Clos Brenin – former Crown Brewery site

Crown brewery

The area now occupied by the Clos Brenin estate used to be the site of the Crown Brewery.

The brewery is linked with the creation of Working mens’ Clubs in South Wales during the 19th and 20th centuries. In common with other emerging industrial areas, South Wales welcomed a large influx of workers to previously small and isolated communities and conditions appeared in which groups of “like minded individuals” formed and operated their own clubs for recreation.

The clubs were supplied then by the many local breweries which abounded in the area.

As time went by, there were various difficulties with supplies particularly shortly after the first world war ended. The local working men’s clubs decided to form a company, The South Wales and Monmouth United Clubs Brewery Company Limited, the shares in which were only available to clubs which were members of the Clubs and Institute Union and to individuals who were members of such clubs.

Capital was raised by issuing 15,000 Ordinary Shares of £1 each and £10,000 Cumulative Preference Shares also £1. Although a further £15,000 was raised the following year, in 1919 the sum of £25,000 was deemed sufficient to form the company and to purchase a brewery.

In June 1919, an option was obtained on the Pontyclun brewery of D & T Jenkins, known as the Crown Brewery, and the purchase completed shortly afterwards.

The first brews of the single product C.P.A. (Clubs Pale Ale) were prepared by the head brewer, Captain Rogers, a one-time cavalry officer in the Boer War. At that time, production was a mere 200 barrels per week.

As time passed, more clubs bought their product, since not only was the product good and the supply assured, but a bonus was paid on each barrel purchased. This bonus enabled the clubs to keep the price of a pint at a low level.

By 1936, bottled beer was now being produced and the total output from the brewery was over 500 barrels per week.

Demand for the company’s products continued to increase and in 1938, additional fermentation capacity was added to the extent that 900 barrels per week could be produced.

After the second world war demand was rising fast and the old brewery could not cope so a new brewery was proposed. The first turf cut was made on 15th October 1951 and work was completed in February 1954.

The brewery merged with Buckley brewery of Llanelli in 1977 to form Crown Buckley. Brewing ceased here is 1989 but bottling continued for another 10 years or so.

Crown Buckley was then taken over by S A Brain & Co in 1997 and a few years after this the site was closed and sold for development into the housing that we see now.