In 1818, Blake and Mann, Lambeth brewers, bought the lease to the Albion Brewery at 172 Whitechapel Road in east London. Philip Blake retired in 1826 leaving John Mann to run the business alone. In 1846 first Robert Crossman and then Thomas Paulin became partners and the company title became Mann, Crossman & Paulin & Co.
In the 1860s London drinkers started to move away from dark beers and acquired a taste for the “light sparkling ales” brewed in Burton-on-Trent. The company decided to follow fashion and built a new brewery in Burton-on-Trent. However, in 1897 when it was discovered that East End water could also be used to brew the light ales, the new brewery was sold and production was moved back to London.
By 1880 Mann, Crossman & Paulin & Co. was the ninth largest brewer in the UK. To meet the growing demand for bottled beers, a bottling plant was built on the site of the old Whitechapel Workhouse in Ravens Row.
By the turn of the century, beer production had reached nearly 500,000 barrels and in 1901 the business became a public company.
By the 1950s, five generations of the Mann and Crossman families had been associated with company and Mann’s Brown Ale was a great success.
In 1959 the company merged with Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. to form Watney, Mann.
In 1972 the business was acquired by Grand Metropolitan who closed the Albion Brewery in 1979.