Ralph Fremlin had established his brewery in 1861, when he acquired an almost derelict brewery from the executors of Mr John Heathorn. His beers were produced for the family trade only; he was a deeply religious man and his principles ruled out the purchase of public houses. To facilitate the sale of Fremlins ales and stouts, branch offices were opened in London and other towns in the South-east of England.
Ralph Fremlin was a pioneer in the supply of beers in bottles and gallon jars, and the brewery's range of products was remarkable. The Fremlins elephant lost its freedom in 1967, when Whitbread bought the business with its 800 or so licensed properties. At the time of the brewery's takeover, no less than nine bottled beers alone were produced.
by Paul Green