Brothers John Wills & George Stevens founded their company in 1827 and then traded as the Stowmarket Ale Brewery. They also owned three local beer houses and offices in Union St. In 1857 they sold the business by auction together with 7 pubs and twenty leased properties.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Oct 1865 states :
To be sold by auction, the Stowmarket Brewery, substantially built, comprising every requirement for carrying on the business, including a 30 barrel copper, high pressure steam engine, and all the necessary fixed plant for doing a large and extensive trade. A comfortable dwelling house, stable, 2 cottages, and a large yard, well situatedin the centre of the town of Stowmarket, and close to the railway station; easy access to the corn markets of Bury, Ipswich and Norwich, and all parts of the Eastern region. The above property is in the occupation of Messrs. Phillips, who have carried on an extensive and steadily increasing business, the goodwill of which will be included in the sale, possession will be given on the 11th October 1865. At the same time will be sold in 11 Lots, the following valuable property: An excellent malt office, in Union Street, Stowmarket, with 120 coombs steep. The Baker's Arms and Royal William, in Stowmarket; the Wellington and the Retreat , in Stowupland; the Joiner's Arms, Bury; the Garden House, Rickenhall; a capital beer house, and 2 cottages at Combs; the White Horse at Hitcham; the Fox at Elmswell; and the Suffolk Ale Store at Yarmouth. At auction in October 1865 the Brewery was withdrawn when bidding stopped at £5050, however, it was put up again with Lot 2, the 120 coomb malting steep, and was knocked down, at £5850 to Messrs. Phillips Brothers, the present tenants.(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
Brothers Francis, John and James Henry Phillips bought the business and are subsequently listed in the 1865 Post Office Directory and the 1874 edition of White's Suffolk Trades Directory although by this time they were bankrupt.
Alexander Clutterbuck bought the brewery and various leases on 24 pubs plus other beer houses including Royal William and Retreat. By 1877 he also owned Norwich Arms and Blue Posts but by 1880 he had sold the business to Edward Greene. After merger with FW King in 1887 this brewery continued with various managers until it was eventually used for bottling and closure in 1920.