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The Old Brewery, Greenwich, London

Posted on 13. May, 2010 by in Breweries, Pubs

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The Old Brewery, Greenwich

A Brief History

The Old Brewery is a newly opened microbrewery located in Greenwich, London. It is operated by the Greenwich-based Meantime Brewery and is attached to the Discover Greenwich museum. The brewery is located in the Old Naval College which was originally the Greenwich Hospital. The hospital was built by Christopher Wren between 1696 and 1712 and closed in 1869. Between 1873 and 1998 it was the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

According to Drink Britain, Greenwich pensioners had daily rations of three pints for ‘restorative’ purposes. Local brewers supplied the beer, but sometimes there were problems with the brew. And because of the problems, a brewery was built on the site in 1717 to supply the hostpial. The brewery continued to operate until 1868.

The Interior

The Old Brewery, Greenwich

The brewery consists of a large café area that transforms in to a restaurant in the evening. This area contains a lot of the brewing equipment stacked up high in the corner of the room. It’s a pity that it isn’t more on display like in the Zero Degrees microbrewies as I’m sure most of the people who sit in the café have no idea what the equipment does.

The room has a huge timeline that runs around most of the room that gives a history of brewing and brewing in London. I didn’t read much of it but one surprising titbit I picked up was that in 1890, the UK had over 12,000 breweries! Unfortunately, by the end of the century that figure had shrunk by a third. By the 1970s, this figure had shrunk to just 150.

The Beer

The café contains a three taps – Kellerbier (a cellar-served lager brewed at the Old Brewery), Helles and London Pale Ale. Foolishly, I thought these three beers were all that were on offer a bought a pint of Kellerbier. It was only after buying the beer that I discovered the smaller bar next door that contained a much larger variety of beers.

The Old Brewery, Greenwich

On tap were no less than 8 different Meantime beers (The Famous Belgian, Wheat, Kellerbier, London Stout, London Pale Ale (cask and keg), Helles, Kolner and Hospital Porter). Also on sale were Haverys Best, Dark Star Hop, Aspalls Cider, Mort Subit, Brooklyn Beer and Schonram Pils and Dunkel. In addition, they serve a large range of bottled beers.

Whilst the selection is impressive, the prices are not. The bottles are very expensive – £5.10 for a Sam Smiths’ Nut Brown Ale and £3.50 for a half of the Hospital Porter! Granted the Hospital Porter is 8%, but I’m not sure that £3.50 is worth it for a beer that’s brewed in the room next door. That said, I’m glad I did buy a half as it’s a wonderfully smoky beer that’s very easy to drink.


There isn’t a great deal of room in the bar but if you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, there is a large amount of seating outside.

The Old Brewery is definitely made it to my list of London pubs worth visiting, just make sure you save up before you visit.

More Photos of The Old Brewery

Venue Location

The Old Brewery

Old Royal Naval College



SE10 9LW

Tel: 020 3327 1280

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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4 Responses to “The Old Brewery, Greenwich, London”

  1. cidermylover 10 June 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Was looking forward to visiting the old brewery tonight as a works leaving do. First impression was garden area was very nice – although the cold rainy weather made us move inside. Be warned ! pay no attention to the images on the website that shows chairs at the bar. No way could you have sat there – even if the chairs were there (which they were not) bar was 4 deep with customers with only one bar tender & one other having a prissy fit about something that stopped him from serving the waiting customers. Once inside there were very few seats – certainly not comparable with the outside space & lots of people waiting to sit down. The cafe/ restaurant does not allow drinkers to use the area so was totally unaware, till I visited this site, that the micro brewery was on show inside. Toilets in the cafe/ restaurant area are not for public use  – only cafe patrons,  so bar users have to use – wait for it !! – OUTSIDE TOILETS – a walk away from the main building. As it was pouring with rain we had to navigate a huge puddle to find what my aussie friend called THUNDERBOXES, outside toilets that while modern to view had no toilet seats, no toilet paper & no mirror in the ladies. Then had to make way back through a downpour back to the bar – ridiculous !!
    Can’t say too much about the beer – had a strawberry beer & a Cider – both very nice but then went on to shorts. Bar food curiously consists of  a great deal of egg dishes, florentine, benedict etc – HUGELY over priced
    I am sure that on a warm summer evening it would be very nice with lovely views of the river etc, – but you still have to wait to get served, still have the thunderboxes with no seat or toilet paper & unless you have a good deal of money on you (& like eggs) the food is very overpriced.
    There are  several other pubs/restaurants in Greenwich that I would choose before this one, having better beer, food & prices (& toilets !!). Having the label microbrewery means nothing if you cannot see it  or cannot afford it. Very disappointing


  1. The Old Brewery, Greenwich, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - May 14, 2010

    […] The Old Brewery, Greenwich, London A very tasty, but expensive (£3.50 a half), Hospital Porter from the Meantime Brewery. The location? The recenlty opened Old Brewery in Greenwich, London. You can read a review and view more photos at Travels with Beer […]

  2. Meantime Brewery Beers | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - September 3, 2010

    […] Meantime Brewery Beers A trio of Meantime Brewery pumps at the excellent Old Brewery in Greenwich, London. You can read a review of the brewery on Travels with Beer. […]

  3. The Old Brewery (Meantime) | - December 30, 2011

    […] Original Sources: Print PDF Be Sociable, Share! Related […]

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