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The New Truman Brewery

November 16, 2012
by the gentle author

James Morgan & Michael-George Hemus at the threshold of the new Truman Brewery

It gives me great pleasure to be the one to announce the site of the new Truman Brewery – due to start brewing early next year – in Stour Rd, Hackney Wick, sandwiched between Forman & Sons, the East End’s oldest salmon smoker, and the Algha Works, where spectacles have been made by hand for over a century. The New Truman Brewery will be London’s third biggest brewery and this is the largest investment in brewing in the East End in twenty-five years. Most excitingly, it is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Truman’s that began in Spitalfields in 1666.

I first met Michael-George & James two years ago, when they began their bold quest to bring Truman’s Beer back, after the three-hundred-year-old brewery closed in Brick Lane in 1989. “When we first spoke, there were only a handful of pubs selling our beer but now we have one hundred and fifty in London,” James informed me enthusiastically, “Our great success has been Truman’s Runner, and by the end of March we will be brewing in our new brewery.”

In the midst of the economic crisis, it has been an extraordinary feat of perseverance that this duo have pulled off, raising entirely private investment, negotiating the purchase of the Truman’s name, launching the beer back into pubs successfully, finding for the site for a new brewery in the East End and buying it too. Within the shell of two vast industrial units, there will be cold storage for a thousand casks, a laboratory, offices and a series of massive brewing vessels, a mash tun and a copper – essentially a giant kettle containing 1600 litres (forty barrels) of beer at a time. Once it is operating, this new brewery will be sufficient to satisfy the thirst of the East End for years to come.

“Our challenge is to find a balance between being the inheritors of a seventeenth century brewing tradition and being a contemporary brewer,” admitted Michael-George, “It is of paramount importance to us to produce a beer that is worthy of Truman’s name.” Now the search is on to raise the final investment necessary and find a head brewer. Amazingly, Truman’s yeast from 1955 is preserved in the National Yeast Bank in Norwich which makes it possible to brew a Truman’s beer today that contains an ingredient which connects directly to the three centuries of Truman’s in the East End. Operating on a larger scale than the microbreweries that have sprung up in recent years, Michael-George & James are passionate to bring manufacturing back to the East End, employing local people and training them in skills which can sustain the future of an industry here over the long-term.

James Morgan’s ancestors were Huguenot refugees who came to Spitalfields at the end of the seventeenth century after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. “Sometimes, I smile to myself when I am skint and walking around the streets of Spitalfields and I imagine them here walking these same streets three hundred years ago,” he confided to me, “and maybe they even drank some of the first Truman’s beer?”

Michael-George & James are driven by a shared passion, recognising that Truman’s is an integral part of the cultural identity of the East End, and it will be an inspiration to us all when the most famous brewer is back brewing on home ground next year. Cheers everybody!

Truman’s is back on the road again.

If you would like to invest in Truman’s Beer or apply for the post of Brewer at the New Truman Brewery contact trumans@trumansbeer.co.uk

Read my other Truman’s stories

The Return of Truman’s Beer

Tony Jack, Truman’s Chauffeur

Derek Prentice, Master Brewer

9 Responses leave one →
  1. November 16, 2012

    This is great news. By the way i love yor blog, it is a work of art. Thank you.

  2. Annie permalink
    November 16, 2012

    I spent 30 minutes waiting for the 106 yesterday to travel from Stoke Newington to Sutton House. No wonder it was so slow, look at the state of it!

  3. November 16, 2012

    Fantastic news! It’s been great in the last few years to see breweries like London Fields, Camden Town, Kernal and Crate establish themselves.. Pubs like The Fox, The Southampton Arms, Euston Tap, Brewdog etc have been stocking the ales and beers. It’s so satisfying to go and get a pint of ‘Hackney Hopster’ round the corner from my flat. Still, most pubs offer tasteless stuff like Kronenburg, Foster, Heineken and Carling – all imports!

  4. November 16, 2012

    superb lads hope you do well this time next year you could be millionares mai qui….

  5. Greg Tingey permalink
    November 17, 2012

    As a CAMRA life member – thank you!

  6. Ted Vallance permalink
    November 21, 2012

    When is the first brewery tour?

  7. christinepaulingwilliams permalink
    December 13, 2012

    good luck with the new brewery having worked at brick lane and all the old memories i wish you well

  8. September 4, 2013

    Fabulous news! The Pryors (a Quaker family) were Directors of the Company in the 19th and 20th Centuries. I was a humble graduate trainee at Brick Lane for 18 months in ;68 and ’69, during which I got legless on their ambrosial ales more times than I care to mention. Bon Voyage for the future. CHEERS!

  9. Edward Parker permalink
    September 16, 2013

    My dad work for Truman’s for 50years I still wear his long service watch and have his long service certificate I also work there for 6years hope it goes well

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