Today is the 44th birthday of Logan Plant, founder and brewmaster of Beavertown Brewery, which he started in 2011. I met Logan first at the Firestone-Walker Invitational Beer Festival a few years ago and have run into a couple of times since both there and at the RateBeer Best Festival. He’s a very friendly and talented person and his beer is great, and it’s always been a pleasure to hang out with him. Please join me in wishing Logan a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of George Pargiter Fuller (January 8, 1833-April 2, 1927). He was the “the eldest surviving son of John Bird Fuller, a partner in Fuller Smith & Turner, brewers.” “Fuller inherited a share in the family brewery (in Chiswick, London) on his father’s death in 1872, and was also chairman of Avon Rubber in Melksham.
He also served as High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1878. He lived at Neston Park, Corsham, Wiltshire.” He spent most of his time, however, as a politician. He “was a member of the Wiltshire County Council, chairman of the Chippenham Rural District Council and of the Corsham Parish Council and School Board and a Justice of the Peace for Wiltshire,” and “a Liberal Party politician in the United Kingdom who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1895.” Despite his lineage and ownership stake in his family’s brewery, he doesn’t appear to have been very involved in its management at all.
Today is the 38th birthday of Mark Dredge, who writes the beer blog Pencil and Spoon from his home in Kent, England. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking with Mark on a few of his trips across the pond. The first time, at the opening gala for SF Beer Week, and several years ago at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado, and more recently judging at GABF. By day, he works in digital marketing and social media, most recently for Pilsner Urquell, and by night, he’s “a beer writer and blogger.” The last two times I saw him, a few years ago in Belgium, and also in San Francisco, it was working for Pilsner Urquell. In December 2009, he won the British Guild of Beer Writers New Media Writer of the Year for Pencil and Spoon. If you don’t read his stuff, you should. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
With Mark at Central Kitchen in San Francisco on the anniversary of the 1st tapping of Pilsner Urquell, November 9, 1842.
Mark, at left, having lunch at Mountain Sun in Boulder, Colorado during the Beer Bloggers Conference a few years ago.
Raising a toast. (Note: This last photo was purloined from Facebook.)
Today is the 47th birthday of Melissa Cole, UK beer writer extraordinaire. I’d met Melissa first online and then in person at the Rake in London several years ago. She’s also been coming over to our side of the pond to judge at both GABF and the World Beer Cup. She’s a great advocate for beer generally, but especially for women, and is great fun to hang out and drink with. She also writes online at Taking the Beard Out of Beer! which is subtitled “A Girl’s Guide To Beer.” Her first book, Let Me Tell You About Beer, was published a couple of years ago, which she followed up last year with The Beer Kitchen: The Art and Science of Cooking, & Pairing, with Beer. Join me in wishing Melissa a very happy birthday.
At the Great British Beer Festival several years ago, with Roger Protz.
Melissa with Greg Koch, from Stone Brewing, at GABF in 2009.
The Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur with a blushing Melissa at the World Beer Cup dinner in Chicago a few years ago.
A couple of years ago at the Rake in London, Melissa and Matt Brynildson, from Firestone Walker.
With friends at University sometime between 1993-97 (photo purloined from Facebook).
Today is the 66th birthday of Ron Pattinson, a brewing historian who writes online at Shut Up About Barclay Perkins. Ron lives in Amsterdam but is obsessed with the British brewery Barclay Perkins, which is what the title of his blog refers to. I have finally had the pleasure of meeting Ron in person, when we were both guests of Carlsberg for a press trip to Copenhagen a couple of years ago, and then again two years ago again in Denmark, when he was there with his lovely wife. A few more years ago, Lew Bryson had a chance to go drinking with Ron, too. Join me in wishing Ron a very happy birthday.
Me and Ron at a bar in Copenhagen.
In that same bar, with (clockwise from lower left) Martyn Cornell, Jeff Alworth, Evan Rail, me, Stephen Beaumont, Pete Brown, Stan Hieronymus and Ron.
