New Black Lion Brewery, Aberdare

Malcolm Toft writes:

Hello Jeff – I have had an inquiry about the above brewery via a relative.
The person wanting information is a decendant of Alfred S. Pleace, the managing director, of the New Black Lion Brewery c1890 – 1911.
The Century of British Brewers records that he moved on to the Rock Brewery, also in Aberdare, for a time.
Do you know if any members have done any further reseach into these companies?

4 Responses to “New Black Lion Brewery, Aberdare”

  1. Jeff Sechiari says:

    Brian Glover has replied:


    I did some research into the breweries of Aberdare for my book Prince of Ales back in the early 1990s, most of which did not appear because of pressure of space.

    According to his obituary in the Aberdare Leader of January 18, 1913, and other newspaper and book references, Alfred Sydney Pleace was born in Taunton and in his early years worked for the Cambrian Brewery in Cardiff, before moving to the Aberdare area where he seems to have been connected to many of the breweries at some time or other, starting with the small George Brewery in Commercial Street and then the Blaengwawr Brewery in nearby Aberaman, before taking over the Black Lion Brewery in Monk Street by the late 1880s.

    This became a limited company in 1890 with Mr Pleace as managing director. He was also proprietor of the Black Lion Hotel. This company was liquidated in 1898. He then formed the New Black Lion Brewery in 1899, with links to Allsopps of Burton-upon-Trent. He was an eminent man locally, serving three years on Glamorgan County Council and being High Constable of Miskin Higher (a largely honorary position) in 1902. He was a prominent supporter of local sports clubs and charities and was five times a judge at the Brewers’ Exhibition, where the brewery won a silver medal in London in 1903.

    According to the Aberdare Leader of October 8, 1910, AS Pleace retired on September 29, 1910, and he was presented with a canteen of cutlery at the Boot Hotel, Aberdare, by the workforce and tenants. His successor was a Mr G Shaw but the company was soon liquidated and in May 1911 the New Black Lion Brewery was offered for sale with 21 pubs. It did not reach its reserve price but was sold to “an unknown local purchaser”.

    At the same time, Mr Pleace emerged as the new proprietor of the rival Rock Brewery in Aberdare, after it too had gone into liquidation. He was managing director at the Rock until his death on January 13, 1913. Solicitors representing his estate said later, “This estate is somewhat heavily involved … and there will be a considerable deficit.”

    Later that year Allsopps took over the Rock Brewery in a private deal and merged it with the New Black Lion Brewery, which it had taken over in 1912, to form Aberdare Valley Breweries. All production was concentrated at the Rock Brewery (renamed the Town Brewery) with the Black Lion closing early in 1914. The Town Brewery was closed in 1921 and the buildings were later used as a bus garage.

    Hope this is of some assistance,
    All the best,

  2. Andrew Marsh says:

    Alfred Sydney pleace was my great grandfather and it is most interesting to know his history. I have some but this has filled in the gaps.

    Many thanks.

  3. I D Pleace says:


    Alfred Sydney was also my great grandfather. I’ve done loads of research – happy to share if you want to get in touch.



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