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Tolly Cobbold



Ipswich, Suffolk

Cobbold's brewery was founded 1723 in Harwich, brewing moved to Cliff Quay in the mid 18th century, which made life easier, since until then water was shipped from the Holy Well in Ipswich across the rivers Orwell and Stour. Tollemache brewery came into being in 1888 when Lord Tollemache purchased the Cullingham brewery (founded 1856 in the centre of Ipswich). Tolly Cobbold was formed when the two companies merged in 1958, when all production was transferred to Cliff Quay.

During the 1960s, production was focussed on bottled and keg beers, with quality perhaps reaching its nadir in the appalling Husky Lager. This was once reportedly described by John Cobbold (a popular member of the brewery owning family from late 1950s to mid-1980s) as "tasting like dog's piss."

Taken over by Brent Walker in the 1980s and for a period, Tolly beers were brewed in the North-East; eventually a management buy-out brought brewing back to Cliff Quay.

By the time Beermad moved to Ipswich, beer quality had declined terribly, with Tolly beers being generally undrinkable.

Was closed down by Brent Walker, but following a management takeover in 1989 brewed independently until 2002, when it was taken over by Ridley's and closed down.

In its latter years, the business was involved in a few bizarre controvercies; attacking Abbey brewery, claiming that Cardinal Sin infringed its trademark on Cobbold's Cardinal and selling an ale called Cotswold Bitter in the Cotswold area allegedly with the false appearence of a locally brewed ale. This resulted in Uley Brewery selling Suffolk Mountain Bitter as a tongue-in-cheek revenge..

According to the first edition of the Good Beer Guide, it was 'Difficult to find real ale.'

50 Real Ales recorded

(plus 1 alias)