Our local beer – Truman’s. Established 1666, closed 1989, re-established 2010

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The Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

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Draymen at the Brewery.

Wieden + Kennedy's London offices are partly located on the site of the Truman Brewery on Brick lane in London's east end. Founded in 1666, the brewery was once the world’s largest in the world.

Truman’s was synonymous with East London. For hundreds of years it was famed for its good beer and many pubs in the area are still branded with the name. But in 1989, Truman's was shut down, the breweries and the pubs sold off.

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The cooperage yard, seen from the top of the chimney.

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Our local The Golden Heart, back in the day – a Truman's pub, like many round the east end.

The heart
The Golden Heart now.

News reached us (belatedly) that the Truman has risen to brew again! Yay! Not a global brewing empire, but a local brand, with a beautiful identity! The people behind this say:

Beer needs a brewery, which is not something we have (yet).  So, we went to see our friends at Nethergate Brewery, who are very good brewers. Together, we created Truman’s Runner – our first new beer for 21 years.

Aside from beer, you need basic principles. Truman’s once lost sight of these and paid a high price. We went back the Metropolitan archives to find the principles that once made Truman’s great – they will be centre stage once more.

They are to be professional, to be innovative, to work with our local community and to make the best beer possible. They might not be revolutionary, but they are important.

We’re up and running now and we’ll keep on going until we build Truman’s a new brewery in its real home – East London.

We might never be the largest again, but then biggest has never been best.

Wise words.

Truman's pump

The new Truman's brand is based on the black eagle motif that can still be seen on many buildings in the neighbourhood. (Including the side of W+K Towers.)

Eagle

Truman's pint

For more info on Truman's beer, see their website here.

Ten-bells

You can buy Truman's beer at a number of local pubs, including the Ten Bells in Commercial Street, just round the corner from W+K's palatial offices on the edge of the brewery. The Ten Bells – seen in the top right of this busy photograph (above) of Commercial St in 1905 – is almost as old as Nicholas Hawksmoor’s neighbouring Christ Church, Spitalfields. Once the church was completed in 1729, funds were raised for the installation of a standard peal of eight bells, and in 1755, The Eight Bells Alehouse was recorded in Red Lion St, the thoroughfare that became Commercial St in the nineteenth century. And The Eight Bells was renamed The Ten Bells in 1788, when a new set of ten chimes was installed in the belfry at Christ Church. Info and pic above from the excellent Spitalfields Life. Much more here.

The Ten Bells is infamous for being (allegedly) a drinking haunt of one or more of the victims of Jack the Ripper.

  Ten bells
NB – our admiration for the work of Truman's in no way diminishes our esteem for valued W+K client Heineken. New global campaign from W+K Amsterdam rolling out now.

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