THE CANNON BREWERY – SHEFFIELD, UK

History: Situated in Neepsend, Shepherd, Green & Hatfield were the first to brew at the site in 1838 at what was then a respectable residential district. By 1895 the brewery was equipped with an expensive plant, excellent stores and cellars, spacious covered and open yards, offices, stabling and workshops. The marketing and sales offices on the brewery site were completed in 1958. A new £500,000 five storey brewhouse was operational by 1962, and was one of the most up to date in the country. An on-site public house was opened in the basement of the brewery in 1964, initially named The Underground, but later renamed The Pig and Whistle; it was used by brewery workers and visitor. At its peak the brewery produced 50,000 hectolitres of cask conditioned Stones each year. The office building was sold off in 1985. In 1992 a visitor’s centre building was opened. In 1995 the brewery was used as a shooting location for the film When Saturday Comes. The office building is occupied by an accountancy firm, however the remainder of the site is currently unoccupied and derelict. Stones Brewery (William Stones Ltd) was a regional brewery founded in 1868 by William Stones in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England and purchased by Bass Brewery in 1968. After its closure in 1999 its major brand, Stones Bitter, has continued to be produced by the Molson Coors Brewing Company. William Stones had started brewing in 1847 in Sheffield with Joseph Watts. Following Watts’ death in 1854 Stones continued brewing by himself. In 1868 he purchased the lease of the Neepsend Brewery, and renamed it the Cannon Brewery where he continued to brew there until his death in 1894. Stones’ success saw him die as one of the richest men in Sheffield, although he lived a modest life. Stones Bitter was brewed at the Cannon Brewery from 1948 and was popular with Sheffield’s steel workers. By 1967 Bass had built up a 14 per cent stake in the company, and in 1968 they purchased William Stones for £9 million (£136,186,934 in 2015 adjusted for inflation) Stones Bitter was originally available across the south of Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with distribution extended to the rest of the north of England in 1977, and nationwide from 1979, accompanied by a considerable marketing push. Increasing demand saw it also brewed at other Bass breweries from the 1970s onwards. The beer’s popularity reached its apex in 1992 when it was the country’s highest selling bitter, selling over a million barrels. The beer has been lauded in certain quarters as one of Sheffield’s most famous exports. After the Cannon’s closure production was continued elsewhere. This place is a absolute little gem situated in the middle of three main roads, we walked around the building 3 times before we decided on a way in, the access was extremely hard and we had to wait until a gap in the traffic to seize our chance, once inside we began to explore !  In the basement area there appeared to be some kind of alcohol vat/barrel that someone had painted eyes on and in the many rooms and yard area there was quite a lot of street art which we really enjoyed looking at, there are obviously some very good artist’s in the Sheffield area.   Lastly we ascended unto the roof area and were treated to great views of Sheffield and the pub across the road.  Getting out of this building was seemingly harder than we thought as the building is raised higher than the outside ground, and resulted in cuts and bruises and a bashed head, definitely our worst escape, but it was well worth it !!  All images © 2013-2015 DSC_1025 DSC_1038 DSC_1040 DSC_1042 DSC_1043 DSC_1044

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