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Photo of Cobbold & Co

Cobbold & Co brewery

Cliff La

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Local licensing authority for Ipswich is Ipswich Borough Council

Founded 1723 in Harwich, by John Cobbold and his family. Brewing was moved to Cliff Quay in Ipswich by 1746, which made life much easier, since for a while the brewing water was being shipped from Holy Wells park (in Ipswich) down the River Orwell by boat whilst the finished beer was increasingly being shipped back to the town.

In the 1791 Universal British Director John Cobbold is listed as a brewer at Clift House.

In 1823 Pigot's Directory John Cobbold is listed as a brewer (Cliff quay)

In 1830 Pigot's Directory John Cobbold jun. is listed as a brewer (Cliff)

In 1839 and 1840 Pigot's Directories John Cobbold is listed as a brewer (Cliff Brewery).

Today, most of the remaining buildings at the Cliff Quay brewing site date mainly from about 1895 when the site was considerably redeveloped and enlarged, although a few parts are much older. The buildings from this time were designed by William Bradford. When the Cobbold family celebrated their bi-centenary of brewing in 1923, they listed eight generations of the family who had already been involved with running this highly sucessful family business and the future looked assured with a large local estate of nearly 300 pubs. Most beer production throughout this very long and successful brewing period was of Mild and Porter - two traditional dark beer types - but tastes were changing and there was an increasing demand for lighter coloured and more bitter beer styles.

The brewery was also refurbished in the mi-1950s when a large extension (recently demolished) was built to the rear of the main Victorian brewery building. Some of the Cobbold brewery beers then also won prizes, including the famous Cobbold's Cobnut Brown Ale which was also exported to the US. The Cobbold brewery also employed some of the ITFC professional footballers as draymen in the summer months to help suppliment their income, including Ozzie Parry (played from 1936-49) and George McLucky (played from 1933-38).

By 1959 the family brewery had become involved in a business merger with their long time local rival company, Tollemache Brewery. The resultant Tolly Cobbold company was also based at Cliff Quay and traded under various owners until 2002.