All you need to know about Old Tom

Old Tom has been on the prowl at Robinsons Unicorn brewery for more than 125 years and having used up none of his nine lives, there's plenty of energy in the old cat just yet! Pounce on that mouse and come explore the world of Old Tom and his world famous ale.

Old Tom’s history highlights

The history of Old Tom

Old Tom has been on the prowl at Robinson’s Unicorn brewery for more than 125 years and he’s used up none of his nine lives. Come and explore the legend that was born in 1899.

1827 - How it all began

William Robinson became landlord of the Unicorn Inn in 1827 and bought the pub in 1838. The Unicorn Inn evolved to become the Unicorn Brewery, in which Old Tom was born.

1899 – Old Tom is born

As the old brewery cat, Tom basked in the sunshine our head brewer, Alfred Munton sketched him into immortality. Old Tom was first brewed on Wednesday 1st November 1899.

1920 - A new brew house

New coppers, to boil the wort and hops, were installed in 1920.  They worked hard for over 90 years brewing Old Tom, before being replaced in 2012 with the brew house you see today.

1976 - Unicorn Packaging Centre

The Unicorn Packaging Centre opens, with a bottling capacity of 850,000 bottles a day, allowing Robinsons to start sharing the now famous Old Tom beer with the rest of the world.

1985 – Old Tom’s 50+ awards

Old Tom wins the first of over fifty awards in the 1985 ‘Brewing Industry International Awards’. Amongst other accolades he’s been crowned ‘Champion beer of Britain’ and ‘World’s best ale’.

Cooking with Old Tom

Discover five mouth-watering meals, made with a liberal splashing of Old Tom's finest ales.

Old Tom’s awards and recognition

When it comes to great tasting ale, Old Tom is the cat’s pyjamas as evidenced by the fact it’s bagged over 50 awards since 1968… and we anticipate many more to come! Take a few minutes to leaf through some of our favourites below. We particularly liked the citation from the World Beer Awards, who branded Old Tom as ‘dangerously drinkable'.

World Beer Awards

The World Beer Award selects, awards and promotes the 'Best Beers in the World'. Described as "dangerously drinkable" and a "Mozartian symphony" of beer by the judging panel, Old Tom picked up the ultimate accolade when it was named the World's Best Ale in 2007 & 2009.