Ron, talking with Jeff Bell and Mark Dredge.
Leaving Copenhagen; Pete Brown, Ron, Jeff Bell, Stephen Beaumont and Stan Hieronymus.
Ron while drinking with Lew Bryson.
At Pretty Things 1901: Jim Barnes, Dann Paquette (Pretty Things), Jay Sullivan (Cambridge Brewing) and Ron Pattinson.
Today is the birthday of John Courage (October 1, 1761-October 1797). He founded the Courage Brewery in London in 1787, when he bought a brew house in Horselydown, Bermondsey, London.
This biography is from Courage & Co., a website dedicated to the Courage Brewery and the Courage family.
John Courage, the founder of Courage & Co., came to London in 1780 as a
younger son of a French Huguenot family who had been exiled and settled in Scotland a century before.
In a letter dated 7th February 1786, the Founder’s sister writes to him congratulating him on his marriage to Harriet Murdoch and that “the marriage is no surprise to us and be that she be a sober good woman and that we drank your health on your marriage night very hearty.”
By 1787 he had already been in business in London for eight years as an
agent for the Glasgow shipping firm of Carron which traded from the
Glasgow Wharf (the Carron and Continental Wharves) on the north side of the Thames, downstream from the Tower of London.
John Courage was the only surviving son of his late father, Alexander,
when he left Aberdeen for London in about 1780 to become the Wapping
agent for Carron Shipping, leaving behind in Aberdeen his mother Isabel
and his unmarried sister Ann. John could see across the river to the
foreshore of Southwark and decided to diversify his interests by going into the beer business. Thus it was that the name of Courage became
associated with the brewing industry.
When John Courage, together with a number of friends, settled for the
purchase of a brew house at Horselydown, on the south bank of the Thames, he was investing his acumen and money in a staple industry at an opportune time. He purchased the Anchor Brewery at Horselydown, Bermondsey, in 1787 from John and Hagger Ellis. An earlier owner of the Brewery was Vassal Webbing a Flemish émigré. What is interesting is that both Vassal Webbing and John were described in G.N. Hardinge’s book, Courages 1787-1932, as being Protestant émigrés. Frank Courage wrote to his daughter Milly in New Zealand in 1914, that he thought John (his Grandfather), could have come from Flanders, as brewing has always been more of an industry there than in France. The only known French Protestant Courages in the 1600s were Thomas and Nicholas Courage, and their names do not appear in Aberdeen, so the search has shifted to Flanders (Belgium), for our Protestant forebears.
On 17th December 1787, John Courage, aged 26, paid a cheque for £100 to the Morris Estate as part payment for the Private House and Old Brewhouse at Horselydown over the Thames and opposite Wapping. On Christmas Eve, John paid the balance on the purchase of £674 18s 9d. On 4th January 1788, he paid George Courage £26 6s for sundries and scroll book. On 15th January 1788 John purchased one silk waistcoat for 19 shillings 8d, and on 7th June paid John Ward £10 for a gelding. On 15th November 1788, the Founder’s sister Ann writes to her brother “this piece of news that our king is died” (Bonnie Prince Charlie in exile in Italy).
In March 1793, tragedy struck and John’s sister Ann died of a fever in Aberdeen and was buried beside her father in Old Machar; there is a long letter from the Founder’s mother, Isabel Courage, about this in the Courage Collection at the Greater London Record Office, EC1, together with the other original letters that survive from this period including the old brewery book.
In May 1793, Archibald Courage from Findhorn supplies his cousin “with 1000 American staves and 20 bundles hoops”. Courage Beer was being shipped all over the world, as its reputation grew. 2 hogsheads of Porter on 25th February 1793 were shipped back to Scotland to the Earl of Fife,
and throughout 1794 barrels of porter were dispatched to India, Dominica, Antigua, Amsterdam, Hambro, Gibraltar and Lisbon. Ann Murdoch, the Founder’s mother-in-law spent £6-10-6 on clothes for her grandson John in September 1796 and Mrs Courage’s house expenses for the month of October 1796 were £9-6-10d.
