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Beer-making returns to landmark brewery

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:47 09 March 2010

BREWING at a famous Ipswich landmark is today a major step closer to making a dramatic revival.

BREWING at a famous Ipswich landmark is today a major step closer to making a dramatic revival.

The first parts of the production plant have been installed in the Tolly Cobbold building and brewing is expected to get under way early in the New Year.

Real ale produced by the micro-brewery could be sold at the adjacent Brewery Tap by the end of January.

The Cliff Road pub is also celebrating the arrival of a new permanent landlady, Lucy White, after opening last month.

Its interim landlord, Jeremy Moss, will now focus on his role as director of brewing at Cliff Quay Brewery, which will operate the ale production.

The bold move comes at a bleak time for the pub industry, but Mr Moss is confident they have the recipe for success.

He said: “It is going to be a tough year, but I think if you offer people something slightly different you stand a good chance. The good operators will weather the storm.”

The development was made possible by the Earl Soham Brewery, which invested heavily in securing the lease agreement and renovation of the site.

The Tolly Cobbold building had been gathering dust since 2002 when the company ceased production after more than 250 years in the area.

The Brewery Tap had also been closed since August.

The equipment for the micro-brewery was delivered to the Tolly Cobbold building earlier this week.

Mr Moss is now backing The Evening Star campaign to get people to support their local boozer amid the economic doom and gloom and stiff competition in the industry.

He said: “Once pubs are gone, they are gone and they won't come back.

“If you haven't been to the pub for a while, you should make the effort to try it and find one you like.”

What do you think about brewing coming back to the Tolly Cobbold site? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n 1723: Harwich Brewery founded by Thomas Cobbold.

n 1746: Cliff Brewery founded.

n 1799: Greene King founded.

n 1840: Original Harwich Brewery closes, replaced by new building.

n 1876: New Harwich Brewery closes.

n 1880: Tollemache brothers buy Ipswich Brewery.

n 1894/6: Cliff Brewery re-built.

n 1957: Tollemache's Breweries merge with Cobbold & Co.

n 1961: Tollemache's brewery closed.

n 1977: Tolly Cobbold taken over by Ellerman Shipping Group.

n 1983: Tolly Cobbold sold to Barclay Brothers

n 1989: Tolly Cobbold sold to Brent Walker, Cliff Brewery closed.

n 1991: Cliff Brewery re-opens after management buy-out.

n 2002: Tolly Cobbold merges with Ridley's, Cliff Brewery closes.

n 2005: Ridley's taken over by Greene King.

n 2008: Old Tolly Cobbold building set to re-open.

CLIFF Quay brewery has endured a turbulent 30 years since Tolly Cobbold was first taken over, by Ellerman Shipping Group, in 1977.

It had two further changes of ownership before brewing ceased in 1989.

Two years later brewing resumed with a “new” Tolly Cobbold company - but in 2002 brewing ceased again when Tolly merged with Essex brewers Ridleys.

That company was, in turn, taken over by Greene King - once Tolly's biggest Suffolk competitor - three years ago.

During its 12 years of independence, Tolly established a reputation as a strong local brewery and was featured by Sir John Harvey-Jones in his Troubleshooter television series.


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