Ruddles Brewery (G. Ruddle & Co) was an English brewery. The brand is now owned by Greene King who still brew beers under the Ruddles name in Suffolk, although the current recipes are not those used at the original brewery.
The brewery, established in 1858 in Langham, Rutland, was bought by George Ruddle in 1912. Langham remained the home of the brewery until its closure in 1999. The company lost its independence in 1986 and passed into the ownership of Watneys, and then Grolsch in 1992. The value of the brewery and brands had dropped to £4.8m when it was sold to Morland & Co in 1997. Morlands moved production to Abingdon only for that site to be closed by Greene King which took over Morlands in 2000.
The local Langham well water was said to give the beer a unique character and quality which enhanced the brewery's reputation. The difficulty in reproducing elsewhere the taste of the beers has led to the premier beer being jocularly referred to as Ruddles Counterfeit.
Rutland bitter was the third of British beers to have achieved Protected Geographical Indication status; this followed an application by Ruddles. Since Greene King closed the Langham brewery, they can not take advantage of the registration. However, in 2010 former Ruddles head brewer Tony Davis revived Rutland Bitter, brewed in Oakham, Rutland, at his Grainstore Brewery.
A television commercial for Ruddles in 1993 featured the last appearance of Vivian Stanshall narrating as Hubert, brother of Sir Henry Rawlinson of Rawlinson End played by Mel Smith and a cross-dressing Dawn French.
In 1996, Ruddles Best won the gold medal in the ordinary bitter category at the first World Beer Cup.
- Ruddles County
- Ruddles Best
- Ruddles Organic
- Ruddles Rhubarb
- Nick Barton. "Ruddles Beer, Rutland". Information Britain. London: Crawbar Ltd. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
In spite of all these changes Ruddles in its various guises remains a flavoursome brew, though it seems the recipes have not been adhered to in the strictest fashion, and of course the Langham water that made it special in the now distant past is no longer used.
- History of Langham Brewery
- "Morland comes to the rescue of Ruddles" The Independent 13 September 1997
- "Rutland Bitter resurrected" Leicester Mercury 1 Oct 2010
- The Dinner Party
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