Brixton Beers. Part Four – Canopy Beer Co’s 1891

This is the fourth installment of a mini-series where we introduce you to your local brews. And this weekend sees the launch of Canopy Beer Co’s 1891 – all in aid of the the Herne Hill Velodrome.

Canopy Beer 1891
1891 label which includes Tommy Simpson (white jersey) at the Herne Hill Velodrome

You ask me, there’s very little that goes together quite as well as sport and beer. Granted though, it’s not necessarily good for you. Take Tommy Simpson. As one of Britain’s most successful pro cyclists, he was reputedly found to have had a mixture of alcohol and amphetamines in his blood stream when he died during the hard climb of the Ventoux at the 1967 Tour de France. So the mixture comes with a health warning.

The story is relevant though. For the name of Canopy’s new beer, 1891, is a reference to the Herne Hill Velodrome, for whom it is brewed. Both keen cyclists, the husband and wife brewing team down at Canopy are donating the profits from this Indian Pale Ale to the Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome, who want to restore the old pavilion in the historic arena.

The beer itself is based on a heritage recipe of the same era – a time when London breweries were enjoying a peak. Using both UK and American hops, the result is a hoppy, reddish ale, with a strength of 4.6%.

As for poor old Tommy Simpson – take a close look a the label – that’s him, left of centre, cycling Herne Hill’s Velodrome back in the day.

Where can you buy it? Dugard and Daughters in Herne Hill and maybe Market Row Wines (not confirmed at the time of going to press). Also, the brewery itself will open in December, Sat & Suns 12-5pm. You’ll find them down in the railway arches behind the Costcutter in Herne Hill.

Meet your other local brews here.