Near to the place where the River Wandle joins the Thames, there was a pub called The Ram, on the site of Young’s Ram Brewery, as early as 1550. Beer-brewing there was first mentioned in 1576.
The Young family bought the brewery in 1831 and brewed beer to supply their own pubs in London and surrounding areas, though went on to sell to other pubs, supermarkets and the export market.
The Ram Brewery finally closed in 2006. Young’s claimed credit for owning the oldest brewery in continuous operation.The founder’s great-great grandson died shortly before the closure, with beer from the last batch being served at his funeral..
The history of the Ram Brewery could have ended there, with developers moving in to demolish warehouses, while preserving some of the Grade II listed heritage, to create a residential site called The Ram Quarter.
An enterprising Young’s brewer called John Hatch offered his services as a site manager to look after the brewery heritage and has opened a nanobrewery – so the tradition of brewing lives on.
There are plans to open a public microbrewery and brewing museum next to the new apartment blocks.