In 1744 Sir William Calvert established the Hour Glass Brewery at 89 Thames Street in the City of London, on the site of a brewery which had burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The hour glass was the Calvert family emblem. The Calverts became one of the leading brewers in London. In 1748 the Hour Glass Brewery produced 53,000 barrels of Porter, making it the second largest brewery in the world at the time. In 1805 another fire destroyed the brewery and it was rebuilt under the supervision of Robert Calvert.
By the mid-19th century the Calvert family was looking to raise substantial capital in order to fund the purchase of a number of public houses. With this aim, in 1860, the brewery was incorporated as a limited company with the title City of London Brewery Co. Ltd.
It was restructured as the New City of London Brewery Co. Ltd. in 1891, but in 1895 reverted to its original title.
In 1922 all brewing was transferred to the Swan Brewery in Fulham, west London, and the Hour Glass Brewery was used as a warehouse.
In 1932 part of the business was sold off with the proceeds invested in securities and the company name was changed to the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust Ltd.
In 1936 the company was acquired, along with 25 pubs, by Ind Coope & Allsopp Ltd. and all brewing stopped.