Wednesday, 1 September 2010

It's a London Thing No.5: Truman's Beer

It’s a London Thing is our new Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.


Look up. It’s always a revelation in any London street. Look up in the East End, however, and one name will leap out time-and-again, painted on gables and even still blazing in old-school neon above certain pubs. That name is Truman’s. It’s a great London name linked inexorably with a monumental London year: 1666, the year of its establishment.

By the end of the 19th century, Truman’s beer was famous the world over and their East London brewery the largest on the planet. The firm was such a part of London lore that even Mr Micawber, the much-loved character in Dickens’s David Copperfield, seeks a situation there.

And they’re back. After a couple of decades in mothballs, as the famous name seemed to seep into the brickwork of the old pubs, destined to be lost forever, two East London beer enthusiasts have revived the brand. With – as yet – no home brewery, but with a lot of passion, they’re brewing under the famous name once more.

“We might never be the largest again,” they say on their website, “but then biggest has never been best.”

Truman’s Runner is their new brew, the first beer bearing the famous name in 21 years. Seek it out on one of our many Pub Walks. It’s a London Thing.

(The new Truman’s website is HERE.)

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