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Brewery closure met with regret

PUBLISHED: 04:44 03 July 2002 | UPDATED: 12:12 03 March 2010

TOLLY Cobbold's decision to cease brewing was met with regret today.

James Hehir, Chief Executive of Ipswich Borough Council, said: "First of all it's a very sad day that Ipswich has lost its original brewery.

TOLLY Cobbold's decision to cease brewing was met with regret today.

James Hehir, Chief Executive of Ipswich Borough Council, said: "First of all it's a very sad day that Ipswich has lost its original brewery.

"Tolly Cobbold has been part of the Ipswich infrastructure for over 200 years. The building itself is a significant landmark.

"Looking at this objectively, this is the way the Brewery industry is going and some of us, myself included, fought long and hard to stop the brewery being taken over some years ago by a multinational.

"To some extent I am pleased a merger has been arranged with another family brewery from the East of England.

"Most staff will retain their jobs and there are some good possibilities for expansion in the distribution area of the business.

"At the same time the council will help as much as possible with any employees whose job is lost.

"The positive news is that the business is being merged from a positive trading position."

Ipswich MP Chris Mole said: "I'm obviously disappointed to see the demise of Ipswich's last independent brewery. The ability of small scale breweries like Tolly Cobbold to survive has been greatly effected by changes in taste and popularity."

Stuart Bowell, chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of CAMRA, said: "From a CAMRA point of view it is very sad to see brewing cease in Ipswich.

"I know the company has worked very hard to keep the brewing going and it a sad day for Ipswich, the county town to no longer have a brewery.

"Tolly Cobbold is well respected throughout the country and I hope its name will continue.

"They brew a very fine mild ale and a superb winter beer – Tolly Old Strong – and I hope these are continued to be brewed by Ridley's.

"I am pleased to hear there shouldn't be many job losses and that the distribution centre will remain open. However, I do hop the museum will continue and it houses a 1724 Brewing Copper which is of national importance to the history of brewing."

Philip Hope-Cobbold, from Glenham Hall, Little Glenham, said: "It's very sad news that the brewery that has brewed beer for several centuries in Ipswich has closed. With modern brewing methods, I am afraid this may be the future for older breweries."

Mr Hope-Cobbold's grandfather Ivan Cobbold, known affectionately as The Captain, and his uncle John Cavendish, the former chairman of Ipswich Town FC, were both great brewers and great champions of the club.

Ipswich resident William Dennington said: "It's a great pity that Tolly Cobbold has ceased brewing. I really do think that Ipswich should have its own brewery.

"I would have expected it to have merged with Greene King if anybody."

His wife Diane said: "It's especially sad for the people who will lose their jobs. It would have been nice if it could have stayed in the town."

Tony Taylor, of Grundisburgh, said: "It's very sad as the brewery has a long history with the town and has been here a long time. They also created a lot of employment here, I am very surprised."


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