On 26th June 1788 a son, John, was born to John and his wife Harriet and on 8th June 1790 twins Ann and Elizabeth were born. On 23rd February 1795 another daughter, Harriet, was born.
John Courage died in October 1797 aged 36 and was buried at St John’s, Horselydown. His widow, Harriet died in May the following year aged 32, and was also buried at Horselydown. On Harriet’s death, the new John Courage was only 10, and John Donaldson, the managing clerk, took over the running of the Brewery, becoming a partner in the newly named firm of Courage and Donaldson, taking a third of the gross profits which was afterwards enlarged to half, as well as half of the capital.
This is a short history of the brewery from its Wikipedia page:
Courage & Co Ltd was started by John Courage at the Anchor Brewhouse in Horsleydown, Bermondsey in 1787. He was a Scottish shipping agent of French Huguenot descent. It became Courage & Donaldson in 1797. By 1888, it had been registered simply as Courage. In 1955, the company merged with Barclay, Perkins & Co Ltd (who were located at the nearby Anchor Brewery) to become Courage, Barclay & Co Ltd. Only five years later another merger with the Reading based Simonds Brewery led to the name changing to Courage, Barclay, Simonds & Co Ltd. In the late 1960s, the group had assets of approximately £100m, and operated five breweries in London, Reading, Bristol, Plymouth and Newark-on-Trent. It owned some 5,000 licensed premises spread over the whole of Southern England, a large part of South Wales and an extensive area of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. It was employing some 15,000 people and producing something like 75 million imperial gallons (340,000,000 L) of beer annually. Its name was simplified to Courage Ltd in October 1970 and the company was taken over by the Imperial Tobacco Group Ltd two years later.
Its vast Worton Grange (later the Berkshire) brewery was opened on the Reading/Shinfield border in 1978. The Anchor Brewery closed in 1981 and all brewing was transferred to Reading. Imperial Tobacco was acquired by the Hanson Trust in 1986 and it sold off Courage to Elders IXL who were renamed the Foster’s Brewing Group in 1990. The following year the Courage section of Foster’s merged with the breweries of Grand Metropolitan. Its public houses were owned by a joint-company called Inntrepreneur Estates. Scottish & Newcastle purchased Courage from Foster’s in 1995, creating Scottish Courage as its brewing arm.
Today is the birthday of William H. Worthington II (September 10, 1764-March 4, 1825). He was the son of William H. Worthington, who founded the Worthington Brewery in Burton-on-Trent in 1761, with the help of his wife Ann Tarratt, when “he purchased a brewery in the High Street for 320 pounds from Richard Cummings of Repton.” Worthington II assumed control of the company following his father’s death, and his son, also named William, succeeded him.
And here’s more from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:
It is the second oldest continuously brewed British beer brand after Whitbread. The best known Worthington beers are its Creamflow nitrokeg bitter and White Shield India Pale Ale.
When William Worthington died in 1800, his brewery was one of the largest outside London. Horace Tabberer Brown, a chemist employed by Worthington, pioneered brewing science in the separation and cultivation of pure yeast strains from 1866, and the brewery was the first in the world to systematically use a laboratory in the brewing process from 1872. Worthington & Co merged with its major Burton rival Bass in 1927. Until the 1960s the Worthington brand, in bottled form, ranked alongside Bass and Guinness as one of only three beers with nationwide distribution. However, bottled beer sales declined as keg beer grew in popularity throughout the 1960s, and the Worthington brewery closed in 1965. The beers continued to be brewed elsewhere, and the Worthington brand has remained prominent up to the present day.
The Worthington brand was purchased from Bass by the American brewing company Coors in 2002, which following a merger became Molson Coors in 2005. Creamflow is the third highest selling ale in the United Kingdom, as well as the highest selling ale in Wales, and is brewed in Burton. Worthington’s White Shield IPA has continued to be brewed since 1829, and has been the recipient of a number of awards. In 2010, Molson Coors opened the William Worthington microbrewery, which brews historical and seasonal beers.
