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History

Stone – a Foodie History

It’s no accident that Stone has become the foodie heart of Staffordshire – the town’s history is entwined with food & drink production – here’s our ‘potted’ version…

Joules Brewery

As far back as the 12th century Stone was famed for the qualities of the ales brewed by the canons at Stone Priory. This tradition was carried on by various brewers over the centuries – however it was the 1785 arrival of one Francis Joule that saw the town’s most famous brewery founded.

Francis took over an established town brewery rumoured to be located on – or near – the site of the old Monastic brewhouse and the newly formed brewery adopted the monks’ custom of marking their casks with “the sign of the cross” in its distinctive red cross trademark; which the brewery still carries to this day. As well as supplying the home market, John Joules & Son exported beers to Australia, New Zealand and California and also had a superb reputation for the quality of its wine cellar.

Joules was taken over by Bass Charrington who closed the brewery in 1972 and the site is now occupied by the Co-op supermarket and the old Joules wine shop still exists a few doors down the High Street. However, this is not where the Joules story ends – the brewery was resurrected in 2001, at premises in Market Drayton on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border – and has since built a portfolio of pubs throughout Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Bents Brewery

Located in the north of the town, this brewery was originally founded by a Mr Montgomery from Liverpool, attracted to Stone by the quality of its brewing water. The brewery eventually taken over by Bents, another Liverpool brewer, with beer taken to Liverpool by train from the nearby railway station. Brewing continued until 1967 when the company was acquired by Bass Charrington.

Brewing returns to Stone!

After a gap of several decades, brewing returned to Stone in 2008! Ian Bradford, (former head brewer at Titanic Brewery) formed Lymestone Brewery and now produces real ales from the old Bents Brewery site on Mount Road. Their ales – all of which contain the word ‘Stone’ in their name –are a common sight in pubs and artisan food shops across the county. The brewery even has its own bee hive on the roof; producing honey for the popular ‘Stone Brood’ honey ale. Now that’s what you call local produce!

Gooseberries Galore

Gooseberries – you either love them or hate them – but believe it or not Stone was once well known for its annual gooseberry shows; from 1860 to 1901 it even hosted the ‘All England Gooseberry Growing Competition’! The world’s biggest gooseberry was grown in Stone in 1842 by John Flower and weighed 37 pennyweights and seven grains. That record remained unbroken for just over a hundred years. The scales, used to weigh the gooseberries, is now in the County Museum at Shugborough.

Damson Dyes

Damsons were another fruit widely grown in and around Stone – but not for eating! Vast quantities of damsons were transported by canal from the Crown Street Wharf to the dye factories in the North West where they were used to produce the purple dye so popular with Victorians.

Cheese

Cheese fairs where held in Stone from the mid-19th century – again a legacy of the canal network, which transported cheese from the town to other parts of the country.

Raising Bread the Hovis® way

Perhaps the town’s greatest ‘foodie’ claim to fame starts with the birth of one Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith at Stone Mill in 1836. He developed a bread snappily called ‘Smith’s Patent Germ Bread’ which was set to revolutionise breadmaking. By perfecting a method of steam cooking Smith invented a genuinely new brown flour which was rich in vitamins and nutrients. After a nationwide competition to find a marketing name Smith’s bread became Hovis® – taken from the latin ‘hominis vis’ which means ‘strength of man’. Its success was (and remains!) overwhelming – by 1895, Hovis® sales had reached 1 million loaves per week!

Thanks to local historian Phillip Leason for his contribution to this section.

Things to do

There’s plenty to explore in Staffordshire – history buffs will relish the industrial heritage of the Potteries in the North and the grand mansion houses dotted throughout the glorious countryside; the extensive canal network winds its way through towns and villages; rest and relaxation is the order of the day at local spas and retreats, while for those who crave action and adventure theme parks and the glorious outdoor playground that is Cannock Chase offer endless possibilities.

For further information on things to see and do in Staffordshire, visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com

Latest on Instagram

Don’t miss out! 

The sooner you book, the more you save with our ‘early bird’ ticket offer! 

