It was once the Brewery Tap for the old Meantime Brewery but that was a few years ago.
I am not a fan of craft beer, it is normally kept too cold for me and reminds me of those distant days drinking Tartan Bitter, but the beers that Meantime brewed were acclaimed and I needed to give them a try, although that was in 2011.
Bought out, sold out, Meantime is now part of a conglomerate and the Brewery Tap is Young’s with Young’s Best, a Hawkes Urban Orchard Cherry Cider and normally a guest on offer together with the rows of
keg, sorry craft beers and lagers that leave me ‘cold’.
But still, the Old Brewery is so close to the finish of the walk from Westminster Abbey to Greenwich that it would be remiss not to include it in Beer Notes.
It should be the perfect place to stop, just through the first gates on the right from the Cutty Sark and up towards the Palladian World Heritage Visitor Centre. The entrance to the Old Brewery is along the colonnade on the left or through the Visitor Centre.
It is some setting.
Inside, there is an eating room, all industrial chic with copper barrels and pipes and gauges on one wall that invoked memories of its past life as the Meantime Brewery Tap, brewing its world renowned ‘craft beers’ on site. The bar is a rather sparse room, a basic drinks server that did little to welcome me with no chairs or tables in which to sip a quiet pint.
But the secret of the Old Brewery is the outside courtyard. Umbrellas and tables and a continental feel on this hot day with snacks, from the standard Young’s menu, ordered from the bar and perhaps this is the reason for all those ‘cold’ beers.
Towards the river and through to the colonnade, there are more tables and chairs, set for dining, that overlook the lawns that once had a perfect view of the river before Zizzi’s and Nando’ took root, during 2012.
Weekends are busy and full and being so close to the river, it is a time when seats and tables are difficult to find and despite my predilection for Young’s, it is not really a pub but an elegant restaurant to eat and drink and while away an afternoon that would be reminiscent of the courtyard of some fashionable French hotel in St Germain. Those just retired lazy days of summer of 2004 and the Old Brewery is perfect for what it is.
Tellingly, the website makes no mention of beer but the food, the rum days, the Pimm’s days and the whisky days seem to fit more easily than having to cater for groups of hot walkers eager to reminisce.
Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the Old Brewery, once the brewery tap for the old Meantime Brewery, will be No 16.
The Old Brewery is less than 100 metres from the route of 1066 Harold’s Way.
Food: Yes Accommodation: No
The Pepys Building, The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London SE10 9LW
Tel: 020 3437 2222 https://www.oldbrewerygreenwich.com/
PS: As a footnote, the Thames path between Greenwich and ‘the Dome’ is a series of diversions that avoid all the new building on the riverbank. For Meantime fans, the diversionary route takes you past the new Meantime Brewery, shop and tap with space for tasting but remember that there is a way to go before Lesnes Abbey and I am sure that the weight of full beer bottles increases the more miles you walk.