And this history is from “Messers. Worthington’s Brewery at Burton,” originally published January 2, 1875 and reprinted in the Brewery History journal edition in 2017.
A few years after his first start this gentleman determined to follow the example of Printon, and add the wine trade to his business as a brewer; and his son, the second William Worthington, while yet almost a boy, finding himself the sole possessor of the business, joined a partner in shipping a large proportion of the season’s brewings as a joint speculation to St. Petersburg. But those were the days when communications with foreign lands were difficult, when posts were rare, irregular, and untrustworthy, and eighteen months went by and no news arrived of the venture on which so much had been risked. The sharer in the cargo became nervous and dispirited, and at length, when the underwriters refused to take insurances on the goods, he came to William Worthington and offered for a small sum to give up the entire of the venture. Small as the sum was in proportion to the yield of a successful trading, it was yet as much as under the circumstances the share was worth. But William Worthington had the courage and confidence which seems to have ever been a characteristic of his house, and was anxious to close with the offer. His business, however, was not then the extensive concern it subsequently became, and so much of his available capital had been locked up in the seemingly unlucky adventure, that there were difficulties in the way. Once more, as has so frequently been the case in the history of mankind, a woman proved the dea ex machinâ. William Worthington was at the time engaged to be married to Mrs. Tarratt, and this lady, after considerable thought, agreed to advance the money. Her sacrifice was rewarded as it deserved to be, for six months later – months, doubtless, of weary anxiety to the young brewer – news arrived, not merely of the safety of the cargoes, but of a trading successful beyond hope and expectation, and this success established the fortunes of the house beyond fear of trifling shocks, and when William Worthington died he left behind him a fortune which in those days was considered large. He was succeeded by his son, the third William Worthington.
Today is the birthday of Thomas William Everard (September 8, 1851-January 1, 1925). Thomas William Everard was the son of William Everard, co-founder of what would become known as the Everards Brewery, which is still a going concern today, and is still run by an Everard, who is fifth generation from William, and fourth from Thomas William.
Thomas William Everard was born on the 8th of September 1851, the year the Great Exhibition was staged by Prince Albert in Crystal Palace in London. He was the youngest of three children and joined his father’s firm at an early age. Thomas became very involved in his work at the brewery. He was so fond of his work he did not like to take holidays.
In 1890 a new partnership was formed to run the company- Everards, Son and Welldo. The partners were Thomas, his 69 year old father William, and a local wine and spirits merchant. Charles Leeds William Welldon.
Thomas took over the running of the brewery after the death of his father William, in 1892. He married Florence Muriel Nickisson of London on the 28th of September 1888. They had two children-William Lindsay, born in 1891, and his sister Phyllis Muriel, born three years later. William Lindsay would later go onto run the brewery.
Thomas enjoyed both country and urban life and was an active member of the Leicestershire Agricultural Society, as was his father. He continued the Everards tradition of public service and, like his father; he became a J.P. before being made a deputy Lieutenant of the County, and, in 1905, High Sheriff.
The brewery, around 1875.
And here’s the basic brewery history from Wikipedia:
The company began as Hull and Everard in 1849 when William Everard, a farmer from Narborough Wood House and brewer Thomas Hull leased the Southgate Street Brewery of Wilmot and Co from the retiring proprietors. Although Hull continued as a maltster, Everard was the driving force behind the business which he managed until his death in 1892.
The business expanded as the company progressively acquired outlets, with over 100 pubs by the late 1880s. In 1875 the company moved to a new state of the art tower brewery designed by William’s nephew architect John Breedon Everard. The brewery, on the corner of Southgate St and Castle St extracted very pure water from wells 300 feet deep beneath the premises and steam engines played a significant part in the mechanisation.