Prices will go up again from 29th Feb 2024 so book online now and bag yourself a bargain ticket to this summer’s hottest foodie event…

(Accompanied under 16s go FREE - no ticket required!)

https://stonefooddrink.org.uk/tickets/

#enjoystaffordshire #stonefoodanddrinkfest #westmidlandsfood #foodiesofinstagram #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefood #staffsfoodanddrink #FoodFestivalFun #stonefooddrinkfest #foodlover #streetfood #stokeontrent #westmidlands #stafford #staffordshire

Don’t miss out!

The sooner you book, the more you save with our ‘early bird’ ticket offer!

Prices will go up again from 29th Feb 2024 so book online now and bag yourself a bargain ticket to this summer’s hottest foodie event…

(Accompanied under 16s go FREE - no ticket required!)

https://stonefooddrink.org.uk/tickets/

#enjoystaffordshire #stonefoodanddrinkfest #westmidlandsfood #foodiesofinstagram #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefood #staffsfoodanddrink #FoodFestivalFun #stonefooddrinkfest #foodlover #streetfood #stokeontrent #westmidlands #stafford #staffordshire
...

Happy Pancake Day!

What will you be enjoying on your pancakes today? Our vote is classic sugar & lemon 🥞🍋

#westmidlandsfood #stokefood #stonefoodanddrinkfest #staffsfoodanddrink #stonefoodandrink #enjoystaffordshire #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefoodie #foodies #foodlovers #foodiesofinstagram

Happy Pancake Day!

What will you be enjoying on your pancakes today? Our vote is classic sugar & lemon 🥞🍋

#westmidlandsfood #stokefood #stonefoodanddrinkfest #staffsfoodanddrink #stonefoodandrink #enjoystaffordshire #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefoodie #foodies #foodlovers #foodiesofinstagram
...

Great turnout already for our Volunteers’ Recruitment Evening at Bod Stone - we’ll be here for a couple of hours if you want to pop in and find out more!

Can’t make it but interested? Please email volunteers@stonefooddrink.org.uk 

Bod Stone

#westmidlandsfood #FoodFestivalFun #enjoystaffordshire #foodfest2024 #staffsfoodanddrink #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefood #stonefooddrinkfest #wearestaffs #stonefoodanddrinkfest #stonefoodandrink

Great turnout already for our Volunteers’ Recruitment Evening at Bod Stone - we’ll be here for a couple of hours if you want to pop in and find out more!

Can’t make it but interested? Please email [email protected]

Bod Stone

#westmidlandsfood #FoodFestivalFun #enjoystaffordshire #foodfest2024 #staffsfoodanddrink #staffordshirefoodandrink #stokefood #stonefooddrinkfest #wearestaffs #stonefoodanddrinkfest #stonefoodandrink
...

We are now taking applications for traders for the 2024 Stone Food & Drink Festival, which returns to Westbridge Park this year on Fri 5, Sat 6 & Sun 7 July.

Whether you’re a purveyor of fine produce, trade in artisan food & homeware or create sublime street food flavours we’d love to hear from you. 

Please email traders@stonefooddrink.org.uk 

#stokefoodie #foodfest2024 #FoodFestivalFun #staffsfoodanddrink #foodlover #staffordshirefoodandrink #westmidlandsfood #wearestaffs #stokefood #stonefooddrinkfest #enjoystaffordshire #staffordshirefoodanddrink #artisanfood #artisanfoods #artisanfoodproducers #streetfood #streetfoodtrucks #foodstalls #farmersmarket

We are now taking applications for traders for the 2024 Stone Food & Drink Festival, which returns to Westbridge Park this year on Fri 5, Sat 6 & Sun 7 July.

Whether you’re a purveyor of fine produce, trade in artisan food & homeware or create sublime street food flavours we’d love to hear from you.

