When you tell people Brixton has everything they can imagine, you can now add an eponymous brewery to the list. Tucked away in an arch on Brixton Station Road, Brixton Blog was invited to see them do their very first brew!
Born in 2011 over a pint in what was then the Hive Bar and is now the Craft Beer Co, local boys Jez and Mike decided to put their money where their mouth was and start commercial brewing. Having been neighbours in Saltoun Road since 2006, both of them had been doing homebrewing but wanted to branch out and create the beer they wanted to drink.
Fast forward to 2013 and now teamed up with brewer Dominic who has worked with London Fields and Brew Dog, Brixton Brewery has created three core brews, all named for Brixton. The strongest is the Electric India Pale Ale at 6.5%. Using a blend of American hops, this is a fruity ale designed to be drunk as a satisfying tipple, particularly good with Caribbean or sub continent curries. Lighter in alcohol at 4.5% is the Effra Ale, designed for drinking with a good lunch and good company. There’s also the Reliance at around 4% which appeals to people who like their beers packed with flavour, but at a lower ABV.
The names tell you how important Brixton is to this brewery. They wanted to remind people of the small secret places of Brixton where skills and talents are celebrated and used like the dressmakers and barbers in the Reliance Arcade or the butchers in Electric Avenue. While the beer will be a success because it’s good, it’ll be sold in small retailers and venues across Brixton to keep it local and fit this feel. It’ll be the beer you buy for BYO as well as drink in a bar.
Each bottle has a stylish unisex label inspired by the colours, patterns and nightlife of the area and were designed by local graphic designer Emma Scott-Child based in Bird Seed Studios just off Coldharbour Lane. These beers have been created specifically to go with food and welcome the development of Brixton as a place to eat. Savour their flavour over a meal. Brixton Brewery slow brew all their beers and you’ll see the difference compared to mass produced brews.
The beers contain the minimum of ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast. It’s conditioned in the bottle and cask so fits CAMRA’s criteria for real ale and you can see the living nature in the slight yeast residue in the bottle. Naturally carbonated, but not all fizz and no flavour the beer slips down easily (as I discovered clutching a glass in one hand and a pen in another.) I can see why they hope to do some limited editions, experimenting with locally inspired ingredients for summer or Christmas.
They are so connected to Brixton, they’ve even been involved in the Brixton Beer project to grow local hops and hope to develop a strong community base that will lead to trade and training for local people. You can even pop in and see them at work brewing if you fancy it. Everything about brewing and bottling will happen in their arch, so get in touch if you want to see the magic.
Bottles from the Brixton Brewery will be sold at all your favourite outlets in Brixton with dates and prices to be confirmed. These are beers to enjoy drinking not just get drunk on and it’s a treat to taste such freshly brewed beer that’s only travelled a matter of metres not miles. This is truly local beer!
Brixton Brewery is at Arch 547 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PF and can be followed on Twitter @BrixtonBrewery or contacted firstname.lastname@example.org