If 40 years ago, you had asked a beer-buff to talk about breweries in Sheffield, you would have heard mention of Stones, Tennants (by then Whitbread) and Wards. However, it is unlikely that the Hope Brewery would have been mentioned.
Opened in 1939, the Hope Brewery (Clay Wheels Lane, S6 1NB) was the home of Carter, Milner & Bird Ltd. The company was founded in 1892, and registered, at Mowbray Street, in 1899, by Christopher Carter, Eleazar Milner & George Bird. In 1939, due to redevelopment of the area, the original Hope Brewery was closed and a new model brewery was built.
The company merged with Henry Tomlinson Ltd in 1942 after the destruction of Tomlinson’s Brewery, and the name was changed to Hope & Anchor.
The company saw spectacular growth in the 1940s and 50s, fuelled by several acquisitions:
- 1948 Wellington Brewery bought from Isle of Man Brewery, Castletown
- 1954 Wilkinson’s Pine Street Brewery, Newcastle
- 1955 Truswell’s Brewery Sheffield with over 50 pubs
- 1957 Openshaw Brewery Manchester with 125 pubs
- 1958 Welcome Brewery Oldham with three pubs
By 1960 the company had around 250 tied outlets and the telegram address Jubilee Sheffield.
In addition, novel marketing was used. Local artist, Kenneth Steel, known for paintings and advertising, many of which were reproduced as designs for station billboard posters, produced advertising material. This included paintings of pubs on beer-mats, trays and posters.
Hope & Anchor are also featured in the 1950 short film, The Inn that Crossed the Sea. This film was made at the height of the post-war export drive. Beer consumption in the UK was in decline and overseas markets were wanted. It tells the story of exhibiting their beers to worldwide buyers at the 1949 Canadian International Trade Fair in Toronto.
As part of the exhibition, the brewery used 15 tons of material to create a replica of the Old Rose & Crown (Hoylandswaine). They exhibited: Golden Mead Ale, Jubilee Stout, Old English Beer, and from partners, Castletown, Oyster Stout. Local liquor laws meant that beer had to be poured down the drain. However, the 50,000 visitors/day resulted in both lots of publicity and good sales. Their Jubilee Stout was airlifted to Toronto.
A 1952 reciprocal agreement with Canadian Breweries (CBL), led by President EP (Eddie) Taylor saw Jubilee Stout on sale in Canada and the initial entry of Carling Lager to the UK.
In March 1960, Northern Breweries Ltd was formed to merge: Hammond’s United Breweries Ltd, Hope & Anchor Breweries Ltd. and John Jeffrey & Co. Ltd. The name was later changed to Northern Breweries of Great Britain Ltd and in October 1962 to United Breweries Ltd. In 1962 they merged with Charrington & Co. Ltd of Mile End London and name changed to Charrington United Breweries Ltd. In 1967 CUB merged with Bass, Mitchells & Butlers to become Bass Charrington Ltd.
The Hope Brewery became a specialist brewery for bottled beers before it was closed in 1994. For a short period it brewed, one of the few bottled-conditioned beers available at the time, Worthington White Shield (abv 5.6%, original gravity: 1050.5).