Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Notes on the Foyle Brewery, Londonderry

Where Browning Drive now stands was formerly the site of the Foyle Brewery. This establishment predated 1836 and by 1844 it was being leased by an individual by the name of Johnston who had previously been in the brewing business in Londonderry in partnership with a J. Carson. The firm of J Carson & Co was still going strong in 1864 according to Loftus's Almanac for Brewers, Distillers and the Wine and Spirit Trades for that year but there is no mention of Mr. Johnston's business.

By 1871 ownership of the Waterside Brewery was in the hands of a John Mehan. Unfortunately it appears that he must have had financial difficulties and his properties, including the brewery were advertised for sale via the Landed Estates Court. There were a total of ten lots and the sale by auction took place at the sale-rooms of William Dale on 1st February 1871. The Brewery together with Millbank Cottage comprised lot 10. The estimated annual value of the lot was stated to be £194.

The particulars of sale disclose that the Brewery Yard was one hundred feet square and there was a brewers residence and two malt houses with floors, kilns and outhouses. In addition there was a beer store measuring one hundred and twenty two feet by twenty four feet; an apartment for washing casks with means of hot water supply; stores for hops and sugar; a large mill room with mill for rolling malt driven by steam machinery; good stabling accomodation and an unfailing supply of good water.

The bidding for this Lot opened at £150. Six parties were involved in the bidding and it progressed rapidly until the lot was knocked down to Mr Chambers, agent for the Watt family, for the sum of £700.


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