Joseph Holt


Our Brewery based in the heart of Manchester has 170 years of brewing history within its walls. We have seen a lot change since we started brewing back in 1849, to both the Brewery and the great city of Manchester.

We have been here so long we really do feel part of Manchester's history and hopefully its future. With well over 100 pubs in the region, we are part of this great city's fabric. 

From one mans dream to brew his beer in Manchester, to receiving International gold awards for brewing the best lagers in the World and to raising millions of pounds for charity, we are proud of our history and our part in a city's evolution.

From the birth of Joseph Holt in the early nineteenth century, the Brewery and the city have seen some good times and some dark days. The timeline below highlights some notable dates.

1901 ~ 1999: The 21st Century


Edward Holt opens a bottling plant


The Licensing Act causes 29 pubs to be closed


Edward Holt elected Lord Mayor of Manchester

Edward enjoyed the very rare honour of being elected Lord Mayor of the city two years in a row.


Output of cask beer is 51,273 barrels


Edward Holt made a CBE

In 1920, Edward Holt receives a CBE in the honours list.


Output of cask beer is 33,200 barrels


Sir Edward Holt dies and his son the second Edward Holt takes control of The Brewery


Population of Manchester grows to 766,311


Christie and Holt Radium Institute Amalgamate

Christie and Holt Radium Institute amalgamate in 1932 to form the Christie Hospital in 1933


The Holt Radium Institute opens at the new Christie Hospital honouring the families ongoing support


The Central Library is built

Manchester Central Library is a circular library south of the Town Hall extension. Designed by E. Vincent Harris, the library was constructed between 1930 and 1934, but because of its traditional neoclassical architecture it is often mistakenly thought to be much older. At its opening, one critic wrote, "This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon". The form of the building, a columned portico attached to a rotunda domed structure, is loosely derived from the Pantheon, Rome.


The Manchester blitz


The world’s first stored programme computer is built at Manchester University

The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), nicknamed Baby, was the world's first stored-program computer. The machine was not intended to be a practical computer but was instead designed as a testbed for the Williams tube, an early form of computer memory. Although considered "small and primitive" by the standards of its time, it was the first working machine to contain all of the elements essential to a modern electronic computer.


Joseph Holt Ltd is floated


The old Holt family home of The Woodthorpe opens as a Hotel


The Munich air crash


Sir Edward Holt dies and Peter Kershaw becomes Chairman


Joseph Holt price list in October 1974


The Arndale Centre opens


Major work to enlarge The Brewery means a 50% increase in production


The Hacienda opens

Before it was turned into a club, the Haçienda was a yacht builder's shop and warehouse before becoming a Bollywood cinema in the 1970s.

Originally conceived by Rob Gretton (New Orders manager), it was largely financed by Factory Records and New Order. Located on the corner of Whitworth Street West and Albion Street, the Hacienda was the venue for Madonna’s first UK performance. FAC 51 was its official designation in the Factory catalogue.


Joseph Holt re-enters the Free Trade


Richard Kershaw, son of Peter Kershaw becomes Managing Director


Manchester GMEX opens


Madchester reigns

Manchester becomes the center of the musical universe with the rise of The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, 808 State and The Inspiral Carpets.


Metrolink starts running


Joseph Holt is placed seventh in a list of the UK’s fastest growing public companies


IRA bomb Manchester


The Ape & Apple opens

This city center pub on John Dalton Street was opened by the football legend Denis Law. It remains one of our most successful pubs.


Joseph Holt Brewery celebrates its 150th birthday


Manchester United win a unique treble


Joseph Holt Celebrate 150 Years

Joseph Holt celebrates 150th birthday with a Christie sesquicentennial appeal. This involved a number of events organised by the Joseph Holt Executives but the highlight of which was a lunch for 500 people in the Midland Hotel, at which Tim Wonacott kindly auctioned a number of excellent lots attended by many brewers. In total, we handed over a cheque on 11 May 2000 for £301,056 to the Christie.