No not Jim Carrey nor President H S Truman but Truman the beer that was at one time the heart and soul of East London, and once the largest brewery in the world is back and ready for business. Originally established in 1666 closed in 1989 and now re-established in 2010, now based in offices literally a stone's throw from the old site in Brick lane E1, a group of guys are planning the revival of this British brewing icon.
You can from the team's top floor office (no lift by the way) in Elder St see the old site and I was thinking what inspiration it must give these dudes! It is remarkable how much history surrounds this name, some of the old pubs around here still have some old signage and what about the families who lived (and some who still live in the area) who have fond memories of this bustling brewery with grandparents or even parents who once work behind those big gates.
I was born in this borough of London and my father ran a clothing factory in the early 70s till 1985 just up the road in Whitechapel Road, so I was regularly down Petticoat lane with my mum. I clearly remember the working brewery with trucks coming out the gates full of barrels up and down Brick Lane. My dad was a keen Whiskey and Brandy fan (like most Punjabi's) but when he had a beer it was a Truman's, there were always bottles and cans lying around the house but I can't remember ever cracking one open! Well it was a long time ago..
I read out about the re-launch from Beermerchants blog late last year but never got a chance because of work and the weather to pop over and see the guys. I finally met up with James and Micheal in their busy office yesterday morning and listened to the great plans they have for 2011. I was genuinely pleased for them and the enthusiasm they had for the Brand, they have no family links to the brewery but purchased the naming rights because they believed in the name and you know what, good on them.
They have just launched the Truman's Runner Ale in 500ml bottles and I'm told selected pubs around London have on pump a porter which they were popular for way back and now is named Three Threads. As it was by fate or by luck, they had just had delivery of the first load of bottles of Runner Ale. Oh what timing I thought and purchased a case of 12. The bottle label has links to the past with the use of the Eagle and the font seems similar too but looking at it closely its definitely more up to date. I've said it before, getting the branding right is the key however, what these guys also have on their side is 300 plus years of legacy to help them with marketing.
Now the important bit: Pours a dark brown colour and for me poured a nice beige head, with some light toasted caramel malts and hints of fruit Orange maybe or Peach. Nice smooth carbonation and you don't pick up on the 4% ABV that much, it's not very complex but is a very drinkable bitter and I’d gladly add it to my ever-increasing list of session beers. Very nice beer.
Truman's Runner Ale 4.o% ABV – 7/10
Do check out the company website for more information on Truman's Beers history and where they are currently being brewed. I found this nice quote from the website 'We might never be the largest again, but then biggest has never been best'.
Truman's are also on Twitter @TRUMANSBEER
On tap in London at Ten Bells, The Water Poet, The Carpenters Arms and The Peasant.
'Once a heavyweight of British brewing, Truman’s was synonymous with East London. For hundreds of years it was famed for its good beer and the remaining pubs bear witness to the fact that it stood for all that is great about British pub culture' - James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus (Truman's Beer).