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William Stones, Cannon Brewery


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Hi, I am a first time poster to this site. I am responsible for the Wikipedia page on William Stones Ltd and the Cannon Brewery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stones_Ltd

There seems to be a lot of knowledge on this site. I was hoping that people may be able to fill in some gaps in my article, correct mistakes etc. I'm not even local to Sheffield, so geography may be a starting point!

Cheers

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Hi

I know some people who worked in the offices at Rutland road for many years, I can't promise anything but I will try and get in touch with them and see if they can give you some answers.

My father kept a couple of " Stones " pubs in the 50s and early sixties and after we came out of the pubs we lived in one of their houses just above the brewery.

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Hi

I know some people who worked in the offices at Rutland road for many years, I can't promise anything but I will try and get in touch with them and see if they can give you some answers.

My father kept a couple of " Stones " pubs in the 50s and early sixties and after we came out of the pubs we lived in one of their houses just above the brewery.

Thanks. Other questions would be:

what changes to the brewing process did Bass introduce (cheaper ingredients, chemicals etc)?

When was high gravity brewing introduced at the brewery?

Was there a Stones Mild, when was it introduced/withdrawn?

What ABV was Stones back in the day to get the reputation as Jungle Juice?

Why did Bass decide to de prioritise the brand in favour of their Worthington ale brand?

Were those two cheeky chappie get into scrapes abroad adverts from the 1980s shown in the South?

What else was brewed at the Cannon other than Stones Bitter?

Was the Pig & Whistle open to the public?

What was the product range of a Bass owned Stones pub?

Why did Stones Bitter become so phenomenoly popular in Sheffield during the 60s and 70s and into the 80s?

And any other facts/stories would be great

Cheers

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Why did Stones Bitter become so phenomenoly popular in Sheffield during the 60s and 70s and into the 80s?

Cheers

Well, having the brewery in the City, and a large number of tied public houses as well could have given the brew a "captive audience" of local drinkers, as it were.

In Stones pubs we never asked for a pint of beer, just a pint of Stones's.

(Pronounced, "a pint er Stoonzers")

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Well, having the brewery in the City, and a large number of tied public houses as well could have given the brew a "captive audience" of local drinkers, as it were.

In Stones pubs we never asked for a pint of beer, just a pint of Stones's.

(Pronounced, "a pint er Stoonzers")

So the beer wasn't good in its own right? I read somewhere that Wards was generally preferred to Stones, but Stones owned more pubs.

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I suppose that taste is a very personal thing, but for the record, I was always a Wards' man and preferred it to the Stones' Brewery offering.

Strangely enough though, most of my friends preferred Wards' over Stones's as well.

We always thought that Stones' "made your bum bad" if you know what I mean. lol

But then again, I suppose that in hindsight, that Wards' could do that as well. :blink:

N

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So the beer wasn't good in its own right? I read somewhere that Wards was generally preferred to Stones, but Stones owned more pubs.

As I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum, (don't ask me where). My father, a man at the top of his class when it came to sinking beer, always maintained that Stones's was chemical beer. The only thing I can add is that all the other Sheffield breweries of my youth used to be enveloped in a wonderful cloud of hop vapour which even as a very young lad I found delicous. On the other hand the Stones brewery had a horrible rank smell when you went past on the tram. However they made their beer, it was in a different way to the other breweries.

HD

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So the beer wasn't good in its own right? I read somewhere that Wards was generally preferred to Stones, but Stones owned more pubs.

Opinion is certainly divided amongst local drinkers on that issue.

I agree with hilldwellers comments on Stones that it was "different".

It wouldn't have said that I prefered Wards though.

Wards was "different" as well. I found it quite "heavy" and "gassey" to drink to the extent that it was self limiting in the amount you could consume.

After a couple of pints of it I felt as though my stomach was dragging on the floor with the weight of it.

Stones was much lighter, - but tasted totally different.

To be honest, we just went out "for a beer" and we tended to choose the pub we went to for social reasons rather than which beer they served.

