The Kimberley Brewery was established and operated by the brewer Hardy’s & Hanson’s, and has a heritage dating from 1832. It was, at the time of closure, the oldest independent brewery in Nottinghamshire. Samuel Robinson opened the first commercial brewery in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, England, in a rented bake-house using water from the Alley Spring in what is now called Hardy Street. Stephen Hanson meanwhile built Hanson’s Limited on Brewery Street in 1847, also using water from the Alley Spring. William & Thomas Hardy were successful beer merchants from Heanor who bought Samuel Robinsons brewery in 1857.
The brewery complex which remains today is largely based on the buildings erected by the Hardy brothers in 1861 when they moved out of the old bake-house. In the same year, Stephen Hanson died and his business was carried on by his wife Mary and son Robert. There was much friendly rivalry between the two brewing companies who proceeded to buy pubs throughout the area to supply with their own ales.
Both breweries began to run short of water and so by mutual agreement the water from the local Holly Well spring was shared between them. Having been attracted by the supply of excellent brewing water from the Holly Well, both breweries thrived independently until 1930, when under increasing pressure from larger brewing companies, and from a lack of male successors to the Hardy’s Brewery, the two companies combined.
In 2006, The Hardy’s & Hanson’s Kimberley Brewery and all of its public houses were sold in a multi-million pound deal to Greene King brewery, who decided to end the brewing tradition in Kimberley in “a cost effective move” and then sell the Kimberley site.