1980's saw a number of changes, including the sale of the 'Noel Arms' and the supply of 'County' to 150 Watnet houses.

 

Ruddles lost its independence in 1986, when 'Great Metropolitan' bought them for £14.2m.  This saw Grand Met's midland arm 'Manns' take Ruddles County in 500 outlets, and although the name 'Ruddles Brewery Ltd.' continued, they were certainly now only a subsiduary.

Changes at Grand Met in 1991 saw Ruddles now owned by 'Courage', followed, a year later, by a sale to 'Grolsch', becoming 'Grolsch Ruddles Brewing Co.' based in Andover in Hampshire.  Changes in the brewing process and a re-branding TV campaign making fun out of the size of Rutland, did not go down well, and, in 1997, 'Grolsch' sold out to 'Morlands', who, only six months later, announced the closure of the Langham plant, which occured in January 1999.

'Morlands', themselves, were taken over by 'Greene King' in 2000 and closed.

Rutland Brewery [Molesworth & Bean] (Ketton) -

Thomas Molesworth began brewing in 1860 and, by 1877, had established the 'Rutland Brewery'at Ketton.  William Bean was taken into partnership in the late 1890's.

There is no mention of the brewery after 1908 and the buildings were demolished in 1926.

Molesworth & Bean's Rutland Brewery (Langham 1890)

Rutland Brewery (Oakham) -

Founded in 1842 by John Crowson, in Cross Street, Oakham, 'Rutland Brewery' (also known as the 'Patent Steam Brewery') was acquired by the Morris Brothers in 1866, who, as 'Morris & Co.' sold the brewery in 1905 to 'Warwicks & Richardsons' of Newarke, who ceased brewing at the site in 1907.

Used as a distribution centre until 1926, the brewery buildings were converted first into a badminton club named the 'Palace', and then to a furniture store before being demolished in 1980.

Rutland Brewery (Oakham 1975)

Stoney ford Brew Co. (Ryhall) -

Small batch brewery set up by Simon Watson and Tim.Nicol in Ryhall in 2016.

Stoney Ford was the name of the crossing of the River Welland and the origin for the name of nearby Stamford.

The breweries 'dray', and mascot, is a.1970 Morris Minor van named the 'Alebulance;.

Whissendine Brewery Co. -

Founded by builder John Jones East in the early 1870's, 'Whissendine Brewery' changed ownership in 1877, and by 1880 was trading as 'Green & Hacker'.  However, the business only lasted until 1893 when it failed.

The top storey of the brewery building was removed when it was converted to a private residence named the 'Red House'.

Whissendine Brewery (1880's)

Red House

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