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Truman’s brewery returns to the East End after 24 year absence

PUBLISHED: 09:41 16 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:49 16 September 2013

Head brewer Ben Ott checks the quality of the beer

Head brewer Ben Ott checks the quality of the beer

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The iconic Truman’s brewery has returned to the East End after an absence of nearly quarter of a century.

The Truman’s timeline

1666 – Joseph Truman’s starts brewing in Brick Lane.

1788 - Sampson Hanbury acquires a stake.

1808 - Hanbury’s nephew Thomas Buxton joins.

1827 – The company changes its name to Truman, Hanbury & Buxton.

1873 - Truman’s becomes the world’s largest brewer by acquiring Phillips brewery.

1960s – Truman’s builds up its pub estate to number 1,300, concentrated in London and the south east.

1971 - Truman’s bought by Grand Metropolitan for just under £50m

1989 - 323 years of brewing ceases at Brick Lane: Truman’s is closed down and the pubs sold.

2010 – Two beer lovers start negotiations to rescue the iconic brand.

2012 - Truman’s is bought from Heineken by Black Eagle Brewery Ltd.

2013 – Truman’s new brewery opens in Hackney Wick.

Truman’s – a famous name in British brewing for 350 years – opened the doors to its new 10,000 square foot brew house on Thursday.

Managing director James Morgan said: “I am just delighted, and not a little humbled, to be able to return Truman’s to east London.

“We are producing brilliant, flavour-packed ale from our new brewery and are working hard to ensure that Truman’s beer is once again a great name in brewing.”

The opening of the Hackney Wick site is the latest twist in the brewery’s fascinating history since it first started producing cask ale in Brick Lane in 1666.

The odl Truman's brewery in Brick LaneThe odl Truman's brewery in Brick Lane

Having established a reputation as one of London’s finest brewers, it merged with the Hanbury and Buxton brewers in 1827.

And by 1960s the number of Truman’s pubs had hit 1,300 – with the highest concentration in London and the south east of England.

But those iconic pubs were sold off one by one after a hostile takeover saw the Brick Lane brewery shut down in 1989.

The brand’s rejuvenation began in 2010 when two beer enthusiasts opened negotiations to rescue it.

A Truman's vanA Truman's van

Black Eagle Brewery bought Truman’s from industry giants Heineken in 2012, and the latest chapter in its history was marked with the opening of the new brew house, christened ‘The Eyrie’ – the term for an eagle’s roost – in Stour Road.

The first beer to be brewed there was a double export stout called the ‘London Keeper’ – the recipe for which dates back to 1880.

“We wanted to christen the new brewery with something truly great, and London Keeper is just that,” Mr Morgan explained.

“It will improve and develop in bottle for up to a decade and provide a lasting reminder of the opening of our new brewery and the start of the next great chapter in Truman’s history.”

Punters will now be drinking to another 350 years of brewing in east London.


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