Phipps as a company has a long and winding story that starts in a small South Northants market town in 1801. Its move to the county town of Northampton in 1817 began the steady expansion of the business until it became the major brewer in the South East Midlands. At its height the pub estate stretched from Leicester in the north. Peterborough in the east, Oxford in the south and Warwick in the west. Under the stewardship of the Phipps family for over 150 years, the company ethos was to produce only the best and most distinctive brews. Phipps was one of the regional giants of British brewing.
It took four years of research and negotiation from the inception of the revival for Phipps NBC beer to launch in December 2008 at the Sir Pickering Phipps in Northampton. You can read about this process in “brewing our ales”. The reception of the beer surpassed all expectation and it is a matter of great pride that once again people can walk into many pubs and clubs in the Northants area and order a pint of Phipps. Following on from the success of the IPA, NBC’s session bitter Red Star was re introduced quickly followed by Ratliffe’s Celebrated Stout in 2009. In Diamond Jubilee year we also took the opportunity to brew Phipps Diamond ale for the first time since the outbreak of WW2.
The name Phipps and the memory of its glorious golden beers never died in its heartland. In 2004 the management of the old Phipps pub chain started making plans to rebrew the legendary IPA which had been the company’s flagship beer until 1972. Grabbing the chance to break free from the ailing S&N, the project continued with Phipps once again an independent company. Many of the old Phipps brewers gave their time and expertise to the recreation of first the IPA and then the full range of heritage ales. In 2014 the last surviving part of the Phipps brewing empire became available; The Albion Brewery where first Ratcliffe then Phipps Stouts were brewed from 1884 until 1919. Phipps Northampton Brewery Co moved back to the restored brewery as the Phipps family rejoined the business. A brewery tap bar was added in 2015 and Gin production was started up again to compliment the noted ales & stout. Today the company is once more a living part of the area’s commercial and cultural life; Phipps has come full circle.