Joule’s Brewery has acquired land adjacent to the Trent and Mersey Canal as it passes through Stone town centre, known as Crown Wharf.

The site was part of the original Joule’s Brewery warehouse operation when the company exported Stone Ales from Liverpool Docks around world. Joule’s was the first English beer to be exported to the United States, ahead of its rival Bass.

The site is currently utilised by Stone Town Council for parking and is adjacent to the town centre. It has been acquired by Joule’s from the Canals and Rivers Trust.

Joule’s has, for some years, been looking to have a flagship taphouse in Stone, which is where Francis Joules established the second of the Joule’s breweries in 1779, having moved from Salford. The company grew to occupy vast parts of Stone.

Joule’s director, Steve Nuttall, said: “This acquisition provides us with an opportunity to embrace the Joule’s story and return the brand to Stone with some style. Our Joule’s boardroom will once again be located in Stone, where the story all began.

“We also intend to establish a full brewery taphouse by the canal. This will be the first pub we have built from the ground up. It is daunting for a small company like ours and we know we need to be bold if we are to embody the spirit of Stone and embrace our brewing heritage. We simply cannot get this wrong — scary and exciting in equal measure — and now we have bought the site there is no going back.”

Committed

Joule’s has been working with the Crown Wharf steering group, headed by Stone town councillor Rob
Kenney. He said: “We are delighted that Joule’s has now purchased Crown Wharf for a pub, which will make the canal accessible for the public. It is also wonderful to see Joule’s so committed to our town.

“The scheme will link the town to the canal, which has long been a part of the town plan. In addition, Joule’s
have given commitment that they will provide space on the site … should the town want to establish a heritage centre, perhaps in Wharfingers cottage.

“Joule’s also agreed to work with the Stone Revellers where there is the prospect of a studio theatre being a part of the development. It is possible that the theatre could also be used as a cinema and conference centre.”

Before plans are drawn up, Joule’s and the steering group have approached the county council, which owns the derelict fire station building, adjacent to Crown Wharf. If this building can be brought within the scheme then this will form the gateway for the public to access the wharf and the building would then be available for community use, providing it complements the leisure-oriented Crown Wharf.

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