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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brewing Companies and Brewery Names

The British have a very cool practice of naming their breweries. Bateman's calls theirs the Salem Bridge Brewery. Greene King's is Westgate. The most famous is the Griffin Brewery, where Fuller's beers are brewed. I think partly this is a vestige of history, and partly also because the British do things differently.

Still, it's very cool and American craft breweries should follow suit. Then they could say things like "Come visit Widmer Brothers Brewing Company at the Underbridge Brewery." Or whatever. It would be cool.


  1. I would imagine the reason they are named was because one the Brewing Company had multiple brewing locations to distinguish between the other locations. In the US, the big boys do this. Budweiser has St. Louis and Ft Collins (and a host of others). Miller does it as well. The reason they are named after gates or bridges in Britain is that the town was built up after those bridges or gates were built, so that is actually the town name.

  2. No, it's because the name of the brewing company would change but the brewery remained the same. James Monger founded the Anchor Brewery in Southwark in 1616, for instance. It was still the Anchor Brewery when the Thrales ran it, and still the Anchor Brewery when it was Barclay, Perkins & Co. headquarters.

    That so many are named after things (anchors, griffins, stags) suggests to me that, like pub signs, these were heraldic devices on signs that pre-date literacy among the general public. The ones that are named after places (like my local St. James's Gate) aren't really proper brewery names at all: that's just where they were and how they were referred to.

  3. OF course you're right, Beer Nut. I even knew that--but like so many things, it evaporated in the ether of my hinky old brain.