Blog: Chris MercerTruman's moving back to London

Chris Mercer | 27 January 2012

It's become pretty common to dislocate beers from their geographic homeland in the present era of brewing industry consolidation, which is why the Truman's story caught my eye this week. 

Provenance is a buzzword in marketing circles, yet it receives homage only intermittently in the world of big brewing. Partly, of course, global distribution needs mean that brands often have to be brewed at scale and close towhere they are sold.

Proponents of the 'nothing is sacred' attitude would argue that things cannot simply stay the same, to be preserved as some memorial to the past at the expense of the present. There is probably some truth there, but one suspects, at the same time, that such change is often made under the watchful gaze of corporate bean counters.

The history of brewing is littered with brands lost, but also those moved from their place of origin. Take Newcastle Brown Ale, which is no longer brewed in Newcastle, or Boddingtons, which has long since lost its namesake Manchester brewery.

This week, however, the new owners of the Truman's beer label offered us the reverse. 

In 1989, Grand Met shut down the 'Old Truman Brewery' in East London. It has since become the epicentre for quirky cool in London, surrounded by stalls that some would describe as 'vintage' and others 'jumble sale'. 

In 2010, the Truman's beer label was refounded by James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus. Until now, they've been brewing at Everards in the East Midlands of England, Morgan told me this week. But, they want to bring Truman's back to East London in 2012, albeit a little off its original scale.

"Our plan is to build a 40-barrel plant, which we hope will be operational by the end of the year," said Morgan, who, alongside other microbrewers in the UK, is enjoying resurgent consumer interest in local beers. 

If you're in London, seek out Truman's Runner and have a session. Alternatively, find the guys a brewing site and you'll be in-line for 500 bottles of the stuff. No, really. 

 


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