The latest Society Newsletter has Part 2 of the excellent article by Keith Osborne on the history of Milk Stout. As well as numerous illustrations, it contained a definitive list of known Milk Stout labels. No sooner was it published but another came to light. Taken from advertising material, here is the label from Waller’s Bradford Brewery. Could there be the actual label in someone’s collection?
Thanks to Eric, we now have a potted history for the blog, which will form part of a longer article in the Society Newsletter later in the year.
Richard was born in 1828 at Nether Broughton, Leics – the son of John and Mary Grice.
He started his working life in the shoemaking trade in Northampton but by 1861 he had set up business in Kensington as a grocer employing “one man and two boys”. Later a branch was established at Cheltenham.
There is no evidence that Richard’s business included the supply of ales or beers until, in 1886, he purchased the business of E J Wright & Co Ltd who traded at 106 – 108 High Street, Clapham. The business of E J Wright (established by 1850) was also primarily that of grocers but by 1880 they are also listed as an “ale and porter merchant”. It appears that their major beer supplier was Ind, Coope & Co.
It seems likely therefore that the bottled beer sold by Richard Grice & Son (including Fine Table Ale, London Cooper, London Stout and Dinner Ale) was available from about 1886 and was brewed by Ind, Coope. Although Richard carried on his business at both Clapham and Kensington (later with the help of his son William) the beer was, it seems, only available at Clapham.
Richard sold out his business to Harrods Stores (or more accurately the company which owned Harrods) in 1897.
A couple of days ago we asked if anyone knew anything about this label. Thanks to Keith and Geoff, we do. We reprint the excerpt from the Pall Mall Gazette 1897 below.
From the Pall Mall Gazette. 12 May 1897
……”The question has been asked why Mr James Bailey and the other two directors of Harrods Stores, who are promoting The Auxiliary Stores (Limited), secured the well-known business until recently belonging to Messrs. Richard Grice and Son, of High-street, Clapham, S.W., and did not secure at the same time the much older established grocery and wine business at 15, Gloucester-road, South Kensington, S.W., of Mr Richard Grice, the senior partner in the Clapham firm. The large price of £42,500, plus £6,390 for stock-in-trade, to be paid by the company for the Clapham business might, it is thought, have included also the Gloucester-road business and yet has left something for the promoters, “who are selling at a profit.” As matters stand, if the hopes of the promoters as expressed in the prospectus are fulfilled, there will be a friendly working arrangement between Richard Grice and Son, of Clapham, and Harrod’s Stores, while between Harrod’s Stores in the Brompton-road and Mr Richard Grice of Gloucester-road, Brompton, there will be, as hitherto, active competition. It may, perhaps, be the case that Mr Grice, who took much interest in Mr Bailey’s hotel when it was started, was not disposed to sell his Gloucester-road business to directors of Harrod’s Stores or, more probably, Mr Bailey, as a director of Spiers and Pond (Limited), to which company he sold his hotel, did not think it well to set up a branch store in alliance with Harrod’s Stores so close to the hotel and its wine business belonging to Spiers and Pond.”
It was way back when we last featured labels from the Aston Model Brewery. The Nut Brown Ale was #11 and now 180 posts later, a pair of Star-Bright Ale labels. Thanks go to Eric who alerted me to their existence and sent the images. These two are very similar and would go unrecognised on their own, but together it is possible to see a number of key differences, most of them because someone decided to play about with the kerning.