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Collab International Women’s Day brewing event for families affected by knife crime epidemic

Join Earth Station Brewery and Brixton Brewery as they work together to celebrate women while raising money for critical local charities working to stop London’s knife crime epidemic

Earth Station Brewery in Newham and Brixton Brewery in Lambeth are both located in London boroughs struggling with serious youth violence problems. Jenn Merrick, founder of Earth Station, wanted to raise awareness while also raising money for local charities working with young people to stop the bloodshed by doing what she does best: brewing beer. So she came up with a plan to do both: brew a beer that would also benefit families and young people affected by this issue. As a community-based business with strong local ties, Brixton Brewery were immediately on board to be a part of it. They will be throwing open their brewhouse for a very special Open Brew Day event at their Dylan Road Brewery on 9 March. Proceeds from the beer made on the day will go to Asta Community Hub and Fight for Peace in Newham and Indigo Youth in Brixton.

The Saturday 9 March date is a nod to the growing tradition of International Women’s Day open brews (the official IWD is Friday, 8 March) celebrating the role of women in the beer industry. The event will bring together mothers and women passionate about keeping our young people safe from violence to learn about brewing and brew up a Limited Edition special beer, to be released around 31 March for Mothering Sunday.

According to Jenn Merrick, who was Head Brewer at Beavertown Brewery before leaving to start Earth Station, “I’ve lived in Newham for 12 years with my wife. We have cultivated a deep love for this part of London. Now, raising two little boys in the area, we are faced by serious problems with knife crime, the criminal exploitation of children and one of the highest levels of youth violence in the UK. It’s an issue that has affected my family very directly. I want to do everything I can to raise awareness of the issue, and make a positive contribution to changing things for local children.”

Xochitl Benjamin, a co-founder of Brixton Brewery, and Brixton-based mum of two young children says “Jenn and I immediately connected on this – as women, and as mothers. At Brixton Brewery we are committed to our community, and are really excited to be able to support Jenn’s vision. It’ll be a fantastic day celebrating women while making a beer that will raise money for local charities in Brixton and Newham.”

It’s not just the two breweries that have come together to support this initiative. Junction Studio, the award-winning designers of Brixton Brewery’s colourful labels are mentoring young artist Cory Samuels on the label graphics. Leading industry suppliers, including Yakima Chief hops and Simpsons Malt have donated raw material, while Label Express, Saxon Packaging and Ball Packaging are providing labels, boxes and cans.

Earth Station x Brixton Brewery Open Brew Day for Women & Communities is open to any woman who would like to come along and find out a bit more about what goes into their pint while having a unique experience for a great cause. It’s free, but please register here.

The beer, a hoppy pale ale, will available in 30L keg and 330ml cans.

Pre-order now by contacting info@brixtonbrewery.com

 

 

 

 

 

Our new brewery OPEN PARTY! All the info you need

Our new brewery OPEN PARTY! All the info you need

We are very excited to be hosting our New Brewery Open Day Party on Saturday, 22 September from 12 til 9pm! We’ve planned a day of beer, music, food and fun for kids of all ages. It’s a SOLD OUT event so we’re expecting it to be a fantastic, busy good time. If you didn’t get tickets, you can still turn up on the day but ticket holders will have priority. Here are a few other important things to know:

  • The first 100 guests get a free beer!
  • We have a pretty big space but once we are at capacity, it will be one-in, one-out, with priority for ticket holders.
  • There is no parking on our site on the day, but there is free parking on surrounding streets nearby.
  • Our Station Road Tap Room and Brewery on Brixton Station Road will be CLOSED this Friday/Saturday as our staff will be busy with this party.
  • Kids are welcome and do NOT need a ticket. There will be an activity area for kids.
  • If you look like you might be under 25, PLEASE BRING PHOTO ID to get served!
  • There will be a range of food & drink on offer, including beer (obviously!), wine and non-alcoholic drinks at a range of prices for kids, grownups, meat-lovers and veggies alike. We’ve brewed up a couple of one-off specials, including Brixette, a lemongrass infused grisette style beer, and Ribbon Cutter, a hazy, double-dry hopped pale ale, but you will also be able to get your regular favourites.
  • We are happy to accept cash or card.
  • We have an accessible toilet, and the brewery has ramps and level access to public areas.
  • There is a dedicated baby-changing/feeding room.

Our brewery is an indoor/outdoor space so it will be a good time, rain or shine!

See you there! Team BB

Brixton Fund uses community currency for local good

Brixton Fund uses community currency for local good

Brixton has an extraordinary range of ambitious social organisations trying to make life better in our area. As a community business, we try to support as many of them as we can to give back to the area that inspired and welcomed us, including the ‘hyperlocal’ Brixton Pound/Brixton Fund. 

