Founded by 1877. Registered 1905. Acquired by the Stroud Brewery Co. Ltd. In 1928. Brewery demolished in 1936 and a mineral water and bottling plant was built on the site. The maltings are still extant and currently used as an antique centre

Godsell and Sons' Brewery - Salmon's Spring, Stroud
Godsell and Sons' Brewery - Salmon's Spring, Stroud
Rear of Godsell and Sons’ Brewery – Salmon’s Spring, Stroud

Tied houses:

Anchor Inn, Bath Road Rodborough (1903 lessee)

Anchor, Ryeford (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Beacon and Railway Hotel, Haresfield (1903 lessee)

Beehive, London Road, Charlton Kings (1903)

Bell, Cambridge (1891, 1903)

Bell, The Green, Frampton on Severn (1903 lessee)

Bell, 71 Barton Street, Gloucester

Bell, Kings Stanley (1891, 1903 lessee)

Black Horse, Cranham (1891 lessee)

Brave Old Oak, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham (1891, 1903)

Britannia, Alkerton, Eastington (1891, 1903)

Britannia, Kings Stanley (1891, 1903)

British Lion, Parkend, Lydney (1903)

Broadwell Tavern, Dursley (1891, 1903)

Burton Brewery, 21 St. James Square, Cheltenham (1891 lessee, 1903)

Butchers Arms, Oakridge Lynch (1891, 1903)

Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe (1891, 1903)

Butchers Arms, 51 Parliament Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Calcutta, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham (1903)

Carpenters Arms, Chalford (1891, 1903)

Clothiers Arms, Market Street, Nailsworth (1891, 1903)

Commercial, Baker Street, Gloucester

Corn Exchange, 44 High Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Court House, France Lynch (1891, 1903)

Cross Hands, Stammages Lane, Painswick (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Cross, High Street, Aylburton (1903)

Cross, High Street, Woodchester (1891, 1903)

Cross Keys, Bristol Road, Hardwicke (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Cross Keys, Acre Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Duke of Wellington, Tredworth Road, Gloucester

Duke of York, 22 Nelson Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Elephant and Castle, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham (1903)

Fleece, Stanley Downton, Stonehouse (1891, 1903)

Fountain, Northwick Place, Bath Road, Cheltenham (1903 lessee)

George Hotel, George Street, Nailsworth (1891 lessee, 1903)

Globe, High Street, Stonehouse (1891, 1903)

Golden Cross, Bath Road, Rodborough (1891, 1903)

Golden Fleece, 9 Nelson Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Golden Heart, High Street, Tredworth, Gloucester

Great Western, Clarence Street, Cheltenham (1891 lessee, 1903)

Green Dragon, King Street, Stroud (1903)

Greyhound, 12 Gloucester Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Heart of Oak, Frampton on Severn (1891, 1903)

Horse and Groom, St. Georges Place, Cheltenham (1891, 1903)

Kings Arms, King Street, Cheltenham (1891, 1903)

Kings Arms, Ross Road, Newent (1891, 1903)

Kingsholm, 8 Kingsholm Road, Gloucester

Lamb, Eastcombe (1903 lessee)

Lamb, Ebley (1891, 1903)

Lamb, Minchinhampton (1903)

Lansdown Inn, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham (1903)

Lower George, Wallbridge, Stroud (1903)

Ludlow Green, Ruscombe (1891, 1903)

Malakoff, Ebley (1891, 1903)

Malakoff, Thrupp (1891, 1903)

Masons Arms, Bream, Lydney (1903)

Masons Arms, Gloucester Street, Stroud (1903)

Middleyard, Kings Stanley (1891 lessee)

Morning Star, Hardwicke (1903)

Nags Head, Kingscourt (1903)

Nags Head, Regent Street, Stonehouse (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Nags Head, Uley (1891 lessee)

New House, Stroud (1891, 1903)

New Inn, Bisley (1891, 1903)

New Inn, Eastington (1903)

New Inn, Randwick (1891, 1903)

New Inn, High Street, Tewkesbury (1903)

New Inn, Whaddon, Gloucester (1891, 1903)

New Pilot, Southgate Street, Gloucester

Oddfellows, Oxbody Lane, Gloucester

Oddfellows, Summer Street, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Old Crown, Kings Stanley (1891, 1903)

Old Crown, The Green, Uley (1903)

Old Crown, Whiteshill, Stroud (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Old Packhorse, 63 Burton Street, Cheltenham (1891, 1903)

Port, Thrupp, Brimscombe (1891, 1903)

