Our History

Since 1642

Nestled in the small market town of Bishop’s Castle, on the Shropshire/Welsh border is our famous brewery.

A Grade II listed building steeped in history, the first brewing licence at the site was issued back in 1642 and with part of the brewery as it is today, of 17th Century origin, this remains consistent with it being the original brewhouse and making it the oldest working brewery in Britain.

Three Tuns Brewery Timeline

It’s 1642 and a half-timbered building is built in Salop Street Bishop’s Castle to brew real ale for the coaching inn next door, the Three Tuns Inn and our real ales come to life for the first time.

It’s the 1880s and the John Roberts family buys both the brewery and the inn, before erecting a tower in 1888. Tower breweries were a product of Victorian ingenuity; the movement of liquids through the brewing vessels could easily be achieved if the main ingredients, malt and water, were winched and pumped to the top of a tower so that gravity could achieve all the transfers needed during the brewing process.

Fast forward to the 1970s and we’re at the advent of the ‘Campaign for Real Ale’.Along with the adjacent Three Tuns Inn, the Three Tuns Brewery is one of only four home-brew pubs operating in the whole of Britain.

For a number of years, the future of our brewery had appeared uncertain, following periods of closure. In fact, the investment required to bring it up to modern standards had made its viability questionable and in July 2002 a plan was published to convert it to housing.

Just six months later in January 2003, our brewery is bought by John Roberts’ Brewing Co.Ltd. - the name of which celebrates our historic association, over about a century, with the Roberts family. Our brewery is fully refurbished, ensuring its brewing future for many years to come.

Moving with the times, in the winter of 2020 we launched our online shop, proudly delivering our iconic beers to real ale enthusiasts all over the UK for the first time.