Brixton Brewin’ ’bout that generation

older woman in dark bar

Brixton Brewery today (12 May) launches a new beer, Generation Pale Ale, in aid of local charity Age UK Lambeth.

Promoted by a bunch of charismatic oldies, proceeds from sales of the limited edition brew will go towards helping to manage a huge 233% increase in demand for the charity’s services from people in lockdown.

Between the 1 April last year, when the first lockdown began, and 31 March this year, Age UK Lambeth had contact with more than 70,000 clients. In the year before this number was 21,000.

The beer’s name and design have been approved by Age UK Lambeth members.

Services it will support include Zumba, poetry hours and a 60-minute singalong, as well as volunteers who regularly contact and cook for older people.

beer cans

Generation Pale Ale is also brewed, says the brewery, to bring people of all legal drinking ages back together after lockdown.

The beer can’s design features a shopping trolley/boom box.

A number of older people will front the campaign.

Among them are Peter Beaumont, 68, who was model scouted at 65, and has worked with Vivienne Westwood; Bruce Currie, 60, who belly dances in front of packed theatres; and singer Vidur Dindayal, 86.

All proceeds from the brew will go towards funding schemes like MYsocial, a calendar of over-60s events that enables older people to connect with their community, discover friendships and try new activities.

Another beneficiary of the fundraising campaign is the MYneighbour service, which pairs isolated older people with community volunteer helpers.

woman with can of beer

Brixton Brewery founder Xochitl Benjamin said: “We wanted to create a beer for everyone, that could bring together people of all ages after a long lockdown and pay tribute to the generation that has helped make Brixton one of the most diverse, inclusive and friendly communities in the country.

“Brixton wouldn’t be what it is today without them. Every can sold supports long lives well lived in our community.”

Graham Gardiner, CEO of Age UK Lambeth, said: “It is not every day we get asked if we would like to help create a new beer.

man with can of beer

“We have nothing but praise for Brixton Brewery for bringing us on board, paying homage to our members and helping us to raise money to continue vital services for 70,000 people in Lambeth.

“We hope beer lovers fall in love with Generation Pale Ale and the wider campaign inspires more people to reach out to their elderly locals. There’s a wonderful story in everyone!”

man with beer cans

Each ingredient foe Generation Pale Ale has been donated by Charles Faram Hop Merchants and Simpsons Malt to reduce costs and increase proceeds for Age UK Lambeth.

Generation Pale Ale (3.8%) is a “sprightly pale ale crafted with modern British hops, Olicana® and Harlequin™”.

To buy it go to the Brixton Brewery website or visit the original taproom on Brixton Station Road.

A can costs £2.65; 6-pack £15; 12-pack £28; 24-pack £48.

To follow the launch, including videos featuring stories from members of Age UK Lambeth, go to the brewery’s Instagram page @brixtonbrewery

older man with beer can

Brixton Brewery, launched in 2013 by two local couples, was purchased by Heineken earlier this year, meaning that its products – now brewed on Milkwood Road in Herne Hill – are becoming available in national outlets like the Ocado online supermarket and a wider range of pubs.

 Its beers are named after local landmarks, inspired by the flavours of Brixton’s markets, and packaged in colourful award-winning cans that reference the batik fabrics sold here.

Age UK Lambeth has been helping older people for more than 70 years. It is an independent, local charity supporting people in Lambeth aged over 55, as well as adults over 18 who have a physical or mental illness or disability. 

It has a dual strategy to meet the needs of the ageing population of Lambeth, providing care and support to those in need to help them stay as independent as possible, while also providing services that shape an ageing society, by removing age barriers and challenging negative stereotypes.

The charity is “incredibly proud” of the support it provided to the community during the pandemic. 

All of its MYsocial events moved online and were hosted free via Zoom.

Befriending volunteers phoned clients weekly rather than visiting in person.