Olde Rock Brewery - Gibraltar
Crafting traditional beers & ales as enjoyed over the centuries
The ancient art of brewing beer was most likely first introduced to Gibraltar with the arrival of the Phoenicians around 950 BC from Mesopotamia where beer had been invented 7,000 years ago.
Gibraltar was later occupied by the Carthegenians, the Romans and the Vandals all of whom were notorious for their love of beer.
Then followed the dark ages for beer in Gibraltar until in 1704, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet captured Gibraltar and in 1713 Gibraltar was permanently ceded to Britain, ending the war and no doubt leading to the consumption of many ales & bitters both on the Rock and back in Britain.
With its British status now irrevocably secured, Gibraltar became a key strategic base for the British Royal Navy as it ruled the waves with each seaman being entitled to a gallon of delicious beer per day. Not surprisingly the number of taverns grew very quickly and were very popular.
In 1802, the Duke of Kent was appointed Governor of Gibraltar and immediately started to crack down on the revelry. The Duke closed down half the taverns and forced the soldiers to use only three of them. For the health of the soldiers, the taverns were also instructed to stop serving spirits such as gin & rum and to only serve the more fortifying beer from the Duke's new brewery in Europa Point.
In 1805, these newly fortified sailors helped Admiral Nelson win the epic Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson himself did not survive however and his body was returned to Gibraltar to be transported to London for a state funeral.
A Few years later, the increasingly unpredictable Duke of Kent ordered the old brewery at Europa Point to be destroyed and replaced by a new barracks (Brewery Barracks).
This brought a halt to brewing in Gibraltar and was perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the Duke who was summoned to London in 1820 never to return.
In December 2015 a project was started to revive the old craft of brewing in Gibraltar.