About

London was the world’s largest brewing centre from medieval times until the third quarter of the nineteenth century, and the beers that evolved there shaped brewing worldwide. Porter, Stout, Pale Ale and IPA were all first brewed in London. Many of the biggest and most important breweries were in this area.

Join Rod Jones - Guild of Beer Writers,  Former Meantime Tour Guide and Cask Marque Inspector on a journey through London's brewing history of this beer heritage walk every month.

This tour is BIG on beer history and isn't a 'pub crawl' - if you are looking to find out some in depth knowledge about London's brewing history then this is not to be missed!

You'll visit the following places on this 3 hour walking tour - with the option to join Rod after the tour ends at The Royal Oak (Harvey's pub) in Borough.

Overview

  • Visit the site of the Red Lion Brewery
  • Head down to the old Anchor Brewhouse
  • Visit The George Inn, Southwark
  • Stop off at many historical brewing sites

More information

ALDERMAN’S STAIRS ST KATHERINE’S
The Red Lion Brewery was owned by a Flemish brewer to whom Henry VII issued a license in 1492 for the export of beer, was still in production until 1934, making it Britain’s longest-running brewery. Southwark and St Katherine’s are were British professional brewing began as an industry.

ANCHOR BREWHOUSE SHAD THAMES
Courage’s Anchor Brewhouse, unlike most other central London brewery buildings, was not demolished when the brewery closed and was converted into highly desirable flats. Courage was one of the very last major breweries still operating in the heart of London, closing in 1982.

SOUTH END OF LONDON BRIDGE
Southwark is the historic home of the hop trade - hops came to Southwark on sailing barges to be landed at quays on the south bank where the captains of the boats sold them to the Hop Factors, who then sold them on to Hop Merchants. On the opposite bank you can still see the outline of Queenhythe, which was one of the main docks where malt from East Anglia was landed.

THE GEORGE INN, BOROUGH HIGH STREET
The George, with its cobbled courtyard, oak beams, open fires and galleries is the only remaining galleried coaching inn in London. Its history can be traced back as far as the 16th century, but it is likely an inn has stood here far longer.

JUNCTION OF SOUTHWARK STREET AND BOROUGH HIGH STREET
This was the epicentre of the enormous Southwark hop trade, with hops arriving by river and road. These streets were once full of carts bringing hops up from Kent, Sussex and Hampshire to be sold in Southwark. This is the site of the the Hop Exchange, which was built as the hub for the buying and selling of hops and Le May’s which is the only other hop-related building to survive the Blitz.

PARK STREET
Due to its sheer size, international fame and state-of-the-art technology, Barclay Perkins was one of the most historically important breweries in history. In Park St. there are several reminders of this great brewery and a notorious diplomatic incident. Barclay Perkins occupied the whole site bounded by Southwark Bridge Rd, the Thames, Park St and Southwark St – the biggest brewery in the world at
that time.

THRALE STREET
Thrale Street and nearby Thrale House are named after the owners of what became one of the biggest and most famous of the London breweries. It originated in about 1690 and passed into the ownership of the Thrale family. In 1781 the brewery was sold to the Barclay banking family. Thrale’s Brewery, and later, Barclay Perkins, became famous for London Porter, the strong black beer that was London’s favourite for 150 years, and also for the Imperial Russian Stout.

Notes

Please note that walking is involved outdoors so please be prepared for all kinds of weather. Tour is on foot but it is a flat accessible route. Refunds or date changes only permitted up to 14 days before. Beer tastings are included with the ticket however food is not included. It's advisable to grab a good lunch before although you may wish to join Rod after the tour finishes for some food and drinks at The Royal Oak pub in Borough.

What's included

All tastings included.

Price

£50pp

Days

Wednesdays monthly

Duration

3 hours

Meeting point

Tickets

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