The brewery has been a landmark in Lewes, the county town of East Sussex, for over 200 years.

Women in Charge

By the 1920s, the Company was heavily mortgaged and its few pubs were in a poor state of repair.  John Maxfield-Smith’s daughters were running Harvey’s Brewery at the time of its incorporation in 1928. Alice May Harvey-Smith (William Harvey’s granddaughter) was the firm’s first chairman.  It was she and her sisters who decided to make two crucial appointments that ultimately lead to Harvey’s survival and long-term prosperity.

One sister, Beatrice Harvey-Smith,  had married a doctor and talented musician from Kent, Frank Carlyon-Rundle.  Their only son Eric had recently returned from India and joined the company.   In the late 1930s, his Aunt May decided  to interview some technical brewers and a newly qualified young brewer called Anthony A. Jenner was hired.

Harvey’s Revival

It was these two men who were to strike up a lasting  business relationship which over the course of the next 40 years gradually took the firm out of debt, repaired the pubs, brewed award winning beers and developed a respected reputation throughout the local community.

Following the Second World War Eric Rundle became the Chairman and the last sole proprietor of Harvey’s Brewery; Anthony Jenner was Head Brewer and became Managing Director.

Prior to his death in 1980, Eric Rundle had made arrangements to divide the brewery among his three daughters. He also bequeathed a shareholding stake to Anthony Jenner in recognition of his contribution to the recovery of Harvey’s fortunes.  At this time, a significant proportion of the Company’s shareholding was held in Family Trusts. Anthony Jenner became the firm’s Chairman and partnered the Managing Directorship with Eric Rundle’s son in law, W.K. Saunders, who took over the administration of the Company’s Pubs.