George's Brewery, Bristol

Philip George was born in 1750 the eldest of two sons of William George, who was a freeman of the
City of Bristol and owner of a successful distillery at No. 59 Baldwin Street. Philip joined the family firm
and in 1788 purchased Ricketts’s Porter Brewery in Bath Street. Also purchased that year with the
backing of six other Bristol Merchants were the premises of James Grimes, maltster and brewer at No.
16 Tucker Street complete with adjoining warehouse and cooperage, these buildings became The
Philip George Bristol Brewery.

The brewery produced far more than could be consumed in Bristol, bringing about a large export and
country trade, on the 18th March 1789 it is recorded that as well as 100 barrels sent to Liverpool, 80
barrels of porter were shipped to Cork and 80 barrels to Waterford (Coals to Newcastle). To meet the
demand for “Bristol Porter” larger premises were needed and on February 1790 the premises of Bayly’
s at No.2 Counterslip were purchased for the sum of £1,500. In 1791 other premises were purchased
from a Mr. Ellis for £400 and a Mr. Overton for £600. On June 29th 1791 two copper furnaces were
bought from William Hale & Son, Coppersmiths of No.32 Welsh Back which remained in use at the
brewery for well over a hundred years.

In 1816 the Georges’ and Ricketts’s breweries were amalgamated, and at Bath Street they continued
to brew porter, strong beer and west india ale, which were advertised as being superior in quality to
most breweries and inferior to none in the Kingdom. As well as being a successful businessman Philip
George shared his father’s interest in the municipal life of the city and was elected as sheriff of the
City of Bristol on three occasions, 1808, 1813 and 1815. Philip George died at his home in Berkeley
Square, Clifton in 1828 at the age of 78.

In February 1888 Georges’ became incorporated under the name of “The Bristol Brewery Georges &
Co. Ltd.” over the following years several local breweries were acquired by the company.
1889  James & Pierce, The Bedminster Brewery
1911  R. W. Miller & Company, The Stokes Croft Brewery
1912  Messrs. Hall & Sons, The Lodway Brewery at Pill
1918  John Arnold & Sons, The Wickwar Brewery
1919  The Welton (Somerset) Breweries Limited
1923  The Bath Brewery Company Limited
1926  Slade’s Brewery, Chippenham
1932  The Ashton Gate Brewery Company Limited
1956  Bristol United Breweries Limited
In 1919 the brewery was expanded with the purchase of premises on the Counterslip previously used
as a granary by Messrs. Perry & Sons.

1919 also saw the acquisition of the Talbot Hotel on the corner of Bath Street and Victoria Street
which was converted into the company’s offices.

By 1932 the annual output of the brewery was about 250,000 barrels and the bottling plant had the
capacity to produce 100,000 bottles of beer daily, one year’s supply of hops was the produce of 500
acres and the amount of barley used was 300,000 bushels which was about half the total amount
produced in Somerset. Just before the war the company owned and controlled over 1000 public
houses in Bristol and the west country.

In 1961 the Bristol Brewery was taken over by Courage & Barclay Limited and was closed in 1999.
Parts of the brewery complex have since been demolished and replaced with luxury flats.  

see also:                                                                   Back