John Fuller & Sons

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Courtesy Roy Denison

John Fuller & Sons, Kelvedon Brewery, High Street, Kelvedon, Essex.

Founded 1789.

Acquired by Daniell & Sons Breweries Ltd. 1930.

Brewery demolished 1971.

From ESSEX BREWERS - The Malting and Hop Industries of the County by Ian P Peaty 1992 now out of print ISBN 978 1 873966 02 4

Behind The Star and Fleece public house was a malthouse, owned in 1789 by Fisher Unwin brewer of Coggeshall and in the occupation of James Bickmore, to be followed by Mrs Mary Warwicker, a widow from Feering. John Fuller, Senior, lived at the School House and had a son also named John whose business was a grocer. He purchased the malthouse in 1837 and built his "Family Ale Brewery" behind the Star and Fleece. The malthouse was a large building backing close up to the rear of the public house, the range of brewery buildings continued to form a "U" shape around a large yard, in which stood a detached building, probably the offices and counting house. John Fuller II had two sons, John III and Edwin.

John continued in the brewery whilst his brother Edwin had a grocery and wine and spirit off licence, the only one in the town, further along the High Street on the South-East side. At this time, John II had five employees in the brewery which catered for "Family" trade. His father John Senior died in 1843, his widow continuing to live in the School House. The Star and Fleece had been variously known as The Star and The Crown but in 1829 Joseph Revett evidently put the freehold of The Star, together with an adjacent butchers shop up for sale. Included in the sale was at the rear "a brewery, stabling, slaughter house, bullock sheds, cart lodges etc.". Evidently Joseph Revett's son, Benjamin, who had on the front of the public house a sign indicating that he was "a brewer as well as a butcher", enlarged the premises to form a Posting house, c.1862. John Fuller III had two sons, Percy and Hayward. In 1910 the firms title was changed appropriately to Fuller and Sons, continuing as such until taken over by Daniell & Sons Breweries Ltd. West Bergholt, during the depression of the 1930's.

The range of draught beers available in 1873 were Medium Bitter, Tonic Ale and Pale Bitter Ale, ranging in cost from 10d to 1s 2d per gallon, with non-bitter beers, X T a Household Beer, X to XXXX, Mild or Stock beers, prices ranging from 8d to 1s 6d per gallon; Porter at 1s 0d and Stout at 1s 4d. "Farmers" Ale for "Haying and Harvest" was also produced, with a five per cent discount for cash! Carriage paid on all orders to stations on the Great Eastern Railway, although it was probably not made much use of, due to the very localised type of trade. The brewery continued to operate for some years under Daniell's auspices, a large signboard spanning the brewery entrance to the right of the Star and Fleece Hotel. The hotel was demolished in 1968 and the brewery and maltings complex were demolished in 1971, the site is now vacant ground.

The company had only one or two tied public houses, The Castle and Star, Church Street, Maldon and possibly one at Copford, Colchester. Jobn Fuller III died in 9th November, 1913 aged 64, but during his time he clearly took great pride in his liquor supply, as advertisements in 1892 indicated that the well was 380 feet deep, suggesting that the depth was an indicator of purity. In 1926, Fuller and Sons purchased the Crown Brewery of Thorn and Livermore, Tiptree Heath and closed production down.