Lincoln
December 8, 2020 4.29 pm

People line the streets in Lincoln to pay respects to Small Beer founder

People paid their respects in the Bail

Streets in uphill Lincoln were lined with people paying tribute to the founder of local business Small Beer, who sadly died last month.

Tony Eastwood died peacefully on November 13 at the age of 72, with people describing him as a “real giant of the cask ale industry”.

Small Beer said it would be “saying goodbye to our much loved chairman and founder” in a private family funeral on Tuesday, December 8, but also invited people to pay their respects in the Bailgate area of the city.

Tony Eastwood enjoying a pint of real ale at one of his favourite pubs – the Crown Posada in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The hearse driving by a line of people paying their respects to Tony Eastwood. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The firm arranged for the funeral party to drive through the Bailgate and down Union Road past the Victoria pub, which Tony used to run, on the way to the service.

People were advised that the west gate of Lincoln Castle would be the best place to pay their respects, socially distanced, to Tony.

Small Beer company staff gathered to pay their respects to Tony Eastwood. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Small Beer also asked for any donations to be made to St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice via the Lincolnshire Co-op Funeral Service.

The firm said last week: “The response from you all has been overwhelming and the family would like to thank everyone who has contacted them during this tough time.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Tony was born in Leicester in 1948 and studied at Newcastle University where he met Jude. They moved to her home city of Lincoln in 1969 and were married a year later.

They swapped their local government roles for a life in the beer trade and their business expanded to include The Victoria and Golden Eagle pubs in Lincoln, as well as the Eagle in Boston and off-licences in Sheffield and Cleethorpes.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The couple opened Small Beer off-licence in Lincoln in 1980 and the business grew to become Britain’s leading cask ale and craft beer wholesaler.

The Leicester City FC fan was also a shareholder and director of Castle Rock brewing and pub group and a former chairman of Lincoln CAMRA. He was also a former director of the National Drink Distributors (NDD).

Tony loved nothing more than spending time with Jude, their children Rob, Jenny and Stella, their partners Karen, Mark, Ash and grandchildren Albert, Elsie and Max.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.