Isle of Wight Nostalgia Site: Island pubs & brewing

Royal Brewery, Newport

Contents


A Brief History of Island Brewing

Mews pub sign Mew Langton's stone jar at Godshill

Brewing on the Island reaches back to the last millennium when ale houses brewed their own beer. From around 1600 breweries were established to serve more than one outlet. An Island businessman, Jermyn Richards, owned one such brewery in Brading and sold beer to the fleet of ships easily accessible via the harbour. Two hundred years later, in the 1800's there were seven breweries which included Shanklin Brewery, Eagle Brewery of Ryde, Sprakes brewery of Chale Green and Castle Brewery Sandown. One of the biggest was established by the Mew family in Newport, centrally placed to serve most of the Island. Later, Mew-Langtons became famous for their canned IPA (see below).

Probably the best known of the Islands breweries today is Burts of Ventnor. Burts was established in the 1840's and has always brewed in a traditional manner. Some of their success stems from the unique water source, tapped directly from St. Boniface Down, which towers above the brewery. In 1850, the owner James Corbould reached an agreement with Thomas Page of the Ventnor Water Company that water would be supplied at 6d (0.025) per year for the next 1000 years! One wonders if Thomas Page liked his pint! Burts disappeared from the Island some years ago and I believe their 'tied houses' were sold. Fortunately they are back again with beer tasting every bit as wonderful as it ever did.



Canned beer invented here!

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the local brewery Mew-Langtons developed a revolutionary way of storing beer - they developed screw-top cans instead of the more traditional bottles. The Mew-Langton brewery located in Newport, was in an ideal position to serve the military being close to Portsmouth. To enable beer to stay fresh it needed to be stored under pressure with a layer of carbon dioxide. Glass bottles were often too fragile. Beer destined for India in particular would often arrive flat. So the newly developed India Pale Ale in cans was sent instead. At one time this was an export beer but has since had periods of popularity - IPA was a popular beer in the 1970's but became less fashionable when 'real ale' made 'gassy beers' less desirable!


Whitbread pub signs

In 1993, Whitbread (a UK brewing company) issued a series of collectors cards with their Island pubs as the theme. These cards are now rare and attract a high price at collectors' fairs.

Click on the thumbnail for an enlargement and details of the 'pub'.


Whitbread pub - Solent InnSolent
Inn

Ryde
Whitbread pub - White LionWhite
Lion

Arreton
Whitbread pub - Sloop InnSloop Inn

Wootton
Bridge
Whitbread pub - The GriffinThe
Griffin

Godshill
Whitbread pub - Bugle HotelBugle
Hotel

Newport
Whitbread pub - Boniface armsBoniface
Arms

Ventnor
Whitbread pub - Fighting CocksFighting
Cocks

Arreton
Whitbread pub - White Hart InnWhite
Hart Inn

Havenstreet
Whitbread pub - WheatsheafWheatsheaf


Yarmouth
Whitbread pub - Rose InnRose
Inn

Ventnor
Whitbread pub - The White HorseThe White
Horse

Whitwell
Whitbread pub - Shoulder of MuttonShoulder
of Mutton

Newport
Whitbread pub - King LudKing
Lud


Ryde
Whitbread pub - Duke of YorkDuke
of York

Cowes
Whitbread pub - Horse and GroomHorse
& Groom

Ningwood
Whitbread pub - Royal StandardRoyal
Standard

Sandown
Whitbread pub - Plough and BarleycornPlough &
Barleycorn

Shanklin
Whitbread pub - The VineThe
Vine

Newport
Whitbread pub - Crab InnCrab
Inn

Shanklin
Whitbread pub - The Red LionThe Red
Lion

Newport
Whitbread pub - Roadside InnRoadside
Inn

Nettlestone
Whitbread pub - Kings HeadKings
Head

Yarmouth
Whitbread pub - Buddle InnBuddle
Inn

Niton
Whitbread pub - Castle InnCastle
Inn

Newport
Whitbread pub - The RailwayThe
Railway

Ryde

Island pub books


Island pub links



The hunting of the stout Nesting ideas for wildlife in your garden! Around Sussex on a retro 1960s Scooter


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