Young & Company was founded when Charles Allen Young and Anthony Bainbridge purchased the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth, south west London, in 1831. The Ram had been a porter brewery, but by 1864 production turned to lighter and more sparkling beers.
Charles Allen Young died in 1855, and his son Charles Florance Young entered the partnership. Anthony Bainbridge was succeeded by his nephew, Herbert in 1873.
In 1882 a fire caused extensive damage to part of the brewery and the Ram Inn. Both were rebuilt the following year.
In 1883 the Young and Bainbridge partnership was suddenly dissolved; Herbert Bainbridge had run off with Charles Young’s wife. Charles carried on the business alone as Young & Co. Following his death in 1890 the firm was incorporated as a limited company.
In 1893 the Ram trademark was registered. A Dorset horned ram was chosen as the brewery symbol, and in 1905 the production of Ram brand bottled beers commenced from a new bottling hall at the brewery.
After the Second World War the company needed to modernise and invest in its growing number of pubs. It became a publicly quoted company on the London Stock Exchange in 1955, and in 1962, John Allen Young, great-great-grandson of the firm’s founder, became chairman. He quickly became instrumental in promoting traditional draught beer in all Young’s pubs. With demand for real ale outstripping supply, a new £5 million brewhouse was completed in 1984 to increase brewing capacity and to replace some equipment that had been in use for more than 100 years.
Youngs closed the Ram Brewery in 2006, and brewing was transferred to a new company, Wells & Young’s Brewery Co. Ltd., which was a joint brewing venture with Charles Wells Brewery.
Until its closure, the Ram Brewery was claimed to be the oldest brewing site in continuous operation in Britain , with a history dating back to the 1550s when a brewer called Humphrey Langridge leased the Ram pub. The site of the Ram Brewery is currently undergoing redevelopment into residential and commercial properties.