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The original Cobbold brewery was founded in Harwich, Essex in 1723. The name Tolly Cobbold is an amalgamation in 1957 of the two family-run brewers: the Tollemache Brewery owned by the Tollemache family and Cobbold Brewery owned by the Cobbold family. In 2002, the brewery was acquired by Ridley's brewery.
In 2005 Ridley's was bought by Greene King and dismantled, before, many[who?] claim, the recipes for the traditional Ridley's beers could be sufficiently recorded by their new owners. As a result of the buyout, Tolly Original, the only Tolly Cobbold beer that Ridley's continued to brew in Chelmsford, is likely to become extinct since Greene King are unlikely to continue brewing it. Greene King was the main sponsor of Ipswich Town F.C., which was established by the Cobbold family.
In the 1930s the Tollemache brewery underwent a large expansion, taking over the Cambridge Star Brewery and building a number of mock-baronial pubs, mostly in Ipswich. The ornate style, and the scale of the expansion, led to their being known as "Tolly Follies". They were based on the design of the Tollemache stately home, Helmingham Hall. Most survive, though some, notably The Golden Hind in Cambridge, which was the only Tolly Folly outside of Ipswich, underwent major alteration in the 1980s. The Waveney Arms on Bramford Road in Ipswich closed in 1994 and stood empty for a number of years, before being demolished for housing.
The Cobbold family
The Cobbolds have an important status in Ipswich as the family were landowners in the town and surrounding area. Christchurch Park was donated to "The people of Ipswich" by the family, along with many other donations of land such as Ipswich Racecourse. The family also provided several Members of Parliament for Ipswich over the years. In addition they have provided five chairmen of Ipswich Town Football Club and Lady Blanche Cobbold was President of the Club for many years.
Tolly Cobbold Beers
Beers in the range included Tolly Original, Cobnut, Tolly Bitter, Tolly Mild, Old Strong, Old Strong Porter (bottle only). Tollyshooter (named in honour of the visit of Sir John Harvey-Jones to the brewery shortly after the 1990 management takeover) Cantab, Cardinal Ale, Cobbold's Conquest, Cobbold's IPA (a straw-coloured bitter), Beano Stout, Countdown, Election Ale (1997), Final Brew, Last Orders - a final brew in 2002.