The Brixton Pound is among the most innovative, visionary and high-profile groups working locally. It’s a currency aimed at keeping money circulating in Brixton, and encouraging a diverse range of businesses and services to stay in the area. The money, with its colourful and distinctive paper notes featuring local heroes like David Bowie and renowned social activist Olive Morris, has been operating since 2009. You can spend your notes, or sign up for the electronic version, at numerous businesses around Brixton, including in our off-sales and Saturday tap room.

Not content with merely inventing a new money, the Brixton Pound organisation went on to launch the Brixton Fund, a local grants scheme that directly funds projects that benefit the area. They also opened the Brixton Pound Café, a ‘pay what you feel’ café on Atlantic Road serving up delicious food, often made from donated surplus produce. Money raised from both the pound and the café go towards the Fund. When the staff of the Ritzy Cinema approached us about collaborating on a new, limited run beer, we all felt strongly that proceeds should also go to the Brixton Fund. The result was Britzy XPA, an extra pale ale brewed with all British ingredients that has raised more than £1000 directly for the Fund.

That means more money to support what Lucy Cava of the Brixton Fund calls ‘hyperlocal’ projects. She says, “What’s really nice about the Fund is that it ties the project to the local area and people can see what they are funding.” Lucy highlights the example of a recent initiative by WeRise, a social business that helps young people build professional networks and get project-based work experience. WeRise successfully secured funding for its PressGang, a week-long project that had 10 young people working with the Brixton Bugle to produce media content for the Brixton Design Trail 2017. It was an exciting opportunity for talented but unconnected young Brixtonites to get a taste of producing high quality multimedia material, guided by a team of professionals, and will likely have a lasting impact on its participants.

Lucy points out that the Brixton Pound organisation provides more than just funding. “Our ambition is to make the Brixton Pound Café into a community hub and platform for local groups. We provide support through the Fund, but there are other things that groups need, including affordable space to carry out their activities. That’s where our café comes in.” On the day we spoke to Lucy the café was a busy with members of Lambeth Better Together, the group formed in the wake of the death of MP Jo Cox, which has received money from the Fund to bring together people on opposite sides of the Brexit divide to encourage greater understanding and exchange of experiences between Remain-voting Lambeth and Boston, a Leave-supporting constituency in Lincolnshire.

In the last round of funding in 2017, the Brixton Fund had more than 40 applications for its grants. Check here for more information about the 2018 funding round, or find out how to support the Fund. Follow @brixtonpound on social media.

The Brixton Pound Café is at 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU. Follow @brixtonpoundcaf on social media.

We’ve got the last keg of Britzy XPA on in our Tap Room so you can get a taste Saturdays from 12 til 6.

Brewing success means big expansion news

Brewing success means big expansion news

As we announce an exciting partnership to build a new brewery in Brixton, we look back on how we got to where we are, and forward to the next step on our journey…

Like so many of the good things in life, it all started over a pint. We met in 2010 in Brixton’s former Hive Bar, brought together by that common delusion of early parenthood that your life won’t change much. Of course you can have a baby and still hang out in the pub and chat to the couple next to you who also have a baby and are hanging out in the pub. And the next thing you know, you’ve started a brewery together. We all shared a love of Brixton and beer. We were exhilarated by the surging craft brewing scene in the UK and we knew we wanted to be part of it. Our mission was clear: to put Brixton on the map for great beer.

At first, we had few of the skills, none of the space or equipment, and little of the knowledge that we needed. But we had all of the confidence that it was possible, and a strong vision of the kind of business we would be – rooted in our local community; and the kind of beers we would brew –flavoursome, distinctive, but always balanced and accessible. We secured space in a railway arch in central Brixton and in 2013 Brixton Brewery was born.

Four years on from launching, we are a thriving community business brewing at our maximum capacity in the railway arch. We have around 15 employees and our beers have given people as far away as Italy and Hong Kong a little taste of Brixton in a bottle. Yet demand keeps rising, and we can’t keep up. It’s a nice problem for a small business to have, but it’s a problem!

We know we want to grow, and to be at the forefront of the brewing industry, and of our family business. We want to be in the brewery every day, working alongside our extraordinary, hilarious, creative and talented team. We also know we want to remain in Brixton, this fantastically eclectic place that has inspired and nurtured us, and given us the names and characters of many of our popular beers.

These days industrial space in central London is the rarest of commodities. To expand, most businesses are forced to move production to the outskirts. For us this was unthinkable and having missed out on a unit up Brixton Hill earlier in the year, we couldn’t believe our luck when we found the perfect, albeit much larger space just 600 metres from our current brewery.

It could take our brewing capacity from 12,000 pints a week to 60,000 and enable greater control over the process. It could help us keep brewing our consistently top quality core beers, while we experiment and innovate through our Ltd Edn range in our original brewery and Tap Room. It could mean more jobs and opportunities. And it was available.

To realise this unique and ambitious chance to grow in our home we needed serious investment. It was with pretty much perfect timing that we were contacted by Heineken UK. They had noticed us, liked what we were doing and wanted to see if we could work together somehow.