After the death of William, control passed to his son Thomas. The historic centre of the UK brewing industry remained some 40 miles away at Burton-upon-Trent, which by the 1890s produced one tenth of Britain’s beer. Everard’s leased the Bridge Brewery on Umplett Green island in 1895 but its 10,000 barrels per year capacity proved insufficient. It was replaced with the newer Trent brewery in Dale St which became available after going into liquidation in 1898. The Southgate brewery remained the distribution centre to the Leicestershire pubs with beer arriving by rail from Burton. The Trent brewery was purchased outright in 1901. It was renamed the Tiger Brewery around 1970.
At some point their Tiger Best Bitter became their flagship beer, and I remember really enjoying during my first CAMRA festival in the early 1990s. It was a regional festival in Peterborough, which happened to be going on in later summer at the end of my wife’s summer semester at the University of Durham. So we took the train up to Peterborough from London to attend the festival, and it was great fun. I had many fine beer that night, but for whatever reason I clearly recall liking this one.
Today is the birthday of John Allen Young (August 7, 1921-September 17, 2006). Young was the great-great-grandson of Charles Young, who co-founded Young’s brewery in 1831. “He joined the family firm in 1954 after serving as a fighter pilot and a merchant seaman. He became chairman and chief executive in 1962 when his father retired and reverted to executive chairman in 1999.”
Here’s his obituary, written by Roger Protz, from the Guardian in 2006.
John Young, who has died aged 85, will have a prominent place in the Brewers’ Hall of Fame, revered as the father of the “real ale revolution”, an iconoclast who believed in good traditional beer drunk in good traditional pubs. Young, chairman of Young’s of Wandsworth in south London for 44 years, steered the family brewery on a different course from the rest of the industry in the 1970s. It was a course that was derided at the time: however, it proved not only successful for Young’s but also encouraged other regional brewers to follow suit.
A spate of mergers in the 1960s had created six national brewers who attempted to transform the way beer was made by switching from cask ale to keg beer – filtered, pasteurised and artificially carbonated. Panic ensued as such brands as Watney’s Red Barrel, Worthington E and Whitbread Tankard rapidly dominated the market. Smaller regional brewers rushed to emulate the “Big Six”, as they were known.
In Wandsworth, John Young raised his standard above the Ram Brewery, on the oldest brewing site in Britain, and declared he would remain faithful to beer that matured naturally in its cask. He was laughed to scorn by directors of other breweries. Among the legion of stories about him, one is told of a meeting of the Brewers’ Society in London where, during a break for coffee, one member saw a funeral hearse passing by outside. “There goes another of your customers, John,” he told Young, to roars of laughter from his colleagues. John Young had the last laugh.
He was born in Winchester, the eldest of four sons of William Allen Young. The family was steeped in brewing. John was the great-great-grandson of Charles Allen Young, one of two businessmen who took over the 16th-century Ram Brewery in 1831. John’s mother was Joan Barrow Simonds, a member of the family that owned Simonds Brewery in Reading.
But John’s first love was sailing: he was educated at the Nautical College in Pangbourne. Sailing holidays in the late 1930s on the river Orwell in Suffolk brought John and his brothers into contact with Arthur Ransome at Pin Mill, the setting for We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea. Ransome claimed that he, rather than the brothers’ father, introduced the boys to the pleasures of beer and darts.
Either side of the second world war, John went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he graduated with an honours degree in economics. During the war he served with distinction as a fighter pilot on aircraft carriers. He left the Fleet Air Arm as a lieutenant commander in 1947 and launched a career in shipping. For a while he was based in Antwerp, where he met his Belgian wife Yvonne. They married in 1951 and settled in West Sussex, from where John, with his brothers, was summoned to work at the Ram Brewery in 1954.
He succeeded his father as chairman in 1962 and set about refashioning the company to meet the challenges of the time. Improving the pub estate and offering children’s rooms – a daring move at the time – did not mean a move away from traditional values. The brewery retained a fierce commitment to cask beer and delivered it to local pubs by horse-drawn drays, while a live ram mascot, along with ducks and geese, were familiar if bizarre sights at Wandsworth.
