The brewery has been brewing beer on the same site for more than 100 years and is Cornwall's oldest independent family brewery
Walter Hicks left the family business of farming and became a maltster and then a wine and spirit merchant, before building his first brewery in 1869. By 1893, the business needed larger premises and the Walter Hicks Brewery was established on the present site overlooking St Austell. This basic brew house is still the working heart of the brewery today.
A tour provides a fascinating insight into brewing methods which have changed little in 140 years. The interactive museum tells the story of local pubs, beers, wines and spirits and the Cornish families who created them. Visitors can see malted barley ground on an 1890 belt driven mill and then heated to a steaming mash in even older cast iron tuns, to make ales from mediaeval recipes. Many of the workers are descendants of both the Hicks family and the original brewers.
After following the brewing process from raw ingredients, it is possible to sample the traditional ales at the Hicks Bar. In the licensed Brewery Shop is an extensive range of wines, spirits and gifts, in addition to St Austell bottled beers.
The Visitor Centre and Shop are open from Monday to Friday and guided tours of the Brewery take place by prior arrangement. The brewery is situated on Trevarthian Road, opposite the St Austell College and there is a large visitors' car park.