Unicorn Brewery rests over the foundations of the Unicorn public house, marking the beginning of a family business which continues to thrive over 177 years later.
OVER 180 YEARS SINCE WILLIAM ROBINSON PURCHASED THE UNICORN
29th September 1838 is a landmark in the history of Robinsons Brewery.
THE ROBINSONS STORY
The story of Robinsons is one that stretches back over 180 years, from humble beginnings to becoming one of the UK’s largest independent family brewers, with 260 pubs across the North West and Wales.
William Robinson purchases The Unicorn pub, Lower Hillgate, Stockport, from Samuel Hole.
William remarries, moves to Heaton Norris, leaving George, his eldest son, to run the Inn. George starts to brew the first Robinsons ale.
William’s younger son Frederic takes over the pub and buys a warehouse behind it, so brewing capacity can be expanded. Robinsons ale is now available to many pubs in and around Stockport.
Frederic buys 12 exclusive public houses for Robinsons ales between now and his death in 1890.
Frederic and Emma Robinson's son, went on to marry Priscilla Needham and became Chairman of Frederic Robinson Limited in 1920.
Early 20th Century.
Frederic’s widow Emma owns the business and, prior to her death, Frederic Robinson Limited is formed. Fourth generation Robinsons join the board.
1908 - 1933
Bottling commences in a new building. New offices and a new brew house are built.
The first Welsh public house, The Black Lion, is bought. The Robinsons estate continues to grow.
William’s great grandson John is honoured with a Knighthood, for political and public services.
A new-build packaging centre opens in Bredbury.
Over the past 40 years:
- Robinsons bottled ales are distributed worldwide
- Sixth generation members of the family join the company
- £7 million investment in a new brew house
- Training Centre of Excellence and Visitors Centre opens
- Robinsons team up with heavy metal legends Iron Maiden to produce TROOPER beer
- Robinsons return to Managed Houses
- Original craft beer Old Tom receives innovative rebrand and officially named World's Best Designed Beer
And that’s only part of the story! The Robinsons story is not just about the history of a brewery, it’s about a family, which has played – and continues to play – an immensely important role in the British brewing and pub industry.
Interested in learning more about story? Our Visit England accredited Visitors Centre unearths all the best kept secrets behind the brewing process. Take the time to journey through the brew house and learn all about what makes our hopnik and cereal cooker so special. You’ll also get the opportunity to meet Bobek and Mojo, two of the few remaining ‘working’ shire horses in the British brewing industry.
Book your brewery tour online or call 0161 612 4100 for more information.