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Our History

Discover the history behind the Charles Wells Brewery, from how it started to where we are today.
How the company came about

Charles Wells, after whom the brewery is named, was born in Bedford in 1842. At the age of 14 he left school and boarded the 'Devonshire' frigate, bound for India. Right about the time he was promoted to Chief Officer in the late 1860's, he fell in love and proposed to Josephine Grimbley.

The old breweryHowever, his prospective father-in-law put paid to his plans when he announced that no daughter of his would marry a man who would be away at sea for months at a time. And so, Charles, desperate to marry his sweetheart, left his sea-faring career and in 1876 established the Charles Wells Family Brewery to provide beer to the local Bedfordians. The success of his venture speaks for itself.

Charles Wells is now the largest independently owned, family run brewery in the country and is the UK's fifth largest brewery. Five generations on, the Charles Wells brewery is recognised worldwide for the quality and craftsmanship that goes behind producing their portfolio of beers. The brewery has won many brewing awards, both national and international and is respected not only for their beers but also for their pub estate, which includes mainland UK and Central and Eastern Europe.

Brewery in Bedford bookThe full fascinating history of the Charles Wells Brewery is now available as a hardback book. Roger Protz traces the rise of Charles Wells from its humble origins to a modern company that produces a wide portfolio of ales and lagers. Click here to purchase your copy from the Charles Wells shop today.

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