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W. B. Mew, Langton & Co. Ltd.

The Mew family were brewers at Newport from the early 17th century, and by the end of the 18th, Mew & Co. owned prosperous breweries both at Newport and Lymington, Hants. They had a large Army canteen trade, and extended their branches to Aldershot, London, Malta, and the Mediterranean, and even to India and China. In the 19th century Walter Langton became a partner of the Mew Brothers, William Baron, Joseph and Charles Templeman Mew, William Baron Mew's eldest son. The final accolade for the firm came in 1850 with the granting of a Royal Warrant to supply Queen Victoria when she was in residence at Osborne.

The firm became a limited liability company in 1887, and continued to expand. A new malthouse was built in 1898, with the latest method of pneumatic malting, and the manufacture of mineral waters was begun in a brand new factory. After the First World War further expansion took place, bringing new houses and plant, and adding a tobacconist's business in 1931 an activity which has since grown enormously. When Mew, Langton merged with Strong’s in 1965, it brought the Groups total of licensed houses to 920. The Chairman of Mew, Langton & Co. Ltd, Lt. Col. Francis T. Mew, M.A., T.D., L.R.I.B.A., became a Director of Strong’s in 1965.

The brewery at Newport, Isle of Wight was demolished in later years and is now the site of a 'Curry's' electrical store.

Picture of Advertising Enamel Sign Mew's - Isle Of Wight
Advertising Enamel Sign 'Mew's - Isle Of Wight - W.B Mew Langton & Co', 30" x 39". This sign depicts a Dandy holding his pint and a small outline map of the Isle of Wight beneath. Courtesy: Simon Turner

The Royal Brewery

New Malting Process and Buildings

Inhabitants of Newport and many others, especially passengers by railway, have marked with interest of late the demolition of an historic building near the Station at Newport, known as the old Bridewell, which having survived its period of usefulness as a place of detention for transgressors against the law, was acquired by Messrs W. B. Mew and Langton, and Co., of the Royal Brewery, whose premises adjoined, and has now been pulled down to make room for the extension of the Brewery buildings.

The new building which is to be erected will be an imposing brick structure, with ornamental mouldings, 100ft. long by 50ft. wide and some 60ft. in height, with slated lantern roof, and the interior extensively strengthened with iron. The new structure will provide convenient storage for a large supply of barley and is also designed for the accommodation of a modern plant which is to be erected for the malting by the pneumatic process, and it will take the place of various old buildings. In the pneumatic system, which has been long enough in use on the Continent to demonstrate its advantages, great attention is paid to the screening and cleaning of the grain, and by the utilisation of ingenious mechanical devices in the malting process it is claimed more perfect control can be obtained, and a product of better and more certain quality secured.

The new system will best be explained by tracing the barley through the various stages of conversion into malt. Consignments of barley on arrival are hoisted to the top floor of the building, where they are sorted and classified. Thence the grain is conveyed as required to a drying drum below, which removes the excess of moisture which exists when the corn has not been brought into condition bt the natural process of "sweating" in the barley rick. From the drying drum it is passed up through screens and separators, by which dirt, foreign matter, and broken corns are eliminated. It is then carried by a "band conveyor" away under the roof and discharged for storage into one of eight barley bins, of from 300 to 400 quarters capacity each, situated in the central and main stroage floor. This conveyor is similar in appearance to an ordinary wide leather belt, and the grain which is borne on its upper surface can be discharged at any part of its length by momentarily deflecting it from its horizontal course at the required point by means of the ingenious device consisting of movable pulleys. When required for malting the grain runs by gravitation to a band conveyor running under the bins and is deposited in wetting cylinders on the ground floor, where it is steeped. hence when fit, it is forced by compressed air through a tube to one of the "germinating drums". These drums of which there are six, are hollow cylinders of 30 quarters capacity each, through which cooled and purified air is exhausted by powerful fans, enabling the rate of germination to be controlled, the drums rotating meanwhile and keeping the grain in movement with far less damage than when moved by shovels on the old malting floors. After reaching the proper degree of germination the grain is conveyed by another band to an elevator and raised to a drying drum, the process being completedcin a "curing drum" on the ground floor to which the grain again navigates. This drying and curing machinery, through which it should be stated heated air is exhausted, takes the place of the kiln drying in the old system of malting. As a final step to perfection the mal;t, which the grain has now become, is once more conveyed and elevated to the top floor for anothrt course od screening and polishing bt which the malt dust snd any unnecessary matter is removed, and thence to capacious airtight malt bins on the storage floor, there to await brewing requirements. When this demand arrives, the malt is gravitated into a machine which automatically weighs it into sacks ready for use.

The architect of the building is Mr. Earnest Flint, FRIBA., of London; the work is being carried out by Messrs. James Ball and Son. of Cowes; and is expected that the building and plant will be ready for work by the middle of the coming year (1902).

The alterations now in progress on this site, we may suggest, appear to afford an excellent oppertunity for effecting a much to be desired improvement in the approach to the railway-station by the removal of an awkward corner at the bottom of Holyrood Street, and it is hoped that the authorities concerned will not loose sight of the matter.

Isle of Wight County Press, 16th November, 1901.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:40

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