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Duncan Sambrook - founder
"In 2006, if you had told me that we would be brewing beer at the oldest continually brewing site in the country (1533!) and as London’s oldest independent brewery (2008), I would probably have laughed. But from December 2020 when we start brewing in the Ram Quarter, Wandsworth, we will be in this position. Of course, as with many brewing stories, the journey has taken many turns along the way but I hope that this story will inspire you to try our beers, visit us and be a part of our story as we continue to keep brewing in the heart of London."
the journey begins
Earls Court, Great British Beer Festival, August 3rd 2006.
Duncan Sambrook is sitting with two University friends in the braying crowd of GBBF. Scanning the beer list for a locally brewed beer in London, all they could find was a small brewery in Chiswick. Surprising at the the time there were a mere four breweries operating in London with Youngs Brewery in Wandsworth (more on that later) closing down in summer 2006. After one too many beers, Duncan and his friends hatched a plan to bring brewing back to the heart of London.
But it wasn't until 2008 that Sambrook's Brewery finally opened it's doors. After a chance meeting with brewing entrepreneur David Welsh, and a crash course in brewing fundamentals in the far away land of Sunderland, Duncan finally brewed his first batch of Wandle ale in a converted photography studio in Battersea. Sambrook's brewery was born. We had arrived.
A decade of growth
Fast forward to 2018 - Sambook's has team of six brewers brewing 50,000 pints a week selling beer all over London with a core range of six beers in keg, cask and bottle. Along the way, Wandle had picked up bronze at the Champion Beer of Britain competition (twice) and was voted best Bitter in the world at the World Beer Awards 2013. Junction became our most award winning beer and our Russian Imperial Stout won Supreme Champion keg beer at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards.
But with the end of our lease at Yelverton Road approaching and the relentless juggernaut of residential developments in Battersea we started looking for a new site to continue our brewing story.
Our search did not last long when, after 15 years of development at the Ram Quarter in Wandsworth, we were approached to design and install a brewery and heritage centre on the site of the old Youngs Brewery. How could we refuse? With the site situated over the River Wandle and at the centre of Wandsworth Town it seemed to fit perfectly with our ambitions. So with a tear in our eye we will say goodbye to our first brewing site at Yelverton Road on 30 November 2020, almost 12 years to the day since we began.
our new home
The brewing scene in London has changed immensely since we started in 2008. There are more breweries and beers than ever before and the rich history of brewing in London has been kept alive by a passionate bunch of beer drinkers and brewers alike. Sambrook’s now starts our new chapter, with our new brewery, visitor centre and tap room in the heart of Wandsworth. Our team is waiting for your visit, so whether you wish to find out about the history of brewing, taste our beers or join the team for a day’s brewing, come down and join us in celebrating London beer and London brewing.