The Old Brewery Restaurant, Cafe, Bar and experimental Brewery to open in the Old Royal Naval College
Shortly before Easter, one of the UK’s most innovative and highly regarded brewers, Meantime Brewing Company, will open a new restaurant, cafe, bar and eight barrel brewery in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, part of the spectacular World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich and a stone’s throw from the world’s last tea clipper, the legendary Cutty Sark. The Old Brewery sits along side and connects to Discover Greenwich, the new Greenwich cultural centre, which will tell the story of Greenwich to the millions of visitors to the World Heritage Site each year.
The site occupied by the Old Royal Naval College has a surprisingly robust brewing heritage known to date back to Tudor times. In 1717 a brew-house was built to supply the pensioners of the Royal Naval Hospital with a 3-pint daily ration of beer. The Old Brewery itself is built upon the foundations of an early 19th century brewhouse and under the guiding hand of Meantime’s founder Alastair Hook, the building will once again come alive to the sight, sounds and aromas of brewing. Its unusual history has been acknowledged by Hook in his choice of signature beer for the venue, a deeply flavoured, restorative Hospital Porter. Brewed to a 1750’s recipe and matured for a minimum of 1 year the Hospital Porter, an ‘oak aged’ London Porter, weighs in at 8% ABV and is packed with rich malt, liquorice, chocolate and caramel flavours.
In addition to being a convivial place to dine, The Old Brewery will be Meantime’s most dramatic experimental workshop. Here the brewers, including 2008 Brewer of the Year Alastair Hook, will be able to trial, tinker and ultimately create extraordinary quality, limited edition beers, many in a style unavailable anywhere else in the world, including some wild beers (brewed using non conventional yeasts). Delving into the history books, long forgotten recipes, such as old Tudor style ales, will be given a new lease of life.
The Main Hall
Cafe by day, Restaurant by night
By day, whilst Discover Greenwich is open, the main hall will be run as a cafe with a wide selection of freshly made deli sandwiches, simple British bistro style dishes, house baked cakes and pastries as well as Meantime's vast selection of award-winning beers.
By night, the room with its dramatic copper-clad beer vessels and waves of suspended bottles will be transformed into a restaurant. In the magnificent surroundings of this Grade II listed building, diners can expect modern British food with the occasional nod to Britain's rich naval history. Beer will be integral to many dishes and woven through the menu in beer cured salmon or chocolate beer sorbet for example. Shucked oysters marinated in Hospital Porter, served in their shells with watercress and a glass of the beer is exactly the sort of dish customers could expect to see on the menu - Native Rock Oysters and Porter being a staple food of Londoners when the original brew house was built.
Britain’s capital city has a rich but largely forgotten heritage as the home of modern brewing. Here were created India Pale Ale, Porter and Stout. The Old Brewery will have the history of beer and London brewing in particular on proud display. A brewing history timeline will wrap around the main dining room, illustrating the integral role played by beer and brewing in British culture with London the centre of the brewing world.
Before Henry VII took possession of the land upon which The Old Brewery stands it belonged to the Abbey of Ghent. It is more than happy coincidence therefore that the first beer of many to be created for The Old Brewery’s customers will be a Belgian Abbey style ale. Having spent a year in 350 litre oak Syrah casks by the time it is tapped, this ale has a delicate candy sweetness balanced by a dry hoppy finish. Apart from a fine tipple, it would make the perfect marinade for pork belly, which at The Old Brewery would then be served with caramelised apples and sweetheart cabbage and smoked bacon.
The Bar and Courtyard
Adjoining the Main Hall, will be a cosy annexe bar and tranquil courtyard. Displayed against the exposed brickwork will be the beer bottle and glass collections of the esteemed Beer Hunter, the late Michael Jackson, an early fan and great supporter of Meantime. It is from this relaxed area, serving hand-drawn Meantime beers and an all day bar menu that customers will be able to descend to the cellars for tutored beer tastings.
Opening – Spring 2010
Opening Hours: Cafe – 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday
Restaurant – 6pm to 11 pm, Monday to Saturday & 6pm to 10.30 pm, Sunday
Bar – 11am to 11 pm, Monday to Saturday & 12pm to 10.30 pm, Sunday
Reservations number: 020 3327 1280
Address: The Old Brewery
The Pepys Building
The Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich SE10 9LW
Meantime Brewing Company
Founded by visionary Master Brewer Alastair Hook, Meantime has a simple mission – to demonstrate the full potential that beer has to offer. Not only has Meantime garnered a reputation for quality beer but it has also picked up a multitude of awards along the way. In 2004, Meantime became the first British brewery to win any medals at the World Beer Cup and it has repeatedly revisited that success even scoring a prestigious WBC gold medal in 2006. Meantime brews more beer styles than any other brewery in the UK, exports to 13 countries around the world and last year created a highly successful and unusually diverse Limited Edition series. The Meantime Brewing Company also owns The Greenwich Union pub. A new brewery site currently under construction in Greenwich will triple the company’s brewing capacity.
Trained at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh and at the world famous brewing school Weihenstephen in Munich, Master Brewer Alastair Hook founded breweries for Freedom and restaurateur Oliver Peyton amongst others before opening the acclaimed Meantime Brewing Company in 1999. Alastair was named Brewer of the Year in 2008 an award which the Chairman of the Guild of Beer Writers stated was "long overdue" when he congratulated this innovative Master Brewer on his achievement. Under Alastair's direction Meantime unashamedly challenges the way that both brewers and consumers view beer.
Discover Greenwich at the Old Royal Naval College, is the new £6 million contemporary cultural venue in the heart of Maritime Greenwich. Discover Greenwich will unlock the history of Maritime Greenwich for over a million visitors a year and becomes the starting point for understanding and appreciating this World Heritage site and international tourist destination.
Discover Greenwich will use state of the art interpretation techniques to tell the story of Maritime Greenwich and the Old Royal Naval College. Over 500 years of history from Henry VIII's Tudor Palace, Wren’s Royal Hospital for Seamen and the Royal Naval College will be explored through displays of never been seen before historic objects on show to the public for the first time, film footage and models in permanent and temporary exhibitions. Key figures from Anne Boleyn to Nelson are the highlights in a narrative bring telling the story not just of Greenwich but of Britain. A new Greenwich Tourist Information Centre, run by The London Borough of Greenwich, and the new Clore Learning Centre are also important features of the project.
Discover Greenwich is run by the Greenwich Foundation, the charity which manages the Old Royal Naval College.
For further information on The Old Brewery , please contact:
Sarah Canet E. email@example.com T. +44 (0)20 7610 9821
For information on Discover Greenwich, please contact:
William Kallaway E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)20 7313 6279