The Robinsons story

The story of Robinsons is one that stretches back over 185 years, from humble beginnings to becoming one of the UK’s largest independent family brewers, with around 250 pubs across the North West and Wales.

Old Tom awards


Original craft beer Old Tom receives innovative rebrand and officially named World's Best Designed Beer.

Managed houses


Robinsons return to Managed Houses. Managed by our remarkable landlords and landladies, this is Robinsons’ collection of landmark pubs, restaurants and hotels.



Robinsons team up with heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN to produce TROOPER beer.

Training & Visitors Centre


Training Centre of Excellence and Visitors Centre opens.

Worldwide distribution


Robinsons bottled ales are distributed worldwide.

New brew house


£7 million investment in a new brew house.

The sixth generation

2003 - 2009

Sixth generation members of the family join the company.

New packaging centre opens


A new-build packaging centre opens in Bredbury.

John Robinson Knighted


William’s great grandson John is honoured with a Knighthood, for political and public services. 

Expansion into Wales


The first Welsh public house, The Black Lion, is bought. The Robinsons estate continues to grow.

New bottling premises

1908 - 1933

Bottling commences in a new building. New offices and a new brew house are built. 

Frederic Robinson Ltd is formed

1900 - 1905

Frederic’s widow Emma owns the business and, prior to her death, Frederic Robinson Limited is formed. Fourth generation Robinsons join the board.

New chairman marries


Frederic and Emma Robinson's son, went on to marry Priscilla Needham and became Chairman of Frederic Robinson Limited in 1920.

12 pubs purchased


Frederic buys 12 exclusive public houses for Robinson's ales between now and his death in 1890.

Production & sales grow


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. 

First ale is brewed


William moves to Heaton Norris, leaving George, his eldest son, to run the Inn. George starts to brew the first Robinsons ale. 

The Unicorn pub


William Robinson purchases The Unicorn pub, Lower Hillgate, Stockport, from Samuel Hole.

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 our 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.