Please email [email protected]

#stokefoodie #foodfest2024 #FoodFestivalFun #staffsfoodanddrink #foodlover #staffordshirefoodandrink #westmidlandsfood #wearestaffs #stokefood #stonefooddrinkfest #enjoystaffordshire #staffordshirefoodanddrink #artisanfood #artisanfoods #artisanfoodproducers #streetfood #streetfoodtrucks #foodstalls #farmersmarket
...

With plans well underway for the 2024 Stone Food & Drink Festival (Fri 5, Sat 6 & Sun 7 July) and the exciting news that the event will be returning to Westbridge Park, we are now putting the finishing touches to this year’s Sponsorship Packages.

If your are interested in supporting this event right at the heart of the community, and putting your business in front of an audience of thousands, we have packages and opportunities available for all budgets. 

Please email sponsors@stonefooddrink.org.uk to register your interest. 

#ourbeautifulborough #wearestaffs #stonefoodandrink #staffsfoodanddrink #stonefoodanddrinkfest #stonefooddrinkfest #stokefood #foodlover #enjoystaffordshire #foodlovers #staffordshireresturant #westmidlandsfood #staffordshirefoodandrink #community

With plans well underway for the 2024 Stone Food & Drink Festival (Fri 5, Sat 6 & Sun 7 July) and the exciting news that the event will be returning to Westbridge Park, we are now putting the finishing touches to this year’s Sponsorship Packages.

If your are interested in supporting this event right at the heart of the community, and putting your business in front of an audience of thousands, we have packages and opportunities available for all budgets.

Please email [email protected] to register your interest.

#ourbeautifulborough #wearestaffs #stonefoodandrink #staffsfoodanddrink #stonefoodanddrinkfest #stonefooddrinkfest #stokefood #foodlover #enjoystaffordshire #foodlovers #staffordshireresturant #westmidlandsfood #staffordshirefoodandrink #community
...

Your festival needs YOU! 

As a not for profit, Comminuty Interest Company the Stone Food & Drink Festival relies on a small army of volunteers to make the event a success.

Whether you can spare a few hours to help set up (or break down), the whole weekend or half a day there are ways you can help - from litter picking to working the gate, supporting traders, stewarding - and many, many more roles. 

To find out more why not join us at Bod in Stone High Street for a drink, a few nibbles and an informal chat about how you could get involved and help support this great event.

Please email volunteers@stonefooddrink.org.uk to confirm attendance.

Your festival needs YOU!

As a not for profit, Comminuty Interest Company the Stone Food & Drink Festival relies on a small army of volunteers to make the event a success.

Whether you can spare a few hours to help set up (or break down), the whole weekend or half a day there are ways you can help - from litter picking to working the gate, supporting traders, stewarding - and many, many more roles.

To find out more why not join us at Bod in Stone High Street for a drink, a few nibbles and an informal chat about how you could get involved and help support this great event.

Please email [email protected] to confirm attendance.
...

Happy New Year!

A huge thanks to all our visitors, traders, sponsors, volunteers & supporters… See you on 5, 6 & 7 July 2024 at Westbridge Park?

P.S. 3 day tickets are still HALF PRICE online till midnight on Mon 1 Jan 2024! 

#foodlover #staffordshireresturant #FoodFestivalFun #westmidlandsfood #ourbeautifulborough #stokefood #wearestaffs #foodfest2024 #stonefoodandrink #stonefooddrinkfest #foodiesofinstagram #stonefoodanddrinkfest #staffsfoodanddrink #westmidsfood #foodlovers #foodies #enjoystaffordshire

Happy New Year!

A huge thanks to all our visitors, traders, sponsors, volunteers & supporters… See you on 5, 6 & 7 July 2024 at Westbridge Park?

P.S. 3 day tickets are still HALF PRICE online till midnight on Mon 1 Jan 2024!

#foodlover #staffordshireresturant #FoodFestivalFun #westmidlandsfood #ourbeautifulborough #stokefood #wearestaffs #foodfest2024 #stonefoodandrink #stonefooddrinkfest #foodiesofinstagram #stonefoodanddrinkfest #staffsfoodanddrink #westmidsfood #foodlovers #foodies #enjoystaffordshire
...

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