Commercial Brewery Co. Ltd

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The Duke of Cornwall, one of the brewery's tied houses
An advert from an early owner

Commercial Brewery Co. Ltd, 500 Commercial Road, Stepney London E1.

Registered February 1887 with 153 houses.

In 1927 Hammerton & Co. Ltd. acquired their Stepney houses and in 1928 acquired the brewing interests, closing it.

The remaining properties went to Hoare & Co. Ltd.


Commercial Brewery Co Ltd, 500 Commercial Road.

James William West, Commercial Road East, corner of Caroline Street, brewer and victualler, insured 19th March 1838.

In 1844 James William West of 1 Union Terrace, Commercial Road and 1847-49 James William & C West. In 1842 there was mention of a Plow brewhouse in Commercial Road East. In 1866 H West of the Caroline Brewery Commercial Road. Then 1867 James & Henry West, here and also 151 Poplar High Street. In 1862 there was mention of Edward West and Henry West of Commercial Road East and also overseer Ratcliffe. In November 1867 partnership dissolved of James & Henry West at Commercial Road East and Poplar and that year mention of a J West in Greenwich. In September 1868:- Meeting of the creditors of Henry West, of the Commercial Brewery, Commercial-road East, and Bromley Hall, Bromley, by whom a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy was filed in the Court of Bankruptcy. For the purpose of removing or of accepting the resignations of John Blackford and James George Poole, the Creditors' Assignees, and Henry John Waller, the Manager of the estate and effects.

In 1868 assets £553 and property £4,160, but debts of £14,079. On 25th November 1868, due to bankruptcy, there was a sale of the 20 qtr plant and in November 1870 it was for sale, including the York Tap. In 1871 Hester West, aged 76 died, relict of JW West. In 1875 Bonner & Co were at No 500, as the Commercial Brewery Co, Mr Belcher their brewer. On 22nd March 1887 the Commercial Brewery Company Ltd from HE Bonner: capital of £150,000 in £10 shares. Directors: brothers Henry and Edwin Bonner, R Collyer merchant, GT Kitchen brewer, AC Martin, E Price, W Fisher. It had a capacity of 1200 bpw, but with recently erected tun rooms and beer stores it could do 2,000 bpw. They held 61 licensed properties and interests in another 68; the freeholds, plant and goodwill etc being valued at £220,000. In 1888 they had spent £2,200 on repairs and also owned the Commercial Brewery at Southend, which in 1883 had been for sale, being carried on as an agency. The Southend Old Brewery Company Ltd was registered in June 1885, to adopt an agreement with Henry and Edwin Bonner, with Henry Ramsden as local agent. In the November Richard Collyer retired as a director. In May 1892 Bonner vs Collyer, after the latter complained about the accounts, when he won costs.

In 1905 George Thomas Kitchen, head brewer for over 30 years, retired. On 8th March 1916 Edwin Bonner died, aged 73, chairman since the formation. Major HS Bonner died 14th December 1926, head brewer from 1907 and son of the late chairman, having joined the firm in 1897. He had been wounded at Vimy Ridge and never really recovered. His brother Sidney S Bonner succeeded him as head brewer. In 1927 Hammertons acquired their Stepney houses and there was an amalgamation of the brewing interests. The following year other properties were sold to Hoare & Co. The business was presumably wound up in 1937, when Hammertons incorporated.

The brewery occupied most of the northern part of the block between Caroline Street and Dorset Street (now Pitsea Street); and it is probable that 7-19 Caroline Street was the brewery transport depot, with drays on the ground floor and stables on both upper floors or on the second floor. The brewery was demolished for the Troxy Cinema, though the former tap, on the corner of Caroline Street and Commercial Road, survives.