Lacons Brewery

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Lacons Brewery
Lacons Brewery Logo.jpg
LocationGreat Yarmouth, Norfolk
Key peopleMick Carver
Annual production volume2,200 hectolitres (1,900 US bbl)[1]
Active beers
Name Type
Encore Cask ale
Legacy Cask ale
Affinity Cask ale
The Iron Duke, Great Yarmouth. Designed by A. W. Ecclestone.[2]

Lacons Brewery is in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.[3] In 2013, it produced 7,500 pints of beer a week.[1]

Lacons Brewery was founded in 1760, but shut down in 1968, before being relaunched in 2013.


The Lacon Arms, Hemsby

In 1640, Jeffrey Ward operated as a brewer and a maltster in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, on a site which was to become The Falcon Brewery. His son, who died in 1690, and his grandson Robert Ward, who died in 1741 managed the business in succession. Ward's widow took their son-in-law John Laycon in partnership. Lacon became the sole owner of the brewery on her death in 1760 and thus Lacons Brewery was formed. By the 1810s the business owned three maltings, two breweries and 45 tied houses in Great Yarmouth.[4]

In the 1850s, the brewery held fifty public houses and controlled over 300 pubs in Great Yarmouth.[3] In 1814, Lacons supplied over 20,000 pints of beer to a festival dinner held in the town to celebrate the final defeat of Napoleon's France.[5] In the mid 1800s Lacons Brewery decided to sell to the London market and by 1866 it was despatching upwards of 50,000 barrels yearly to London, 20,000 to other locations, as well as the local market.[6] The brewery produced around 100,000 barrels of beer a year.[5]

In 1952, the directors of Lacons decided to float the company on the stock market and five years later sold 20% of the company to Whitbread. Whitbread bought Lacons for £3.2 million in 1965 and in 1968, Whitbread decided to shut down the brewery. Whitbread's brands and trademarks were later taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev and thus the Lacons trademark went to Anheuser-Busch InBev.[5]

Lacons deposited a sample of their brewing yeast in 1957 at the Norwich-based National Collection of Yeast Cultures, as a backup in case their own cultures got contaminated.[7]


Mick Carver of JV Trading, a drinks distributor based in Lowestoft, started working to secure the rights to the Lacons name in 2009.[8] He negotiated with Anheuser-Busch InBev to secure the name and its intellectual property. He then decided on an old Victorian courtyard in Main Cross Road as the premises for the operations.[9]

He worked alongside William Lacon, son of the last Lacon family member to work at the brewery and sought assistance from David Lacon, an avid Lacons collector and nephew of Christopher Kevill Davis, the last CEO at Lacons.[9] Yeast from the original beer was held in deep freeze at National Collection of Yeast Cultures. After obtaining the Lacons rights, Carver was able to claim the brewery's original yeast strains. The head brewer, Wil Wood, spent six months developing the reinvented ales.[3]

Carver employed a creative agency to rework the iconic emblem and logo of Lacons to capture how it would have evolved over the past 45 years if the brewery had not closed. The new Lacons’ emblem depicts a falcon with its wings outspread and ready to land, which symbolises the return of Lacons.[8]

The brewery was relaunched at the Norwich City of Ale festival and Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival in May 2013.[10] In the initial phase of the operation, the brewery has planned to produce three new permanent beers both bottled and on tap as well as to introduce other seasonal beers.[9] Three new permanent beers were launched: Encore, Legacy and Affinity.[11] The company has extended the beer range to include some original Lacons recipes, in its heritage range.[5] These beers are modern interpretations of historic recipes, dating back to 1905.


  1. ^ a b "Lacons holding another open day at Great Yarmouth brewery". Evening News 24. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  2. ^ Historic England. "The Iron Duke (1451795)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Great Yarmouth Lacons Brewery revives historic ales". BBC News Norfolk. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  4. ^ Richmond, Lesley; Turton, Alison (1990). The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records. p. 204.
  5. ^ a b c d "Lacons' Falcon has Landed". The Publican's Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Lacon's falcon to fly again in Yarmouth". Protz on Beer. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Hub of commercial research and knowledge exchange reaches construction milestone". BBSRC. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Yarmouth's Lacons Brewery reopens next month". Great Yarmouth Mercury 24. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Lowestoft: Drinks distributor JV Trading embarks on mission to bring Lacons brewery back home". EADT24. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Norfolk brewery to make a comeback". ITV news. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Mustard video: Beer lovers cheer return of Great Yarmouth's historic Lacons brewery". EDP 24. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Official website