Queens Head, Aston Cross, Tewkesbury (1903)

Railway, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Red Lion, The Cross, Arlingham (1891, 1903)

Red Lion, Westbury on Severn (1891, 1903)

Royal Oak, Hucclecote (1903)

Royal Oak, Kings Stanley (1891, 1903)

Royal Oak, High Street, Stonehouse (1891, 1903)

Royal Oak, Woodchester (1903)

Seven Stars, 13 Henrietta Street, Cheltenham (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

Somerset Arms, Moorend Street, Leckhampton, Cheltenham (1903)

Spread Eagle, 258 High Street, Cheltenham (1891, 1903)

Spread Eagle, Newport, Berkeley (1891, 1903)

Spread Eagle, Bisley Old Road, Stroud (1891, 1903)

Star, Whiteshill (1903)

Swan, Newerne Street, Lydney (1891, 1903)

Swan Hotel, Market Street, Wotton under Edge (1903)

Theatre Vaults, 152 Westgate Street, Gloucester

Victoria, Alkerton, Eastington (1891, 1903)

Vine Tree, Albion Street, Cheltenham (1903 lessee)

Wellington Arms, Wellington Street, Gloucester

Wheatsheaf, 94 Southgate Street, Gloucester

White Hart, The Street, Leonard Stanley (1891, 1903)

White Horse, Regent Place, Swindon Road, Cheltenham (1891 lessee)

White Horse, Vicarage Street, Painswick (1891, 1903)

White Lamp, 45 Westgate Street, Gloucester

White Lion, High Street, Berkeley (1891 lessee, 1903 lessee)

White Lion, 12 High Street, Stroud (1891*, 1903)

Yew Tree, Nupend, Horsley (1891 lessee)

Yew Tree, Whiteshill (1891, 1903)

*White Lion, Stroud. Owned by Godsell’s but tied to Stroud Brewery Co. in 1891.

A contemporary account of the brewing operations at Salmon’s Spring. From ‘Where to Buy – Stroud’s Premier Shops’. c.1909

There are few manufactures that appeal more directly to the sympathies of the British public than that of the national beverage, and, notwithstanding the many influences at work; that interest is daily increasing instead of diminishing. It may be taken for granted that the popular taste in matters of food is pretty sure to be correct, or, in other words, that the natural taste of the people will select the particular description of food which is best suited for them under all the circumstances; and, until our national climate has become entirely altered, and our national habits of life completely revolutionized, Englishmen are not likely to give up the invigorating beverage which is par excellence their favourite, and, as it is truly called, their national beverage, in order to become dyspeptic tea and coffee drinkers, or to indulge in the wild delights of dissolved carbonic acid gas. At all events, if such a contingency should ever happen, we should say that the Cotswold man would be among the very last to foreswear beer so long as he can procure it of the quality now made at Godsell’s Brewery, near Stroud

In the Cotswold district there are several breweries, but that of Messrs. Godsell and Sons is one of the best known and most interesting in the county, both on account of its present importance and its past history; and we therefore propose, in this review of the Stroud Valley manufactures, to devote a special article to this leading house.

On the high road from Stroud to Painswick, and about half a mile from the former town, on turning a bend in the road, the eye is struck with an imposing block of buildings, out of which rises a peculiar shaped massive round tower, the whole standing out in picturesque relief against a background of soft green slopes and a clear blue sky. This is Godsell and Sons’ widely known brewery, with its congeries of stores, cellars, warehouses, malthouses and offices. As it stands, it bears, even in its structural arrangements, striking evidence of its history, and forms an eloquent and enduring monument of the enterprise of its proprietors, and their constant determination to keep pace with the times. Founded in connection with a small flour mill, about forty years ago, by the late well known and respected Mr. Thomas Godsell, the business soon attracted attention, and as time progressed, and the trade increased, the brewery and its stores, &c., grew by continual additions from year to year, until, at the present time, the buildings cover an area of fully three acres in extent. This gives but an imperfect idea, however, of the extent of the business, for the various departments are so perfectly arranged that those three acres of ground represent, probably, more actual business than three times the space in other manufactories.

