Dockleaf: A History

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Dockleaf is very lucky to have such a rich history long before we opened our own doors.

Liverpool in the first half of the 19th Century was one of the world's most thriving ports - awash with visitors from all over the globe, with money and opportunity.

Robert Cain, the founder of Cains Brewery and builder of the current historic building, rose from being an entrepreneurial 24-year-old brewing his own ale in one pub to a rich and influential businessman with the title of Lord Brocket and an estate of 200 pubs. He bought the brewery and established Cains in 1858, commissioning the current premises around 30 years later.

The building was the original ‘Brewery Tap’ pub many moons ago servicing the brewery workers at the end of their shifts. Robert Cain who built the brewery, loved the pub so much that on completion of the Grade II listed building he placed a memorial stone here to signify the completion of the beautiful red brick building.

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Through the ages it’s had a few different owners from Walkers to Higsons and Boddingtons to Dusanj brothers. Sometime after World War 2, expansion meant that the pub was shut down, the façade stripped and inside became home to the filtration room. The final process & quality check before being shipped off to pubs across the country.

In 2013 production unfortunately stopped and all brewing equipment left the premises. If you look around our ground floor you will see above the bar all the original pipework that led into the filtration tanks. The ground floor still has it’s original tiles from the filtration room and set within these behind the bar with pride of place is the resting place of Robert Cain’s original completion stone for the brewery. If you look closely at our furniture you will find two large canning tables that we found falling into disrepair as we moved in. After some love and elbow grease, we now have two beautiful tables.

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After restoring the filtration room we decided to take advantage of the old laboratory above us. We built up through the ceiling into the first floor to offer a roof terrace, dining room and kitchen. We have salvaged lots of old Cain’s bottles and cans on our journey and still have them in hiding. One day we may put them on display or even a bottle or two.