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It became more 'orrible once it became "chemical" and served far too cold. A beer version of lager.

On rare occasions it was still a treat 30 years ago.

So the beer wasn't good in its own right? I read somewhere that Wards was generally preferred to Stones, but Stones owned more pubs.

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As I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum, (don't ask me where). My father, a man at the top of his class when it came to sinking beer, always maintained that Stones's was chemical beer. The only thing I can add is that all the other Sheffield breweries of my youth used to be enveloped in a wonderful cloud of hop vapour which even as a very young lad I found delicous. On the other hand the Stones brewery had a horrible rank smell when you went past on the tram. However they made their beer, it was in a different way to the other breweries.

HD

What era was your father talking about then? As I seem to recall reading somewhere that Stones was chemical pap even before Bass took it over.

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It became more 'orrible once it became "chemical" and served far too cold. A beer version of lager.

On rare occasions it was still a treat 30 years ago.

When did it become "chemical"? And what do you mean by that?

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I wonder what was the active component(s) in giving you "the squits"...

I'm sceptical of the claim that it was designed to quench the thirst of Sheffield's steelworkers. How can you design a beer specifically for those employed in a certain sector of industry? For sure, it could well have been popular among Sheffield's steelworkers, but that doesn't quite amount to the same thing...

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I wonder what was the active component(s) in giving you "the squits"...

I'm sceptical of the claim that it was designed to quench the thirst of Sheffield's steelworkers. How can you design a beer specifically for those employed in a certain sector of industry? For sure, it could well have been popular among Sheffield's steelworkers, but that doesn't quite amount to the same thing...

Any drink will quench a thirst, not just a particular type of beer.

However, men who have worked a physically demanding shift on hot (close to furnaces and hot metal), dry conditions will lose a fair bit of body fluid as sweat.

To replace this it is not only the water content that needs putting back to qunch thirst and prevent a degree of dehydration, it is the loss of salts and body chemicals in the lost fluid as well.

Most of these are substances which are waste products which the body would excrete (possibly as sweat) anyway, but some of them are not and need replacing.

Could it be this which makes one drink better than another?

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What era was your father talking about then? As I seem to recall reading somewhere that Stones was chemical pap even before Bass took it over.

The 1950's into the 1960's. I used to travel past on the tram in the late 1950's and I remember wondering why it didn't smell of hops like the other breweries.

HD

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Opinion is certainly divided amongst local drinkers on that issue.

I agree with hilldwellers comments on Stones that it was "different".

It wouldn't have said that I prefered Wards though.

Wards was "different" as well. I found it quite "heavy" and "gassey" to drink to the extent that it was self limiting in the amount you could consume.

After a couple of pints of it I felt as though my stomach was dragging on the floor with the weight of it.

Stones was much lighter, - but tasted totally different.

To be honest, we just went out "for a beer" and we tended to choose the pub we went to for social reasons rather than which beer they served.

I think that Wards Bitter had a very distinctive taste, entirely different to other beers. Did it have something like liquorice or aniseed in it I wonder ?

It went downhill in my estimation when brewing shifted to Vaux. They served a lovely pint of Wards at the Grindstone, Crookes. They had an unusual single stroke 1 pint dispensing electric pump instead of the usual double stroke of half a pint each stroke. It used to make me laugh when someone asked for a half and the barmaid used the pint pump. All that beer going to waste (or did it ! )

HD

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Hand-pumps please and no overcooling Thank you.

I think that Wards Bitter had a very distinctive taste, entirely different to other beers. Did it have something like liquorice or aniseed in it I wonder ?

It went downhill in my estimation when brewing shifted to Vaux. They served a lovely pint of Wards at the Grindstone, Crookes. They had an unusual single stroke 1 pint dispensing electric pump instead of the usual double stroke of half a pint each stroke. It used to make me laugh when someone asked for a half and the barmaid used the pint pump. All that beer going to waste (or did it ! )

HD

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The 1950's into the 1960's. I used to travel past on the tram in the late 1950's and I remember wondering why it didn't smell of hops like the other breweries.

