Reffells Bexley Brewery Ltd. (1898-1956)

Bourne Road, Bexley Kent

Around the turn of the century many breweries needed to expand and re-equip with modern machinery in order to remain solvent. The company owned by the two Reffell brothers was therefore put on the share market, Reffell’s Bexley Brewery Limited being registered on 3 December 1898 with a purchase price of £185,000.

The brewery very slowly became solvent and by 1934 a dividend was paid on Ordinary Shares for the very first time. In celebration of this achievement all staff were given an extra week’s pay. The brewery had a strong local connection and at the time of the Kings Silver Jubilee, it was noted that four employees had attained 40 years employment, another four had done 25 years and three more had stayed for over 20 years.

Further financial pressures grew after the Second World War and Reffells Bexley Brewery Ltd. was bought by Courage & Barclay in June 1956, along with the public houses that it then owned. It closed the following year and around 70 people were made redundant. Fortunately, the site has not been demolished and has been converted into a small industrial estate whose buildings still retain the old brewery names.