Greenland UK celebrated the almost 500-year-old tradition of brewing at Ram Quarter in Wandsworth with the presentation of a new Brewing Book to record the details of future brews at the site.
Taotao Song, CEO of Greenland (UK), presented John Hatch – former master brewer at Young’s Ram Brewery – with the book at an event in the sample room in the old brewery’s stables on 12th June.
The book will be used to record the ingredients and conditions under which future ales and beers are brewed by John at Ram Quarter, continuing a tradition dating back more than a century. Consistent records from Young’s operations at the site had been kept since before the First World War, and it is planned that those books will be donated by the Young’s family to a local archive in Battersea Library.
To mark the occasion John, who had set up a nanobrewing operation to maintain the site’s legacy when Young's left the site in 2006, prepared a special new brew never before created, named Greenland Ale – details of which are now logged in the new book for posterity. The book will be kept in the sample room adjoining the nanobrewery, which is housed within the brewery’s former stables.
Ram Quarter’s brewing history dates back to at least 1533, when the earliest records show that brewing first took place on the site. Since then there have been 486 years of continuous brewing at Ram Quarter – the longest period of brewing anywhere in the UK – continuing through World Wars, London’s industrial change, and more recently Greenland’s redevelopment of Ram Quarter in the heart of Wandsworth.
Ram Quarter’s brewing heritage is recognised throughout the development. It is most strikingly preserved by the Grade-II listed former brewery building, now known as Coopers’ Lofts, which has been lovingly restored to create 14 unique loft-style apartments giving a new generation of Londoners a chance to live in a slice of the capital’s history. Subtle nods to the site’s past can be seen in the tasteful restoration of the early 19th Century period features, such as timber windows, exposed brickwork and ironwork.
The redevelopment has also opened up a section of the historically significant River Wandle, once London’s busiest working river, providing public access to this stretch of the river which had previously been hidden behind the brewery walls. Visitors can now walk along the riverbank at Ram Quarter, enjoying the new wildlife that has returned to the river. But the Wandle’s ties to brewing have not been forgotten, and the significance of this stretch of river is to be commemorated by London’s oldest independent brewer, Sambrook’s, which will be hosting a “Craft Beer by the River” all-day festival at Ram Quarter on Saturday 13th July.
John Hatch said: “Of course, under Young’s the majority of brews at the Ram Brewery had to be incredibly consistent – to ensure the famed quality of the beer. Nowadays, I can have slightly greater licence – from traditional British mild, to darker porters. Being able to have maintained the tradition of brewing at Ram Quarter throughout the development and construction on site over the past few years has been an absolute privilege for me.”
Taotao Song, CEO of Greenland (UK), said: “We’re extremely proud of the brewing tradition at Ram Quarter, which began when Henry VIII was on the throne. Presenting John Hatch with a new Brewing Book is not just a tribute to his work, but also marks five years since Greenland acquired the site. We couldn’t think of a more fitting celebration than raising a glass of our very own Greenland Ale to Ram Quarter with John.”