This significant estate was achieved mainly by acquisition and the period of greatest growth was under the Chairmanship of Eric Simonds. It was financed from cash flow and new debt. This detailed research is available courtesy of Peter C G Goodson, FCIS, former Director/Company Secretary of the Fosters/Courage UK companies. Download HERE.
The Brewery site on bridge Street expanded over the years by acquisition of land, but also through the purchase of competitors as this story from David Ford outlines:
Smith’s Brewery on Bridge Street probably dates back to the 1670’s when it was run by Adam Smith I. He was succeeded by Adam Smith II, who brought his son-in-law, John Knight, into the brewery. Knight’s sister was married to William Blackall, father of Mary Blackall who married William Simonds. Knight later worked with his brother-in-law, Adam Smith III. Adam III seems to have left the brewery to his two sons-in-law, Sir James Patey & Archibald Blane, but they must have brought their brother-in-law, Richard Smith, into the business. Richard Smith married Eleanor Simonds sister of William Simonds, father of William Blackall Simonds (Their memorial is on the side of a tomb chest at Hurst). Their only surviving child, Eleanor, married Thomas Sowdon who inherited the brewery. It later passed to their sons, Thomas Frederick & Harry Sowdon, who sold it in 1850 to the Simonds’ Brewery. The Sowdon Brewery was certainly at 25 Bridge Street (slightly nearer the Kennet than Simonds’ Brewery at No 23). Because of its ideal position, I suspect that the Smith Brewery was in the same location. Adam Smith III did have a malthouse in Gun Street, but I don’t think this is a problem. The Willats & Blandy Brewery was in Mill Lane but, for much of its life, their malting facility was certainly in London Street.