Reigate Brewery

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Courtesy Richard Symonds

Reigate Brewery, John Landregan Off-Licence, 46 Glovers Road, Reigate, Surrey

Founded November 1983 using a 2-barrel malt-extract plant from Inn Brewing.

Brewing ceased 1986.

Richard Symonds writes:

Glovers Road was run by Cidemon Cooper at the turn of the century. In the 1880's the property was named Hillview Lodge and was the residence of Harrison Ainsworth, author. It is believed that upon leaving Reigate for Manchester, Ainsworth sold the property to Cooper who previously had occupied a brewhouse at 81, Bell Street (now demolished) near the Majestic Wine warehouse. Cooper moved to Glover's Road as stabling in Bell Street had become insufficient for his requirements and that the old premises allowed no room for expansion. (the newspaper cutting is from the Surrey Mirror dated 14 February 1885). He had a beer licence only, one termed a "six bottle" licence - i.e. not allowed to sell less than six pints or four quarts at any given sale. The licence was not to be extended to wines or spirits until about 1940.

The property was acquired by Page & Overton's Brewery Ltd, the Croydon brewers, during the late 1880's and they installed Harry Reeve as manager. Kelly's Directory for 1889 lists "Mr. Reeve. Ale, porter, stout, casks, quarts, pints, Agents for Page & Overton's fine ales and stouts." By about 1911 the occupation had passed to his son Keith G. Reeve.

On the 24th October 1912, William Dennis Landregan took over management of what had by then become an off-licence, and in 1949 was succeeded by his son John, who retired on 1st February, 1977.

As a lad, John Landregan remembered seeing in the yard a pair of coppers in which the brews were put through - presumably by Mr Cooper. These were cleared away in the early 1930's when the brewhouse outbuildings and stables were demolished in order to provide room for motor vehicles. He remembered the workmen finding several dozen one-gallon stoneware jars, inscribed with the name Cooper, and which for many years thereafter his father used for the sale of home-brewed ginger beer. A fine example of one of these survives and is on display in the Museum of the Holmesdale Natural History Society. These jars were discovered in the roof-void of the old brewhouse. John Landregan was succeeded by Mr John Harvey, and the property continued as a Charrington tied off-licence.

In November 1983 John Harvey recommenced brewing in a storeroom at the off-licence using malt extract. The two-barrel plant was supplied by Inn Brewing and output was about four barrels a week. The brew was available from the off-licence, consisting of two cask ales, Reigate Bitter (OG 1042) and Ten Fifty Five (OG 1055). When the brewery commenced, John bottled his first run and named it Inaugural Brew; it was dated 9th November 1983. The undertaking lasted only 3 years, ceasing production in 1986.