Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Chesters Brewery, Ardwick & Salford

Threlfalls-Chesters Brewery, Salford, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

Chesters had a long, proud history in Manchester, brewing from 1830 to 1999. They were originally based at the Victoria Brewery, Hyde Street, Ardwick. The brewer moved to the Ardwick Brewery in 1852 as depicted here just after it opened. In 1961 Chesters merged with Threlfalls of Salford and the Ardwick Brewery was demolished in 1966, but not before it was snapped in 1964, showing the Britannia Inn on site. Whitbread soon took over the Threlfalls-Chesters brewery and for a few decades, both ales were brewed in Salford where the brewery bore both names. Chesters bitters, milds and stout were brewed at a number of Whitbread sites towards its end, then contracted to Burtonwood and Everards, but sadly all production stopped in 1999 [1]. I remember our old granddad used to warn us of the dangers of Chesters Mild, saying it could turn you into a "Chesters case". Not sure what he meant by this, but the mention of Chesters Mild to drinkers of a certain age often brings forth a few interesting tales.

Threlfalls-Chesters Brewery tower, Salford, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

Like Kays Atlas, the original Chesters Brewery in Ardwick was close to Manchester City Football Club, the brewer part-owning the Hyde Road stadium. Hyde Road's first seating area was paid for in part by Chesters in 1888, who funded 1,000 seats in return for being the sole distributor of alcohol in the stadium (sounds like a good idea; maybe one of Manchester's fine breweries fancy supplying us with decent ale at City, instead of the undrinkable John Smiths Smooth, Fosters and Singha?). Such was the close link between club and brewers, A.F.C. Ardwick (later to become MCFC) were nicknamed 'The Brewerymen'. The Crown & Cushion at the top end of Corporation Street was a Chesters house, and the brewery paid for its rebuild in the late Victorian period. Other old Chesters houses in town still remaining include The City, Oxnoble, Crown & Anchor and the Sir Ralph Abercromby.

Chesters Brewery wagon. (c) paulanderson.


  1. Just discovered this splendid site. Have left a comment about the Gog & Magog formerly on Downing Street. Then I found this article. I work here now (it's called the Deva Centre). Every day I wish it was still a brewery!

  2. Ta for the kind words Mike. Your comment on the Gog & Magog hasn't come through, can you make it again? We'll also update the Chesters entry re the Deva Centre. Cheers

  3. I was born and raised in Coppull near Chorley, Lancashire which had the Chester's Wheat Sheaf pub and I can fully endorse the related dangers of Chesters Mild --- most of the 'funny' people in the village were Chesters drinkers.

  4. Chesters Mild was the star for Mild, followed by Holts, Thwaites, Lees. You just cant get it now - though I have discovered Old Mill brewery at Snaith in Yorkshire and there mild is wonderful - though as a Lancastrian it sticks in my craw to admit it.

    1. Ahhh Chesters mild - black like Guiness. I agree Old Mill is pretty good. There is a pub in Chesterfield that sells it

  5. me and my mate mike Kelly of ardwick drank a lot of mild with brown ale yes, it was strong it was called a brown spilt, I had my first pint in the steam engine tavern this was only a stones throw away from chester's street brewery.

  6. My mum said when she opened her front door chesters brewery was there, so what would the street be called.

  7. My mum said when she opened her front door chesters brewery was there, so what would the street be called.

  8. I first drank Chesters Mild in Mother Mac's back Piccadilly when Mother Mac herself was landlady 1958 now drink Holts Black not quite the same but good enough