A Birmingham-based auctioneer will toast its largest ever sale by putting a former Black Country brewery under the hammer.

CPBigwood has Walsall's former Highgate Brewery among the 141 lots on offer at its next sale.

The brewery, which has a guide price of £850,000-plus, covers over an acre and may be suitable for conversion into apartments.

The grade II-listed complex in Sandy Mount Road first started producing beer in 1899 and its Highgate Dark Mild was one of the best-known beers in the region.

It was established by James A. Fletcher, son of the proprietor of Fletcher Brothers, an old established wines and spirits business in Ablewell Street, Walsall.

The brewery was built to supply the 10 licensed houses they already owned and is known as a Victorian Gravity Tower brewery, where the brewing process flows down logically from floor to floor using gravity to do most of the work.

Until the 1920s, much of the brewery's machinery including the malt mill was driven by a steam engine on the ground floor. As electricity was unreliable for some time, the steam was kept on stand-by until 1935.

The complex was founded in 1898 and then purchased by Mitchells & Butlers in 1939 which merged with Bass in 1961 and then sold to management in 1995.

It was then bought by Aston Manor Brewery in 2000, sold to pub company Global Star in 2007 and sold on again as a potential property investment.

Highate employed the UK's first woman head brewer when it took on Agnes Mountfield for the post in 1914. She remained until 1939 and in its heyday the brewery employed 65 staff.

Jonathan Hackett, partner and head of auctions, said: "There is a wide spread of different types of property both residential and commercial, garage blocks to development opportunities."

Several other pubs and restaurants are also on offer at the auction, including the Market Tavern in Walsall with a guide price of £150,000 and the 120-cover Plaza Restaurant in Sparkbrook, with guide price £575,000 - £600,000

The sale takes place at Villa Park on July 3.

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