HD

This is strangely heartening. For once a multinational wasn't to blame for nefarious practises (not initially anyway).

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Any drink will quench a thirst, not just a particular type of beer.

However, men who have worked a physically demanding shift on hot (close to furnaces and hot metal), dry conditions will lose a fair bit of body fluid as sweat.

To replace this it is not only the water content that needs putting back to qunch thirst and prevent a degree of dehydration, it is the loss of salts and body chemicals in the lost fluid as well.

Most of these are substances which are waste products which the body would excrete (possibly as sweat) anyway, but some of them are not and need replacing.

Could it be this which makes one drink better than another?

You know I've always thought of Stones as a salty beer. Damn it you're onto something there. I don't know about any other chemicals, but they definitely put salt into Stones I reckon.

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Any drink will quench a thirst, not just a particular type of beer.

However, men who have worked a physically demanding shift on hot (close to furnaces and hot metal), dry conditions will lose a fair bit of body fluid as sweat.

To replace this it is not only the water content that needs putting back to qunch thirst and prevent a degree of dehydration, it is the loss of salts and body chemicals in the lost fluid as well.

Most of these are substances which are waste products which the body would excrete (possibly as sweat) anyway, but some of them are not and need replacing.

Could it be this which makes one drink better than another?

When I worked on the technical side in the steelworks we were supplied with tablets to dissolve in water when we were working in hot conditions. When I say hot I mean hot. One particular job involved working, while in use, inside the boom of the huge melting shop overhead cranes on the crane to ground radio systems. In summer I have measured the temperature at 65 degrees centigrade. You didn't stop any longer than necessary. From memory the tablets contained salt and iodine though what the iodine was for I've no idea. We also had to have frequent blood tests as leaded steels were produced in the melting shop.

HD

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Hand-pumps please and no overcooling Thank you.

Can you convey that message to the manager of the Shiney Sheff. He seems to think it necessary to serve hand pump dispensed bitter at a temperature where ice crystals are in danger of forming. To be fair the above-ground cellar doesn't help and I suppose they serve more gnat's water ( AKA lager ) than bitter.

HD

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When I worked on the technical side in the steelworks we were supplied with tablets to dissolve in water when we were working in hot conditions. When I say hot I mean hot. One particular job involved working, while in use, inside the boom of the huge melting shop overhead cranes on the crane to ground radio systems. In summer I have measured the temperature at 65 degrees centigrade. You didn't stop any longer than necessary. From memory the tablets contained salt and iodine though what the iodine was for I've no idea. We also had to have frequent blood tests as leaded steels were produced in the melting shop.

HD

I remember the salt tablets whilst working for British Steel, although we were also provided with an orange flavoured drink in which to dissolve the tablets, rather than having to dissolve them in water, in order to make them a little more palatable.

Not that the orange flavoured drink made a MASSIVE difference to the final taste of the resultant "brine solution", but it did help a little.

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I remember the salt tablets whilst working for British Steel, although we were also provided with an orange flavoured drink in which to dissolve the tablets, rather than having to dissolve them in water, in order to make them a little more palatable.

Not that the orange flavoured drink made a MASSIVE difference to the final taste of the resultant "brine solution", but it did help a little.

I worked for BSC at Stocksbridge Works and there were no fancy orange flavoured drinks for us, just tap water which tasted foul anyway. I do know that certain divisions were treated very differently. Do you remember the internal telephone newslines ? We discovered the Grosvenor Square BSC Head Office newsline and used to salivate at the luncheon menu. Having said that the scran on management courses at Brookfield Manor and Esher was something to look forward to.

HD

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Dilute Orange and salt tablets at Batchelors in the drying plant ...

I remember the salt tablets whilst working for British Steel, although we were also provided with an orange flavoured drink in which to dissolve the tablets, rather than having to dissolve them in water, in order to make them a little more palatable.

Not that the orange flavoured drink made a MASSIVE difference to the final taste of the resultant "brine solution", but it did help a little.

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