By Rosalind White
In the 18th century, Ware was the premier malting town in England, specialising in brown malt for the brewing of a beer known as `porter’. Fortunes were made (and lost) in the malting industry and men were drawn to the town to work in the maltings or on the barges which took the malt to the breweries of London. Every spare piece of land was pressed into use and there were as many as 140 malthouses in the town by 1880. Maltmaking in Ware has now ended and the malthouses have been converted into housing or other uses.