On entering from the high road a broad lane divides the building into two blocks, with cellars, stores and warehouses on one side, and the brewery, with its malthouses, grain stores, &c., and the offices of the firm, on the other side. Through the courtesy of Messrs. Godsell, we recently had the privilege of looking over this extensive manufactory, and we were agreeably surprised at every step to note how the most recent scientific improvements have been introduced into every department, and how every inch of space is utilized, and every mechanical contrivance availed of to render the whole concern a perfectly harmonious and almost self-acting system. The grain stores are extensive and well stocked with splendid new barley in sacks and in bulk. This grain, the greater portion of which has come from the best barley districts of England, is of a superior quality, not too full in the body, but of that firm, clean, medium size which delights the heart of the experienced maltster. We have not seen for several years a better stock of barley than that now at Messrs. Godsell and Sons’ stores, and the brewing output for the coming year is certainly a bright one. From the barley stores we naturally proceed to the malthouses, which we find, from the steeping cistern to the drying kilns and screening floors, are models of intelligent care and judicious management. Indeed, the head maltster is one of the best practical men in his business in this part of the country, having spent a long apprenticeship at some of the leading houses in Burton-on-Trent. Under his experienced surpervision there is a competent staff of workmen industriously employed attending to the various operations, and carefully watching the development of the grain and assisting its germination till it has arrived at the proper stage for finally drying off on the kilns. This preliminary operation of malting is an extremely delicate one; and, as on its successful achievement depends to a very considerable extent the quality of the resulting beer, it is evident that in a large concern like this the malthouse receives very careful attention. Indeed, The economical manufacture of good malt is a matter requiring not only a long practical experience, but also a good scientific education, and we find in all the arrangements at Messrs Godsell’s malthouses that both in the selection of the grain, the equipment and construction of the houses and utensils, and the general system of working, the teachings of experience and science and the latest improvements in mechanical contrivances have been utilised to the fullest extent to produce sound, clean and wholesome malt.

The drying kilns are of a very improved kind, having a new patent wove wire floor, and the fire being a clear open one in the centre of a large room or chamber underneath this kiln. Midway between this fire and the floor of the kiln is placed a shade or screen of tiles, which distributes the heat and diffuses it equally over the whole floor of the kiln, thus preventing the undue heating of any particular portion of it. From the malthouses the screened malt is taken to the malt stores, to remain there until needed in the brewery. These stores contain a very large amount of malt, and, as the firm have several malthouses in full work, one cannot help wondering, extensive as their stores are, and large as their daily consumption is, how they can find storage room for their immense stock at the end of the malting season.

In close proximity to these malt stores are a series of large rooms which, although they were in almost total darkness, we had no difficulty in distinguishing, from the aromatic odour they exhaled, as the hop stores. They are kept darkened in order to preserve the fine properties of the hop, which, it has been found, is prejudicially affected by sunlight. We had an opportunity, however, of inspecting these warehouses, which, although they were very extensive, were packed full with an immense quantity of the choicest products of the hop yards of Kent, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, etc. These hops are of very superior quality and in splendid condition, and contribute largely to the beautiful aromatic flavour and tonic properties for which Godsell’s ales have such a unique reputation; and looking at the extensive stores packed from floor to ceiling with innumerable pockets of these choice bitters, we could not help mentally wondering how many of the surrounding breweries could be purchased right out for what the contents of these stores alone must have cost.

Returning to the malt-stores, we find the workmen busy preparing malt for use in the brewery. The malt for this purpose is sent into a specially constructed mill, where it is winnowed and cleansed from every accidental impurity, such as dust or pebbles, after which it is ground or crushed to facilitate the mashing process. From these mills the crushed malt is carried up through shoots or elevators to the mash tun, where the process of brewing is commenced.

At least that used to be so, but it is not strictly correct as applied to Godsell’s brewery at the present day, for invention has been at work in every branch of this progressive concern, and the mash tun is no longer a mash tun in the ordinary or old-fashioned meaning of the term. The object of the mash tun was to thoroughly mix the crushed malt with water, heated to the proper temperature; the mixture being then allowed to stand for a certain period, so that, by a chemical change, a portion of the floury kernel of the grain might be dissolved and converted into a sweetish liquid, technically called wort. In the new arrangement, however, the crushed malt comes up the shoot and is conveyed into a large pipe, where it meets a stream of hot water in exactly the proportion to thoroughly mash or mix with it on their combined journey into the mash tun, which has, therefore, now become properly an infusion vessel. From there the sweet wort is strained off after a time and sent into the coppers, to be boiled with the hops, while the grains or refuse malt, left in the mash tun, is shot out into the yard, to be greedily picked up by the farmers for cattle feeding purposes.

