Charles Wells Ltd, The Eagle
Brewery, Havelock Street, Bedford, Bedfordshire MK40 4LU
Tel. 01234 272766 Fax. 01234 279000 email
BOMBARDIER 4.3 per cent ABV
A burnished copper coloured beer brewed from pale and crystal malts with
Challenger and Styrian Goldings hops. It has a rich and tempting aroma of
peppery hops and raisins, while the palate is dominated by more dark
juicy malt and tangy hops, followed by a lingering soft, spicy finish with
a sultana fruit character and a gentle hop bitterness.
EAGLE BITTER 3.6 per cent ABV
A pale copper coloured beer with a spicy hop and nutty malt aroma from
Challenger and Styrian Goldings hops, with crystal malt alongside pale
malt. The palate is dominated by tangy hops and orange fruit, while the
finish is a complex balance of bitter hops, nuts and tart, citrus fruit.
BANANA BREAD BITTER
4.5 per cent ABV
This dark golden coloured ale
hugs the palate with great intensity. Its malty aroma is
complemented by the gentle nose of Banana. Its flavour unfolds with
a sensual sparkle and a smart crispness, which balances its aroma
perfectly. Tropically fruity; its ripe banana flavour, emphasised by
a hint of bitterness, comes from the addition of real fair trade
bananas and finishes with an emphatic, steely dryness.
SUMMER SOLSTICE 4.1 per cent ABV
This is a full flavoured 4.1% bitter, with a refreshingly malty
flavour and a distinctive bitterness, derived from a blend of the
finest English Challenger hops.
NAKED GOLD 4.5 per cent ABV
A full drinking 4.5 % bitter of mid range colour, with a tight
creamy head, and a pronounced nutty flavour from the Naked Golden
Oats. The distinctive bitterness derived from English Challenger
hops is balanced perfectly by the fullness and sweet maltiness on
the palate, accompanied by nut and malt notes with a full, late hop
Founded in 1876
to provide beer to the local Bedfordians, Charles Wells is now the largest
independently owned, family run brewery in the country and is in fact the
UK's fifth largest brewery. Over five generations the Wells family have
worked at the brewery, and there are currently three members of the Wells
family involved on a day to day basis. It really is a traditional family
How did it
In the 1860s
Charles Wells decided that the only way to see the world was to go to sea.
So at the age of 14 he joined the frigate Devonshire as cabin boy on his
first trip to India. By 1868 he had become qualified as a steamship
captain, and had seen some great sights having sailed to Australia and
around the Cape of Good Hope.
one of his infrequent trips home he went to a party in Oxford and met the
woman of his dreams, a Miss Josephine Grimbley. Love blossomed and before
long Charles asked for her hand in marriage. She was delighted, he was
delighted, Mr Grimbley senior wasn't! No daughter of his was going to
marry a seafaring man who would spend so long away from home. So he gave
Charles an ultimatum. His daughter or the sea. Fortunately his love for
Josephine was too strong and he agreed to hang up his sea boots. He then
had to find a way of supporting his bride.
In 1875, a two and a quarter
acre site came to auction on the banks of the River Ouse as it ran through
The site contained a coal
depot and a brew house round the back. Included in the price were 35 pubs,
most of which were in Bedford and the surrounding area. It was this that
caught Charles' imagination. Beer.
Charles figured beer would
always be in demand, even in the hardest of times. So with the help of his
father, Charles bought the site and began work turning the small brew
house into a fully fledged brewery which could serve the county.
Water is an absolutely vital
ingredient and has a huge impact on the beer's flavour. So to produce the
best beer you need the best water. In 1902 Charles climbed a hill, just a
couple of miles from the brewery and sank his own well to tap into an
underground reservoir of water, purified through layers of chalk and
Today all Charles Wells beer
is still made with water drawn from the well sunk by Charles 90 years ago.
The brewery today.
By 1976, the growing demand
for Charles Wells beer meant the original Charles Wells site was just not
big enough to allow for any expansion. The move to the Eagle Brewery in
Havelock Street, Bedford gave the company the opportunity to install the
most up to date brewing equipment which is why we can guarantee that, when
our beer leaves this site it is of consistently excellent quality.
English Premium Bitter and Eagle Bitter are our key ales. We also produce
Red Stripe Lager, the Jamaican lager which we brew under licence. But did
you know Charles Wells also brew the Indian lager Cobra, as well as the
Japanese lager Kirin, which is in fact the 4th largest selling beer brand
in the world? And as one of only three other breweries in the world which
are allowed to brew Kirin, it gives some idea of the regard in which
Charles Wells is held by the world's leading brewers.
Wells beer is not just sold in the UK. In fact approaching 25% of the
company's output is exported, despite the strength of the pound, and you
can find our beer being sold in bars in 23 countries around the world,
including pubs which Charles Wells owns in Italy, Spain and in France. And
in 1997 our success in the export market meant that we were awarded the
Queens Award for Export Achievement.
In the UK
Charles Wells also has depots in Manchester and in Kings Cross London in
addition to a flourishing Free Trade and Take Home business. So, although
still a family based business, our passion for beer means you can find our
products far and wide, not just in our estate of over 250 pubs, and in our
retail developments such as Cox's Yard in Stratford, H.G's in Peterborough
and R.K Stanley in London. Additionally, via Red Stripe, Charles Wells has
entered the music venue business with interests in the Shepherds Bush
Empire and Brixton Academy.
Why not visit
our own website for even more information at