The energetic new chairman visited every pub in his estate. He was on first name terms with his landlords and became friendly with regular customers. Company annual general meetings became lavish affairs where a white-suited John Young would proclaim his belief in traditional brewing values. He was so horrified by the way some London pubs were being remodeled in the 1970s – as wild west saloons or sputniks – that he once threatened to enter one pub armed with a packet of soap flakes to throw into a large fountain that had been installed there.
The commitment to cask beer paid off. Sales of Young’s ales rocketed and their success was instrumental in helping the Campaign for Real Ale to make its mark in the early 1970s. In 1975 John Young was made a CBE to mark his work in brewing and for charity: he was chairman of the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Bloomsbury and raised millions of pounds to build new wards and install modern equipment.
His passion for brewing remained unabated, and John continued to work and chair company AGMs up to this year, though he was visibly ill with cancer. His last few months in office were dogged by controversy: a redevelopment scheme in Wandsworth meant the brewery had to close. When a suitable alternative site could not be found in London, Young’s agreed to merge its brewing operations with Charles Wells of Bedford, a move that has not pleased all lovers of Young’s distinctive beers.
But 200 Young’s pubs will remain in London and the south-east, bricks and mortar reminders of the man who guided their fortunes with undiminished fervour for more than 40 years.
He is survived by a son, James, who is deputy chairman of Young’s, and a daughter, Ilse.
A portrait of John Young that used to be in the brewery tasting room.
And here’s another obit, this one from the Telegraph:
The brewing industry is mourning the loss of one of its most passionate and colourful characters, Young & Co’s chairman, John Young. He died at the age of 85 after a long battle against cancer. The timing is particularly poignant as Young’s will this week cease production at the historic Ram Brewery in Wandsworth, south London, where ales were first brewed in 1581.
Mr Young – known affectionately as Mr John by staff – was a staunch opponent of red tape. Last year, he complained in the annual report: “At the brewery, we can no longer walk down the yard to the offices because of health and safety regulations. Our horses need passports. Since they cannot fit into a photo-booth, a vet must be employed to sketch the animal.”
Mr Young will also be remembered for his eccentric annual shareholder meetings. In what became a tradition as he fended off attempts at reform by activist shareholder Guinness Peat Group, he started bringing props to the event.
One year, he wore a bee-keeper’s hat to show his resolve to keep the group’s preferential B shares for family members. On other occasions, he brandished a megaphone to make sure “certain people, who seemed to be ignoring what I have to say” could hear him, and sported oversized boxing gloves.
Today is the birthday of Timothy Taylor (August 6, 1826-January 1898). He was born in Bingley, part of West Riding in Yorkshire, England. In 1858, he founded a brewery with two partners, local businessmen James Shackleton and John Naylor, but by 1863 the partnership was dissolved and it became known as Timothy Taylor & Co. His sons, Percy and Robert Henry, joined him in the family business, and today the brewery remains in the Taylor family.
Here’s part of the early history of the brewery from the UK journal Brewery History:
Timothy Taylor, born on the sixth of August 1826 at Bingley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was the eldest son of Richard and Elizabeth Taylor (neé Petyt). The family lived at Myrtle Place, Bingley, in 1841. Richard’s trade was tailoring and at that time they had an apprentice living with them. By the following census, Timothy had joined his father in business, then at premises on the Main Street, Bingley.
Between the years 1854 and 1857 a branch of Taylor & Sons, tailors and drapers, became established in Low Street, Keighley, with Timothy moving there, presumably to manage the outlet. The town had a population of 18,259 in 1851, with its main industries being the manufacture of textiles and engineering. Drinkers were able to slake their thirsts at eighteen fully licensed public houses and nine beerhouses. Three pubs were situated in Low Street, the thoroughfare where Timothy had set up shop.
Next door to his premises was the business and residence of Robert Aked, printer, stationer and stamp distributor.