The coppers in which the wort is boiled with the hops, thereby receiving that pleasant tonic flavour which we all appreciate in good beer, are, in reality, great copper-lined wells, into which the men climb down by means of long ladders when they have to clean them. From their appearance we should say that was frequently, for these vessels were spotless, and shone like a new kettle in which a careful housewife took a special pride. These great coppers are each provided with patent adjustable domes or hoods, suspended over them to counteract the tendency of the boiling wort to splash over the sides of the vessel in its violent ebullitions. From the copper the wort is conveyed to an open cooler, and then over an ingeniously constructed system of pipes, called a refrigerator, which rapidly cools it to the proper temperature for the fermenting process.

It is then run into the great fermenting tuns, where it is mixed with the proper proportion of yeast or barm, and left to ferment. The head or froth, which rises in great volumes during fermentation, is cleaned off these vessels, automatically, by overflow pipes, like tun dishes placed in the centre of the vats, thus saving a large amount of waste and economizing labour. After a few days here, the beer is run into backs, from which the casks are filled, or else into immense store vats containing from twelve to thirteen thousand gallons each, where it remains till required.

In the whole of this manufacturing process every detail of the arrangements seem perfect, each process and operation proceeding with the most complete order and regularity, and every precaution being taken to ensure the success of each stage of the manufacture.

The most scrupulous care is taken that the quality of the malt and hops shall be of the very best, and all the operations are characterised with the most absolute cleanliness. In regard to the quality of the water, also, the firm are singularly fortunate, for in the immediate vicinity of the brewery, in the Callowell Fields, are the famous Salmon Springs, from which the brewery draws an abundant supply of the purest water in the county.

It is therefore, little wonder, with such conditions, that Godsell’s ales should have such a widespread popularity in the West of England. Their light dinner ale at 1s. per gallon and their old ale at 1s.4d. per gallon are, in point of fact, among the must popular beveages in the West Midlands, as they are undoubtedly among the very best of their kind.

As adjuncts of the brewery proper there are several extensive departments. The beer storage itself is well worth a special visit, and extensive preparations are already on foot to make room for the storing of the forthcoming stock of March brewings. The cooperage also is an important branch, and is very extensive, employing a numerous staff, and as many as fifty steam taps are kept constantly busy purifying and sweetening the casks preparatory to use.

Besides the malthouses at the brewery, the firm have several others in various parts of the district, and they also keep a flour mill in constant work. The old flour mill, however, originally connected with the brewery, has been turned into a store to meet the growing demands of the brewery business. The bottling warehouses are extensive, the firm keeping a large staff employed, bottling their ales and stouts in patent stoppered bottles, as well as the beers and stout of Bass and Guinness.

The wine and spirit stores are also very extensive. Messrs. Godsell and Sons holding a very large stock, including some of the choicest brands of wines, brandies, whiskies, etc. Among the latter their great speciality is the famous “Glenluce” Scotch whisky, which is rapidly becoming the whisky of the day, and is fast displacing brandy in the opinion of the medical profession. There are, of course, various opinions upon this subject, but the fact remains that the sale of whisky is, at the present day, much larger than it used to be when compared with brandy, and certain high class whiskys such as the “Glenluce” being strongly recommended, advance with more than ordinary strides.

Without doubt this brewery is one of the best managed manufactories in the Cotswold district, each department being under the strict supervision of a member of the firm who is a specialist in that particular branch, and the whole concern working like one harmonious machine.

In 1876, Mr Thomas Godsell introduced into the business his sons, Messrs, George William, James Uriah, Thomas Henry and Edward Samuel; each one of whom has had a thorough, practical education in everything connected with the business; and when, in 1885, the founder of the house died, the present principals were in every way qualified to carry it on, on the sound lines followed by their father, and with the additional advantages of modern scientific training.

Under the new conditions of the trade brought about partly by the legislation of 1880, and principally by the enterprise of the firm and the rapidly increasing popularity of their beverages, their business has developed very rapidly within the past few years. So great, indeed, has been the demand for their liquors that Messrs. Godsell, notwithstanding their extensive and complete arrangements at their brewery, have found it necessary, for the greater conveniences of the public, to open a large branch establishment at Gloucester. The offices of this branch are situated in Eastgate Street, at the Cross, Gloucester; and both here at the large stores connected with it, the firm kep an extensive stock of their choicest liquors, both in ales and stouts, as well as in wines, spirits and liqueurs.

Large and important, however, as the business now is, it is evident that, under the present energetic management, it is destined to still further expand. The New Railway Extension Bill for Stroud will materially assist the operations of the firm, and, as they have a private siding of their own, they will be greatly facilitated in distributing their goods among their numerous customers all over the country. The present principals are, indeed, recognised as among the most able commercial and manufacturing gentlemen in the whole of the Cotswold district.

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