Hicks founded a business in 1861 when he opened a modest malting
took a major risk at the time by mortgaging his farm for £1500.
It was a risk that paid off. More than 150 years later the business
Hicks founded is still a major force in the brewery world.
Seven Stars today
ale houses at the time produced their own ale. Hicks bought The
Seven Stars in St Austell where he learned the art of brewing.
business Walter Hicks founded had no name at the time. In 1910 he
decided to register as 'Walter Hicks and Company Ltd' but now is
known throughout the world as St Austell Brewery.
1911 tragedy was to strike the family and Brewery with the death
of Walter junior following a motor-cycle accident at Helston.
Brewery did continue despite the tragic event within the family
but it did mean Walter Hicks had to return to running the company
at the age of 82. His only other son, George, was not suited to
a life of business and was clearly not about to take the place of
the young Walter.
was Hester Parnall, one of Hicks married daughters who was to keep
the brewery in the family.
became the chairman of the Brewery
became the chairman of the Brewery from the death of her father
in 1916 until she died in 1939.
she was a feared woman. One story tells of the warning message sent
to staff when she arrived each morning at the Brewery.
first person to spot her chauffeur-driven Daimler arriving in the
brewery yard of a morning would tap out a message of warning on
the water pipes which would then be telegraphed right around the
Brewery in a flash.
business had rapidly outgrown its original site in a short amount
of time. In 1893 a new site was found and that is where the St Austell
Brewery remains to this day. It was built on a site that was originally
two open fields beside Tregonissey Lane in the town.
the years since then there have been alterations and improvements,
but the essential 'brew house' of 1893 is still the working heart
of the brewery today.
nearly all of Walter Hicks' numerous descendants are involved in
the Brewery as shareholders, and some more actively as directors
the present board, three directors, including the Managing Director
Piers Thompson, are descended directly from Walter Hicks through
his daughter Mary, whilst the present chairman, David Staughton,
is married to Walter Hicks's great-granddaughter.
Brewery has 155 pubs and hotels, 109 Tenancies, 5 Leases, 41 Managed
pubs, including 21 Small and Friendly Inns.
has a further 2000 free trade free trade accounts. Nearly 900 people
employed Annual turnover in excess of £60 million
than 20,000 barrels of its beer are sold annually.
a full explanation of the brewing process the brewery gives guided
tours Monday to Friday, twice a day.
admission price is £4. Booking is advisable on 01726 66022
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