Oak Brewery Ltd
Oak Brewery Ltd, Leverington Road, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
John Gapp is shown as brewing at the Oak Brewery in 1847. James Yates took over in 1858 and was succeeded by J & H Yates. Premises extended in 1899.
Lord Hesketh purchased the Oak Brewery in January 1946, he had previously purchased the Abington Brewery Co. Ltd. in 1942. The two breweries were run independently. Brewing had ceased before Lord Hesketh’s executors sold the premises in 1964 to a Mr Guthrie. He sold it on in 1965 to Mr H Kitchen who developed the site into the Oak Wine & Spirit Merchants.
23 public houses were sold to Lacon & Co. Ltd. in 1964. Some of the brewery buildings survive.
Bob Flood provides the following additional information:-
John Gapp is shown as brewing at the Oak Brewery, Leverington Road, Wisbech in 1847. It is recorded that James Yates took over the premises from John Gapp in 1858. In 1851 Gapp was described as a 43 year old common brewer from Hingham in Norfolk, employing 3 men. Two directories of 1864 and 1865 record John Gapp as a brewer & wine & spirit merchant at the Oak Brewery, however this probably reflects the level of accuracy of many trade directories rather than actual brewery ownership at the time. James Yates died 1st March 1895, he was succeeded by J & H Yates, presumably his sons. The premises were extended by building towards the road in 1899. Some accounts say that brewing had ceased in December 1945 prior to the brewery being sold to the Abingdon Brewery Co of Northampton. However it seems that Lord Hesketh purchased the Oak Brewery in January 1946, he had previously purchased the Abington Brewery in 1942. The two breweries were run fairly independently except that the Oak Brewery sold Abington bottled beers in their pubs. Following the death of Lord Hesketh in 1955, brewing ceased at Abington in 1958 and that company bought in beers from Bass Worthington, it is possible that beers were obtained from the same source for Oak Brewery pubs at the same time. Brewing had certainly ceased before Lord Hesketh’s executors sold the premises in 1964 to a Mr Guthrie, he sold it on in 1965 to Mr H Kitch who developed the site into the Oak Wine & Spirit Merchants. The pubs were sold to Lacons of Yarmouth. Some of the brewery buildings remain.
An assortment of images of the brewery