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Reading Town Centre's Brewing Heritage

Reading Walks Festival 2024

In the eighteenth century, Reading was the source of the greatest quantities of malt for London brewers. It earned income for the town and some of Reading’s maltsters became very rich. It was as a maltster that William Simonds began the business in the 1760s that became Reading’s biggest brewery H & G Simonds. Brewery names, such as Castle and Garrards, are less familiar to us today but were important businesses in Reading in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Key facts

  • Part of Reading Walks Festival 2024
  • Learn something new on a guided tour - less walking/more talking
  • Easy -Medium difficulty / 2.5km / 2 hours
  • Start/finish point: Reading Station forecourt
  • Toilet at the start and end of the walk at Reading Station.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not family friendly

About the walk leader

The walk is led by Evelyn Williams.

"I am a local historian with a particular interest in the history of Reading's breweries and brewers. I am one of the co-authors of 'Abbot Cook to Zero Degrees, an A to Z of Reading's Pubs and Breweries'."

Getting there

The start of the walk can be reached by all trains that stop at Reading station and all buses that stop at the station.

Meet point: