Home WiFi still down - sorry!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Matthew Brown remembered

Matthew Brown was a brewery established in 1875; it moved to the Lion Brewery in Blackburn in 1927. Matthew Brown produced a standard bitter and mild, which they sold under the name “Lion Ales”, advertising them as “the Pride of the North”.

In 1984 it was taken over by Theakstons of Masham, Yorkshire [see comment below], which was itself taken over by Scottish and Newcastle (S&N) in 1987. Despite repeated assurances from S&N about the future of the brewery, they closed it down early in 1991, thus confirming suspicions that they had only wanted Matthew Brown’s pubs, not the brewery. After the closure, former Matthew Brown pubs tended to stock Theakstons beers.

Southport had several Matthew Brown pubs: the Mount Pleasant, the Windmill, the Upsteps, the Railway in Ainsdale and the Park Hotel in Birkdale spring to mind, and the first three still have Lion Ales windows. The picture shows a Mount Pleasant window with attractive art deco lettering.

17 comments:

  1. Matthew Brown took over Theakston's, not the other way round.

    There's still a seedy-looking pub called the Friendship in Matthew Brown livery on Manchester Street in Oldham.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, you're right: MB did take over Theakston's. Thanks for the correction.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I quite like Matty Brown's. An exponent of the old electric sliders they were too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That of course should have said "liked".

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Windmill in Seabank Road and the (Little) Crown in Coronation Walk, the Falstaff in King Street - all Southport too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorry fellers for the duplication - hadn't seen the Windmill in there in the original post. As a substitute, may I suggest the Rabbit on Manchester Road, Southport?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember the Rabbit as a Bass pub. It used to sell Draught Bass, Bass Bitter and Bass XXX Mild on handpump.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I vaguely remember Matthew Brown's beers. Although I don't recall any of their pubs in the area of Manchester where I lived, I do remember drinking them occasionally on trips to towns such as Blackburn and Preston.

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow..reading this brings back good memories...my dad worked at matthew brown brewery in blackburn..until s and n made them all redundant..with all their lies...the guys and myself as a child even went on a protest march to the town hall in blackburn to try and stop s and n taking over...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've still got my "Save us all from S&N" badge somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  11. wow...ive got loads of matthew brown things.....that my dad got from the shop you had inthe brewery... i take it you worked there to?...did you know my dad...albert riley ?..

    ReplyDelete
  12. No I didn't work with Matthew Brown, but I supported the campaign to try to save the brewery when it was threatened by a takeover by S&N. Sorry, I didn't know your dad.

    I know a bit about Matthew Brown because they had several pubs in Southport where I live. Some of them still have Lion Ales windows, as you can see in the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I used to work in a pub in Chorley, selling Matthew Brown Beers, from the late 80's - early 90's. After the brewery was closed and distribution moved to Chorley, all the drey men would come into the Shepherds Arms after work. Great days.
    Chorley was full of Matthew Brown Pubs. I started my drinking days with Slalom Lager.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. l used to run The White Bull in Chorley,it was a Matthew Brown pub when l first took over..Matthew Brown beers were very good..Sad when they dissappeared.

      Delete
  14. Judging by some of these comments, there are still fond memories of Matthew Brown, killed off by Scottish and Newcastle.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I actually bought some Matthew Brown shares at the time of the first takeover bid specifically so I could not sell them to S&N. I may still have an old annual report tucked away somewhere.

    Thwaites were always the better-regarded of the two Blackburn independents, though.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My g.grand father was a cooper at the brewery in Preston. I have a group photo of 25 workers taken around 1880's. Does any one know where the archive of the brewery is kept and how I can contact them?

    ReplyDelete

Comments, including disagreements, are welcome.
Abuse and spam are not and will be deleted straight away.
Comment moderation is installed for older posts.