News that commercial brewing in the heart of Portsmouth is making a comeback reminds us of the great beer tradition in the city, which arose simply to quench the thirst of the Royal Navy.
Brewhouse and Kitchen is turning the White Swan in Guildhall Walk into a craft beer pub featuring a microbrewery.
Up to 2,800 pints of malt, nutty, brown and other types of beers and porters will be made a week. Customers will be able to watch the process from the bar.
It’s 24 years since the old Whitbread brewery in Queen Street, Portsea, was demolished, an enormous building which dominated the area not only in its size but also with its pungent aroma.
Of course, it had started as Brickwoods, a company which was bought by Whitbread in 1971 and which immediately gained a colossal estate of 670 tied pubs.
Sadly, brewing ceased in 1983 when the brewery closed and production was transferred to Cheltenham.
It was the end of an era which started in 1848 when Henry Brickwood, the tenant of the White Hart in Queen Street, wrote to his sister-in-law Fanny, in London, suggesting she come to Portsmouth and enter the licensed trade.
Mrs Brickwood, busy nursing an ailing husband, apparently found the idea appealing. For she removed her only son, Harry, from his articles to a surveyor, sent him on a week’s brewing course and set in motion the events which founded the firm of Brickwoods.