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Our Story

Take a wander through the extensive history of Lacons and view our story Scroll to explore
1760

1760

The beginning of Lacons brewery

Hidden amongst Great Yarmouth’s medieval rows the Ward Brewery became known as Mr Laycons Brewery.

1760 Lacons: 1760

1782

Edmund Lacon succeeds father

After dropping the ‘y’ within the family name, Edmund began to expand the business considerably over the years that followed. He was also one of the founders of the bank Lacon, Youll & Co, which eventually became Lloyds.

Lacons: 1782 Lacons: 1782
Lacons: 1810 Lacons: 1810

1810

The brewery now owned 3 Maltings

They owned 2 breweries and 45 tied houses within Great Yarmouth. Over the next 200 years, the family brewery passed from father to son.

Lacons: 1810
Lacons: 1814

1814

Great Yarmouth's great festival dinner

Following the overthrow of Napoleon, Lacons brewery supplied some 20,000 pints of ale to help celebrate the event for thousands of Great Yarmouth’s poorest residents.

Lacons: 1814
Lacons: 1850 Lacons: 1850

1850

Lacons supplied 150,000 pints per week to London

As well as a tied estate within Anglia, the business also owned properties in many London boroughs to which it supplied ale. This was done first by sea and then by rail as transport links improved.

Lacons: 1865 Lacons: 1865

1865

The famous arch gateway leading to the brewery completed

Standing proud, the imposing entrance features on many photographs. Looking inside the gate you will see a horse chestnut tree with a horse drawn dray ready to depart with casks of Lacons ale.

1868

A railing way siding was built into brewery

As steam power and land transport links improved, the brewery invested in a railway siding which would enable it to send beers to London quicker than by sea.

Lacons: 1868 Lacons: 1868
Lacons: 1894 Lacons: 1894

1894

The business becomes registered as E Lacon & Co Ltd.

The brewery site consisted of a large yard to the east with a brick entrance and included a range of coopers shops and a cask cleaning shed, a yeast house, tun room, boiler and steam engine house. At the end of the yard extending to George Street is the main brewery building. A modern counting house and spirit store on the west side of Howard Street and behind this is the smith's shop and engine fitters.

Lacons: 1895

1895

The Foundation stone of the brewery store is laid

Mrs E de M Lacon presides over the event on 14th June 1895, watched by many employees and guests. After its final completion, the stores held all of Lacons ales ready for distribution to licenced premises throughout the UK.

Lacons: 1895
1916

1916

Lacons bottled beer range reaches eight varieties

A selection of these original ales are showcased within our museum. The brews include Audit Ale, Pale Ale, Extra Stout, Light Dinner Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Old Nogg, and Strong Ale.

1916 Lacons: 1916
Lacons: 1920 Lacons: 1920

1920

Annual barrelage of over 80,000 barrels

At its peak, Lacons supplied a tremendous amount of beers throughout the UK and beyond. It also owned around 350 tied houses in Anglia and London.

1942

1942

The Brewery and nearby St Nicholas Church are heavily damaged by German Air-Raid

Playing a pivotal part in beer supply during the Second World War, a stretched fire service had to decide which building to save… needless to say the church was reconsecrated in 1961.

1942 Lacons: 1942
1952

1952

E Lacon & Co converted to a Public Limited Company

A defining moment in Lacons history as the business is floated on the stock market. At this time the majority of the shares issued stayed within the family’s hands.

1952 Lacons: 1952
Lacons: 1957

1957

Whitbread purchases shareholding of Lacons

It is noted in the Directors meeting book that approval had been given to sell 20% of the business to fellow brewer Whitbread.

Lacons: 1957
Lacons: 1965

1965

Whitbread & Co Ltd takes over complete control of Lacons brewery

On a cold November day, the business was finally sold for a reported purchase price of £3.2 million. The equivalent of around £50 million today.

Lacons: 1965
Lacons: 1968 Lacons: 1968

1968

Lacons Brewery closing announced

On January 11th, Chairman of Lacons, Mr C Kevill-Davies sadly announces to staff and the press that Lacons brewery will be closing resulting in the redundancies of over 150 employees.

Lacons: 1968 Lacons: 1968

1968

Lacons Brewery closes

On the 28th February the iconic brewery stretching over 3 acres of Great Yarmouth Hall Plain sadly shut for the last time after the last brew of Mild is produced.

Lacons: 1997

1997

Final Brewery Building demolished

The Brewery Stores which was the last surviving original Lacons building was sadly knocked down to make way for a supermarket to be built on the site. Although a sad day, a planning stipulation required the modern building to be styled in the way of the former. Long standing Head Brewer Mr Michael Falcon and Lacons family decedent William Lacon Esq unveiled a plaque to commemorate Lacons rich history on the new building once it is completed.

Lacons: 1997
Lacons: 2009 Lacons: 2009

2009

Local business man begins research into possibly revival

Intrigued by the historic presence of Lacons emblems dotted around the region on a variety of buildings, Mick Carver, Managing Director of the Lowestoft based drinks distributor JV Trading begun research into the possibility of reawakening the Lacons name that was mothballed in 1968. After 18 months of negotiating, he secured the purchase of the registered trademarks and intellectual property rights of the former brewer from Luxembourg based SA Brand Brew, a subsidiary of AB Inbev, who are the modern day brewing arm of what would have been Whitbread in the 1960’s.

Lacons: 2013 Lacons: 2013

2013

Lacons ales return to brewing in Great Yarmouth

Nestled within a historic courtyard the new Falcon Brewery crafts a range of stunning Lacons ales using the highest quality ingredients from around the world and original Lacons yeast. The brewery also boosts a unique visitor centre with museum, gift shop and brewery tap.

2014

2014

Multiple awards for brewery's ales

Throughout its history Lacons has won many prestigious accolades for its range of ales. In 2014, Encore was awarded the title of SIBA East Champion Beer. It also received a Europe Gold at the World Beer Awards.

2014 Lacons: 2014

2015

Lacons delivery fleet

JV Trading rebrands itself to Lacons. To meet demand, the brewery invests in a fleet of branded vehicles to distribute its multi award winning ales all over the UK including the City of London with the help of fellow Brewer Trumans.

Lacons: 2015 Lacons: 2015
Lacons: 2015

2015

Awards roll in

Lacons ales go from strength to strength with Encore winning ‘Best Bitter in the World under 4%’ at the World Beer Awards and Legacy winning Silver at the International Beer Challenge 2015, as well as Bronze at the World Beer Awards and SIBA East. Affinity also wins Gold in the Champion Golden Beer of Norfolk CAMRA award.

Lacons: 2015
Lacons: 2016 Lacons: 2016

2016

New Brewery Plan

Lacons ales continue to shine with Encore winning CAMRA Champion Golden Ale of Norfolk and Silver in SIBA East. Heritage ale Audit received recognition with Gold in the ‘Small Pack’ category and Silver in the ‘Cask’ category at SIBA 2016. A major extension to the brewery is in the planning stages for 2017