The Brewers’ Company has undergone many changes in membership and function since it received its first Royal Charter in 1438. Until 1994 membership was restricted to representatives of London brewing companies, but in that year it was opened to brewers throughout the UK and in 1999, by invitation, directors of foreign brewing companies. When membership of the Company was widened in 1994 new Aims and Objectives were drawn up which were last modified in 2011.
The Company today is active in promoting the brewing industry by providing a meeting place and facilities for member companies and a forum for social contact for those within the industry and associated organisations, together with those who have influence on the industry, as well as promoting education and training in the brewing sector. It also carries on the inherited responsibility of administering its charitable Foundations and Trusts, two of which support schools. Additionally, the Brewers’ Company plays its full part in the local government of the City of London and within the community of other Livery Companies.
The Brewers’ Company, which has its origins in 13th Century London, exists to promote interaction between brewery companies, for the benefit of the industry and its members alike, whilst supporting its charitable foundations (principally education focused) and the governance of the City of London.
The Brewing Industry
- To recruit and retain UK and foreign brewing companies to the Brewers’ Company.
- To ensure corporate membership remains relevant and to widen participation within member companies.
- To provide a meeting place and facilities through which the Company and member companies can promote the interests of brewers the brewing industry.
- To provide a forum to foster social contact within the brewing industry and associate organisations.
- To support excellence and achievement in the industry and in particular in member companies.
- To encourage research and understanding of beer and brewing, its heritage, and the Company itself.
- For the Company to be the Trustee and to administer the assets of various charities, including their endowed funds, in order to support both today’s and future beneficiaries.
- To encourage Liverymen to make donations to the Brewers’ Company General Charitable Trust.
- To participate in and support the local government of the City of London through the traditional activities of Livery Companies.
Who we are
We are a livery company in the City of London with a history dating back to the 13th Century. Originally a guild of those people brewing beer in London, we nowadays have more philanthropic aims but remain 100% true to the brewing and pub industry, which we are proud to represent. Brewers and pubs have grown together over centuries to sit at the heart of the communities they serve. The British pub, in particular, has always been an open house, a place where all are welcome and anyone can walk through the door – a sentiment we wholeheartedly support.
What we do
As well as promoting interaction between brewery companies, for the benefit of the industry and our members alike, we manage land and investments which have been donated over hundreds of years. Today the income derived from those investments allows us to distribute around £2M each year to schools and educational projects, and to support people in need.
Uniquely among the ancient livery companies of the City of London our membership is derived exclusively from our industry – the brewing and pub industry. It reflects the growing diversity of the companies which make up our historic trade and we actively encourage those companies to support diversity through their representatives.
One definition of diversity is ‘the differences among us’ and we are conscious in all our decisions about the way we operate, how we work with our members and our charitable giving to ensure we are supporting diversity and inclusion.
Our commitment, both as a membership organisation and a small employer, is that everyone is included and valued, and should feel welcome. As a trustee of charitable funds our commitment is to have diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our minds when considering applications for funding and to monitor the diversity and inclusion credentials of our investment portfolios.
The Company has undertaken a thorough review of its ways of working and interactions with stakeholders with regards to diversity and inclusion and commits to continue to be mindful of these issues in everything that we do, supported by a regular formal review process.
The Role of Livery Companies
Livery companies or guilds have been part of the social and commercial fabric of Europe since medieval times. Originally founded to protect the interests of various trades and their practitioners, Livery companies in the City of London now flourish as charitable patrons, promoters of industry and guardians of heritage and tradition, as well as performing an important role in the governance of the City.