Brakspear

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    Single
    500ml
    $9.00
    Case of 8
    8 x 500ml
    $69.00
    Double Case
    16 x 500ml
    $135.00

let's tap into their story!

If you’re wondering where the adorable little bee on Brakspear’s logo came from, we would have to go back to over 800 years ago, when Nicholas Brakspear, a distant relative of the Brakspear family, who was the only Englishman to become a pope. In 1154, Nicholas Brakspear had a papal seal which had an image of a bee, which was the inspiration behind the brewery’s iconic logo.

Brakspear Brewery started with a talented 19-year-old Robert Brakspear, who created the infamous Brakspear Bitter in 1769. Back then, Robert was the pub landlord of the Cross Keys, Witney, and he realised that needed a bigger brewery because the ale was so popular among the locals.
Robert collaborated with his uncle, Robert Hayward, in 1768 and they moved to the Bell Street Brewery in 1779. The brewery was picking up and business was doing very well as locals simply loved Brakspear’s beers. Unfortunately, in 1812, Robert passed away and the brewery moved to New Street in Henley, which was just around the corner from Bell Street.

Along with the new location came Robert’s second son, William Henry, who joined the business in 1825 and became the sole proprietor in 1848. William worked tirelessly to expand the company by acquiring multiple beerhouses and malthouses before passing away in 1882.
Before William’s death, his sons Archibald and George took over the brewery. The two later introduced a new coopers shop in 1886 and a new brewhouse in 1892. Brakspear did so well that it managed to buy out its competitor, Grey’s Brewery, in 1896. After Archibald’s death in 1909, the local newspaper that he helped to establish sang his praises; it detailed the respect, admiration, and esteem he had within the community.

In 1914, John Chalcraft joined Brakspear and became managing director in 1928 for a staggering 41 years and eventually became the company’s first chairman who was not a part of the Brakspear family. It can be said that brewing is genetic, as John’s son, Michael, was a brewing enthusiast and he decided to join the board in 1963.

During this time, Brakspear continued building its legacy by acquiring several pubs and by 1979, the brewery had 130 pubs, as well as some free houses. In 2002, however, Brakspear ceased direct brewing and moved its brewing plant to Wychwood Brewery, which is now owned by Marston's.

Brakspear’s flagship beer

Brakspear Gravity is perhaps the brewery's most iconic and classic offering. The traditional English Bitter formerly known as Brakspear Bitter was first brewed prior to the brewery’s founding, and was actually the catalyst to the brewery’s establishment.

The delicious amber ale is the result of the famous Henley double-drip fermentation system in Victorian copper fermentation vessels from the original Henley Brewery. Brakspear Gravity boasts a crystal malt and a well-hopped bitterness in taste and has a bitter-sweet fruity finish.

Brakspear today and beyond

In 2007, J.T. Davies fully acquired Brakspear and turned it back into a private company, with 150 tenanted and leased pubs. 6 years later, Brakspear opened another brewery where it first started, and it is certainly heartening to see Brakspear brewing in Henley again after over 200 years!

Today, Brakspear Brewery has 7 managed houses with more on the way, and it is determined to not let anything stop its perpetual growth. Additionally, Brakspear prides itself on the distinctiveness of each of its pubs, ranging from upmarket town centre pubs and picturesque country gastro pubs, to traditional pubs at the heart of the community.

Brakspear is not just a brewery; it is a living testament to the rich history and allure of traditional British brewing.
 

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