Truman’s Beer is a favourite amongst both staff and customers at Big Chill Bar, not only because it is really tasty, but also because it is a huge part of Brick Lane’s history, and our bar sits in the old brewery’s bottling station.
Truman’s is one of the greatest names in British brewing being a part of London life for almost 350 years, so we were super excited to be invited down to The Eyrie, their new brewery, in Hackney Wick for a tour and a further insight into the brand.
These is nothing quite like an ice cold beer on a sunny day, and that’s exactly what we greeted with on arrival, so with drinks in our hand, the tour began, starting with the story behind their rise, fall and renewal.
Truman’s originated all the way back in 1666, when Brick Lane was just fields! During the 1800s it was one of the biggest breweries in the world, and they owned a number of popular pubs around London.
It remained a successful independent brewery all the way through to the 1980s when sadly it succumbed to the merger mania and the brewery and pubs all closed their doors. Sad as that was the Truman name lived on, the original brewery became the creative hub of Brick Lane (and home to Big Chill Bar) and if you take a look around old pubs in London, you can still see remains of the old Truman’s branding.
It was then in 2010 that two beer enthusiasts, James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus, decided it was time to re-establish. They based the comeback on the principles that originally made Truman’s great: good quality beer and having respect for pub culture. They love beer themselves and believe that everyone, everywhere deserves to drink it – a motto that we couldn’t agree more with.
Along with the renewal, came the opening of The Eyrie, so after we were caught up on the histoy, it was time to take a wander round the new 40-barrel brewery to learn about why Truman’s beer tasts so darn good.
Their signature style is full of flavour and very drinkable. They craft an eclectic range of beer in cask, keg and bottle, ranging from traditional amber ales to hop forward IPAs, each are brewed with skill, belief and passion. Hops were passed round to the team to smell, and those who dared tasted, and we learnt all about their famous fruity and characterful yeast. In 2013 Truman’s visited the National Collection of Yeast Cultures to recover the original yeast strain, which had been stored in liquid nitrogen at -19c since 1958! Now it is back fermenting their beer, which we got to see in action.
Our visit concluded with a final stop at the bar and a delicious rib meat roll courtesy of The Rib Man and his famous Holy F!*k sauce, which be warned, is not for the faint hearted.
Similar to Big Chill, the Truman have a passion for East London, its community, history and future, they may only be a small brewery but they have a big name and we are very proud to shout about having them on our bar, so next time you are in the Brick Lane area pop by and treat yourself to a pint of the Truman’s Roller IPA or Pale Ale.