Ram Quarter’s on-site brewer John Hatch has been awarded the John Young Memorial Award by the London branches of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) for his work with Greenland to maintain the site’s prestigious beermaking tradition.
Named after long-time Young’s Brewery chairman John Young, the accolade is given to individuals or organisations who have done the most for real ale within Greater London.
Since 2006, when Young’s closed its brewing operation in Wandsworth and sold the site, John Hatch has maintained a nanobrewery at Ram Quarter with the support of Greenland. With evidence of beer having been brewed on site continuously since at least 1533, this has allowed Ram Quarter to retain its title as the UK’s longest running brewing site, with operations keeping going throughout Greenland’s redevelopment and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award is particularly poignant for John Hatch, a former employee of Young’s, who pledged to the company’s late chairman that he would keep the brewery tradition alive at Ram Quarter: “John Young was the reason I joined the brewery,” said John Hatch. “I wanted to brew for John Young. I spoke to him not long before he died and I promised that I’d keep brewing going on the Ram site.”
Helping to maintain this historic achievement has been only one of Greenland’s and John’s acts of commitment to beer and the local community. During the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year, Greenland and John collaborated to produce a weekly Friday brew offered free of charge to Ram Quarter residents, helping to lift spirits during the difficult period – an initiative which still continues.
When accepting the award, John paid tribute to Greenland and everyone who has helped him with the project: “I couldn’t have done it without the support from Greenland and the local community.”
Ram Quarter’s brewing story does not end there. Sambrook’s, London’s oldest independent brewery, will be opening a new brewery, tap room, and heritage centre on site later this year, safeguarding Ram Quarter’s beermaking legacy for generations to come.