The Hythe Brewery was established in 1699 by James Pashley and in 1801 came
into the hands of the Mackeson family. Early expansion resulted from the
British soldiers in the area, to combat the threat of a French
invasion. The brewery's most famous product, introduced around 1907, was
Milk Stout, which was produced under
licence by other brewers. Whitbread
acquired control of the brewery through Jude Hanbury & Co. Ltd., in the late
1920s, but brewing continued at Hythe up to May, 1968. Today the name'
Mackeson' has become synonymous with mellow stout, and is found in
refrigerators around the world as it is known both nationally and
From the Kentish Chronicle 15 July 1806.
Bakers and Dealers in yeast may be supplied with yeast in the highest
perfection, every day in the week, on application being made to John
Leversque, brewer, for Messrs. Mackeson's Hythe, Kent.
Hythe, Kent, 14th July, 1806.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20
February, 1914. Price 1d.
A games contest between Dover and Folkestone for the Mackeson Shield
took place at the Friendly Society's Club, Biggin Street, on Thursday
evening last week, when Folkestone were successful at dominoes,
cribbage, euchre, and whist, but Dover won both at billiards and darts.
The following were the results:- Billiards; R. Downs (Folkestone), beat
W. Austin (Dover); A Williams (Dover), beat M. Bansted (Folkestone); F.
H. Licence (Dover), beat Mr. Redmond (Folkestone). Darts; Dover 5,
Folkestone 4. Dominoes; Dover 1, Folkestone 2. Cribbage; Dover 4,
Folkestone 5. Euchre; Dover 4, Folkestone 5. Whist, Dover 3, Folkestone
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24
DEATH OF Mr. H. MACKESON, J.P.
The death occurred on Sunday, at the age of 74 years, of Mr. Henry
Mackeson, J.P., of Littlebourne House, Littlebourne, a former head of the
firm of Mackeson and Co., Ltd., thr Hythe brewers. He was a Justice of the
Peace for Kent, and had frequently sat on the Wingham Bench at Dover. Mr.
Mackeson was the eldest son of the late Mr. Henry Bean mackeson, of Hythe,
and was born in 1861. He was educated at Uppingham, and later studied
chemistry at Edinburgh and London. He subsequently entered the business of
Mackeson and Co., Ltd., of Hythe. On the death of his father in 1894, he
became sole partner in the business, and, a year later, married Miss Ella C
Ripley. From then until 1814 he resided at Folkestone, and he moved to
Littlebourne House in 1919. He retired in 1920, when the business was
purchased by Messrs. Simmonds, of eading. His wife died in 1933, and he
leaves two sons. The elder is serving in the Royal Scots Greys in Edinburgh,
and the younger is farming at Littlebourne. In 1891, while a captain in the
5th Militia Battalion The Buffs, Mr. Mackeson was taking part in the parade
on the Old Park Parade Ground, Canterbury, when the horse which he was
riding swerved and threw him backwards. He was dangerously ill at the Kent
and Canterbury Hospital for a long time, as a result of his injuries, and
was permanently lame afterwards. He served on the Committee of the Kent
County Cricket Club for two periods. The funeral took place at Hythe Church
on Thursday afternoon.
I have recently found an early advert for Mackeson, unfortunately no visual
yet, but please click on the link to open a WAV file of the advert. Date
unknown. CLICK TO PLAY WAV.
The video (available from Windows Explorer) below is in WMV format and is over 5Mbt's in size, so may take some
time to download. Please click the play button to view. The advert is for
Mackeson XXX Milk Stout 4.9% (Exported). Advert probably from the Caribbean
Should the video not play in your browser, it can be downloaded by
Post Office Directory 1901 gave the address 15 King Street as belonging
to Mackeson and Co., brewers and also the name A. Weston, Restaurant.
Above pictures show a Mackeson pen date circa 1950s.
Now technically an InterBrew (now InBev) beer, I thought it was no longer brewed in
England but by the Boston Beer Company in Cincinnati. However, Andrew Bowden
emailed me to say it was recently (2012) brewed under license by Hydes of
Manchester, and had also been brewed by other breweries as well. The recipe for Mackeson Milk Stout has been around since 1801, but that refers to the
British version of the beer known simply as Mackeson's Stout. The American
version gets the XXX distinction because it's got a 4.9% ABV as opposed to
the 3.75% ABV of the original UK edition. I believe the last British version
I tasted had dropped to a mere 2.8%.
Above pictures kindly sent by Paul Wells, dates unknown
From an email received 20 September 2014.
I followed a link on Wikipedia under Mackeson Beer and found your
website. I don't know if this would be interesting to you but in this
country, Trader Joes, an upscale grocery chain with small but high
quality stores, used to import a container of Mackeson XXX every six
months and then sell it out. I would buy a case or two whenever they did
that. Then a few years ago it stopped and they told me they could no
longer get it. For my money, it's the best beer for sale anywhere. I
wrote to a Mackeson company in Scotland to ask where it might be
distributed here but got no joy out of the answer.
If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the
above licensed premises, please email:-