Wells & Co brewery comes full circle to original Bedford home

Bridges Espresso Bar is on the exact location of Wells & Co's first brewery

Beer lovers can now get a pint of Wells & Co’s beer at the Bedford birthplace of the brewery, founded in 1876.

Bridges Espresso Bar, located at The Pavilion on Riverside Square, is set on the old site where Wells & Co once stood. And from 5 August, they will be serving Wells & Co’s award-winning craft beer on draught, as the brewery’s first free trade account.

In 1875, Wells & Co founder Charles Wells discovered a two-acre site up for auction on the banks of the River Ouse containing both a coal depot and a brew house.

A year later he founded Charles Wells LTD and with the help of his father-in-law purchased the site and began work to turn the small brew house into a fully-fledged brewery that could serve the county.

The original Wells & Co Brewery overlooking the River Great Ouse in 1876, Bridges Espresso Bar at the same location in 2021

The site overlooking the River Great Ouse now houses a host of bars and restaurants, as well as the Vue cinema and residential flats.

Customers at Bridges will be able to get their hands on a draught pint of On Point Pale Ale or Checkpoint IPA that has been brewed at Wells & Co’s newest home, Brewpoint, just north of Bedford town centre.

“Independent businesses come in all shapes and sizes and we’re thrilled to be working with one of Bedford’s most well-known,” said Bridges’ co-owner, Becky Fry.

“It’s great to have Wells & Co. beers flowing from our taps in the place where it first started for them.”

Wells & Co’s managing director, Peter Wells said: “As a fifth-generation brewing family we’re extremely proud of our heritage here in Bedford.

“It means a lot for the business to have our beer crafted at Brewpoint served on the same site where it all began and to be able to look back at how far we’ve come as a company.”

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