Brixton’s famous Nuclear Dawn mural is celebrated by a new Brixton Brewery beer. Completed in 1981 by artist Brian Barnes, the mural was inspired by the tensions and anxieties of the Cold War. But with North Korea’s nuclear threats in the news, it feels uncomfortably relevant once again.
The beer, Nuclear Dawn Botanical Sour, is a special collaboration with Duration Brewing, a new farmhouse brewery in Norfolk being launched by lifetime Brixton resident Miranda and her partner Bates.
Jez Galaun of Brixton Brewery says: “We are always looking to include a bit of Brixton in our beers, so we were incredibly honoured that Brian was happy for us to use details of his powerful artwork on the label of our beer, and of course the name”.
The beer takes more than its name from Brixton. Botanicals – including fennel seed and coriander from Nour Cash & Carry – add spice, while fruit flavours come from fresh mango and papaya sourced in the markets. Kettle sour beers use bacteria to give the beer a sharp lemony tartness that the fruit flavours complement
Nuclear Dawn will be on the taps at Craft Beer Co and in bottles at other Brixton venues in the next few weeks ahead of the official launch party midday on Saturday 28 October at the brewery on Brixton Station Road.
Sadly the mural on the side of Carlton Mansions on Coldharbour Lane is badly faded, obscured by trees, and vandalised with graffiti and faces an uncertain future as Somerleyton Road is redeveloped. The adjacent site will be the new home of Ovalhouse Theatre. Attempts by the London Mural Preservation Society to have it listed have so far come to nothing. Early sketches for the site show the mural in place, but final plans are yet to be published.