INDUSTRIAL SOUTHWOLD
Brewing
 
9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ - Tel: 01502 726097 email
 
 
 
 
 
OLD SWAN
 
 
How the 'Swan Hotel' looked at the end of the 18th Century
 
 

How the 'Swan Hotel' looked at the end of the 18th Century when the associated brewery was owned by the Thompson family the quality of whose ales was legendary.

Click to see the whole painting

 


A half pint Adnams beer bottle from the early years of the 20th Century, in the Museum collection.


Adnams poster c1900

C1900

1930s

Click the images to view enlargements

 

At the threshold of the 'Real Ale' revolution!
Draymen in Early 1960s

Adnams draymen pictured in the early '60s.
Click to enlarge

The site that is now Adnams Brewery was probably established after Southwold's great fire of 1659 and has been associated with The Swan Hotel since earliest times. George and Ernest Adnams took over from Samuel Haydn Fitch in 1872. George soon pulled out and Ernest set up a new partnership with Thomas Sergeant, increasing brewing capacity and building up a chain of pubs in the area.

Early Adnams advertisement

Left: The back of the brewhouse prior to its rebuilding in 1895.

Right: An advertisement from 1866 featuring the brewhouse

Click to enlarge

  Back of the brewhouse before its rebuilding in 1895
 

The partnership of Adnams and Sargeant became a limited company in 1890 and the capital which was raised from new shareholders was invested in rebuilding the brewery and constructing a number of local hotels.

By the early 1900s Ernest realised he'd overstretched himself and decided to introduce a new partner, Pierse Loftus, with a view to raising additional capital. It was a propitious move. Under Pierse's influence, the business grew by acquisition and was producing 17,000 barrels a year over the following decades. The Loftus family has continued to be assocated with Adnams to the present day.

The revival of 'real ale' in the late 1960s gave Adnams a further boost, resulting in continued brewery expansion. By 1984, several of the cottages in Church Street, as well as the former Brickmaker's Arms Pub, had been encompassed within the brewery, but their external appearance was largely retained and their facades still deceive passers-by until they peer through the windows at the conveyor belts!

In recent years Adnams has continued to go from strength to strength, increasing production capacity by constant investment. It is Southwold's largest employer and Britain's fastest-growing beer brand.

Use the links below to explore the history of Southwold’s other industries.

Brewing
Hosiery and bedding manufacture
Iron founding
Milling
Public Utilities (Gas, water, electricity)
Rope making
Salt manufacture

Shops and Trades

 

     
 
The Sole Bay brewery in 1866
In the beginning
The Sea
Natural Southwold
Fishing
Transport to Southwold
Southwold at war
Christianity in Southwold
Arts & Crafts
Holidays & Leisure
Southwold the town
Southwold Shops & Trades
 

 

 

 
     
 
 
 

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Southwold Museum & Historical Society, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ
Tel: 01502 726097 email

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