Stones Brewery (William Stones Ltd) was a regional brewery founded in 1868 by William Stones in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, and purchased by the Bass Brewery in 1968.
After its closure in 1999 its major brand, Stones Bitter, has continued to be produced by the Molson Coors Brewing Company.
Stones Bitter was brewed at the Cannon Brewery from 1948 and was popular with Sheffield’s steel workers. Stones Bitter was originally available across the south of Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with distribution extended to the rest of the north of England in 1977, and nationwide from 1979, accompanied by a considerable marketing push.
Increasing demand saw it also brewed at other Bass breweries from the 1970s onwards.
The beer’s popularity reached its apex in 1992 when it was the country’s highest selling bitter, selling over a million barrels.
The beer has been lauded in certain quarters as “one of Sheffield’s most famous exports”. Sadly, the declining demand for Stones Bitter has meant that this once bustling brewery has been stood empty for a decade and a half, and demolition work has started recently.