Three Tuns Brewery


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Three Tuns Brewery

The Three Tuns Brewery in Bishop’s Castle is the oldest licensed brewery in England. It was established on its current site in 1642, when it is believed to have been called The New Club. The name was changed to The Three Tuns sometime in the late 1700s.

The Three Tuns refers to the mash tun, the vessel used to mix the grains with water

Many of the building on site date from the 17th century however the Tower Brewery was built in about 1888. The site is Grade Two Listed.

In 1970s there were only four pubs in England brewing their own beers, there are now several within a few miles.

The Three Tuns Brewery changed ownership in the mid 1970s.

At different times in the following years no brewing occured and in 2002 there was a proposal to turn the site into housing.


A Section of the Albion Brewery


In January 2003 it was bought by John Roberts Brewing Co Ltd.

The name refers to the Roberts family who ran the Three Tuns from about 1890 until the mid nineteen seventies. John Roberts, his son Erskine and Grandson John ran the pub and brewery for eighty odd years. It is thought they were responsible for the construction of the Brewery Tower.

This is a rare example of a surviving Tower Brewery, where they use gravity to achieve the transfer of liquids during the brewing process.

The Tower was strengthened during subsequent renovations using two hundred tons of steel, for the up to date brewing equipment.

A lot of the original features have been kept including a copper fermenting tank from 1880, a liquor tank and pulley system which are still used today.

The 16th Century brewhouse is now used exclusively for fermentation. They also still have The Three Tuns Yeast, a strain that is over 120 years old and creates  the distinctive taste of the breweries beers.

They produce six regular ales and four seasonal ones.

Ownership of the Brewery and the The Three Tuns Inn split in 2003. You can still sample the beer next door.

The image in this post shows a section of the tower brewery brewhouse at the Albion Brewery from 1883.

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