1986 commercial for Courage Beer.
Courage & Co Ltd was started by John Courage at the Anchor Brewhouse in Horselydown, Bermondsey in 1787. It became Courage & Donaldson in 1797. By 1888, it had been registered simply as ‘Courage’. In 1955, the company merged with Barclay, Perkins & Co Ltd (who were located at the nearby Anchor Brewery) to become Courage, Barclay & Co Ltd. Only five years later, another merger with the Reading based Simonds’ Brewery led to the name changing to Courage, Barclay, Simonds & Co Ltd. This was simplified to Courage Ltd in October 1970 and the company was taken over by the Imperial Tobacco Group Ltd two years later.
Their vast Worton Grange (now Berkshire) brewery was opened on the Reading/Shinfield border in 1978. The Anchor Brewery closed in 1981 and all brewing was transferred there. Imperial Tobacco was acquired by the Hanson Trust in 1986 and they sold off Courage to Elders IXL who were renamed the Foster’s Brewing Group in 1990. The following year, the Courage section of Foster’s merged with all the breweries of Grand Metropolitan. Its public houses were owned by a joint-company called Inntrepreneur Estates. Scottish & Newcastle purchased Courage from Foster’s in 1995, creating Scottish Courage as its brewing arm.
As of January 2007 the rights for the production, marketing and sales of the Courage brands have been sold to Wells & Young’s Brewing Company. This will be managed by a joint venture called Courage Brands Ltd
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