Robert had one daughter, Charlotte, who married Timothy on the seventeenth of September, 1857 at the parish church. The following year Timothy commenced brewing in Cook Lane, a road that adjoined Low Street.
Whether his father-in-law instigated this new career move or was entirely of Timothy’s own volition it is not known, obviously he would have seen the amount of trade done by the local inns. He continued with his tailoring and drapery business, which had by 1861 been removed a short distance along Low Street, to a point where it became Change Gate. The company purchased their first public houses during 1859, the Volunteer’s Arms, Lawkholme Lane, Keighley, and New Inn at Bocking.
Richard Metcalf of Barking, Essex, presumably a property speculator, offered for sale in May 1863, the Knowle Park Estate, either in one lot or several lots. Timothy bought an area of land 5,000 square yards, forming part of Walker Royd Close, opposite Knowle Park Farm. The purchase of this green field site, about half a mile from the Cook Lane property provided the opportunity to move away from what was at that time the rather insanitary centre of Keighley and secure a pure supply of brewing liquor. An application to build at the Knowle came before the Keighley Local Board of Health in June 1863, sometime after that date Knowle Spring House, brewhouse and maltkiln were erected. The dwelling house was built as two homes for the Taylor and Aked families. Ownership of the land changed in September 1863 to Robert Aked. In this rural idyll, Timothy also farmed and when he later advertised for a malt kiln worker, one with agricultural experience was preferred.
By 1867 it appears he had severed all connections with the textile trade and a couple of years later showed his commitment to the local brewing trade by joining the Bradford and District Brewers’ Association’s first committee.
And this early history is from the UK blog Make Mine A Magee’s:
The founder of the firm, Timothy was born in Bingley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the 6th of August 1826 to Richard and his wife Elizabeth. Richard Taylor was, appropriately enough a Tailor, who at the time of Timothys birth was living on Myrtle Place in Bingley; and his eldest son joined him in his business. Soon after leaving school in 1841, where he quickly learned his fathers trade and went on to become the companys salesman in the local towns, and by 1853 the concern was known as Richard Taylor & Sons with premises on Main Street in Bingley and a second branch opening in Keighley in 1854; where Timothy was joined by his younger brother, Henry. However after two years the business partnership was dissolved; with Henry Taylor moving back to help run his fathers business in Bingley as a separate concern. The neighbours of Timothy at his premises on Low Street in Keighley included another local businessman, Robert Aked whose daughter Charlotte was to marry Timothy Taylor, in the parish church of Keighley on September 17, 1857.
In 1858, a family tragedy (the death of Timothy`s brother-in-law, Charles) quite probably gave him the inspiration to enter the brewing trade; as later in 1858, he entered into a partnership with local businessmen James Shackleton and John Naylor An old barn and stables on Cook Lane in Keighley were chosen as suitable for conversion to a brewery and Timothy commenced producing his ales later that year. The business began to prosper and by 1861, the census returns show that Timothy Taylor was listed as a Brewer, employing 8 men and 1 boy; however in 1863, the partnership between Timothy and the other gentlemen was dissolved on the 22nd of April.
Later, in 1863, the estate of the Greenwood family in Keighley; Knowle Park was offered for sale by their agent, and Timothy was possessed of sufficient acumen to acquire a substantial portion of it; and in June of that year, an application was duly presented to the Keighley Board of Health to erect a new brewery and other structures; amongst which was Knowle Spring House, (The family home for many years). By 1867, Timothy had severed most of his close ties with the clothing trade and was a founder member of the first committee of The Bradford & District Brewers Association whose first meetings were held in that year. Sadly, Timothy Taylor passed away in January 1898; with the business carried on by his sons Robert Henry Taylor and Percy Taylor, and by 1911, rising demand for the brewery’s products saw an expansion of the brewery, with new buildings being erected to house a Mill, Mash Tun (which was in use until 2000), Copper and Hop Back (replaced in 1976).