We invited some of the Heineken team for a brew day and were impressed by their knowledge, passion and insight. We got to know them slowly, felt that we had common ground, and built a relationship of mutual trust and respect. We were delighted that they believed in our vision too. They wanted to support us through investment in the new brewery, and eventually, through helping us get our beers out there to be enjoyed by more people. We are hugely proud of our success story, and see this partnership as the ideal way to keep the important things – the beer character, Brixton and our team – the same, while growing and evolving.

We will continue to be a great place to work, a proud London Living Wage employer and an approachable and accessible part of Brixton, supporting other businesses and community groups like the Brixton Windmill, the Design Trail and the Brixton Pound Fund. We look forward to rewarding our extremely hard-working team, and creating around 30 more jobs locally, while making our beers more available. We will be adding cans to our range for the first time, and transforming our Tap Room into a community-focused space for enjoying our beers and hosting events.

We hope it’s clear how much we value the enthusiasm and support we’ve had so far. It’s helped us transform from a small, family-run business, into a well-recognised local and national brewery. There’s an enormous amount of hard work ahead of us getting our new brewery up and running. We want to thank everyone for supporting us so far. We can’t wait to share the next step on our journey to do what we set out to do in the very beginning: put Brixton on the map for great beer.

Cheers!

Jez & Libby & Mike & Xochitl

 

Find our more about the new brewery, or just come down for a look at who we are and what we do. Join us for our annual Christmas Open Day party in our Tap Room. There will be brewers, music, gifts and beer. 16 December 2017 – Arch 547 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PF – 12 til 8pm.

Some key facts:

  • Brixton Brewery’s founders will be the majority shareholders of the business, in partnership with Heineken UK.
  • The founders will continue to manage the business and guide its future.
  • Our brewery and Tap Room at 547 Brixton Station Road will remain open and functioning. Our regular Tap Room hours are 12 til 6pm every Saturday.
  • A new 30BBL Gravity Systems brewhouse will be installed in Spring 2018 in a 15,000 sq. ft. industrial unit on Milkwood Road.
  • Please follow us on social media @brixtonbrewery for updates and job opportunities.

Our new beer collaboration celebrates an ageing Brixton landmark

Our new beer collaboration celebrates an ageing Brixton landmark

It’s one of Brixton’s many hidden corners with a story to tell, yet people stream past it everyday without even noticing. But look up through the trees near the railway bridge at Coldharbour Lane, with the Barrier Block estate looming behind you, on the side of Carlton Mansions, and you’ll discover a fading piece of Brixton’s incarnation as a hotspot of murals and political street art.

Photo: London Mural Preservation Society

Nuclear Dawn, the mural, and the namesake of our newest beer, a botanical sour, was finished in 1981 by the artist Brian Barnes. The evocative image of a giant skeleton draped in US and USSR flags gleefully dropping bombs over London is damaged by time and obscured by graffiti. The London Mural Preservation Society says, “It represents our history of a shared experience and a reminder that war is not something we want. Sometimes when we don’t have a voice and we can’t shout loud enough, the murals speak for us.” The message Nuclear Dawn conveys feels uncomfortably current these turbulent days.

We’ve always been fascinated by this skeletal spectre of death and destruction, as a piece of art, and as a reminder of Brixton’s long and strong activist streak. When we were thinking of Brixton based inspiration for our latest brew, it came to mind. We got in touch with Brian Barnes, and it’s a huge honour that he was happy for us to use the graphics in our label design. He painted it, with help from the residents of Carlton Mansions, including Dale McCrea, who came up with the idea as part of efforts to re-build following the Brixton riots.

 

Cam & Bates beer geekin

Sometimes things come together on so many levels that they seem almost pre-ordained. This feels like one of those times. We’ve long wanted to do a collaboration with Bates and Miranda, the family behind Duration Brewing. We actually first met Bates about a year before the brewery was born at a beer event, realised we both lived in Brixton, and kept in touch. Then when we were picking up our operations in the early days, we asked Bates to help us out. His extensive brewing knowledge and passion for beer was just what we needed to scale up and keep putting out consistently great beers. That wasn’t forgotten and we knew we wanted to work together again.

Bates ended up in Brixton via South Carolina, but Miranda moved here as a child, and is a true local girl. Her uncle was active in the street art scene of the 70s and 80s, and has an extensive slide archive of Brixton’s murals, which Brian Barnes’ assistant was trying to locate for a research project on Brixton murals of the 70s and 80s. Miranda put them in touch. Connections within connections…

Peeling mangoes…

Nuclear Dawn Botanical Sour is packed full of tropical fruits and botanicals from Brixton Market and is much anticipated as our first ever kettle sour, a beer style that uses lactobacillus bacteria to produce a characteristic tangy flavour.

For Bates and Miranda, Nuclear Dawn’s flavours are tinged with bitter and sweet; this brew marks their farewell to Brixton as they get ready to leave for Norfolk, and their new farmhouse brewery. They’re giving up the life of urban gypsy brewers to set up in an ancient priory site on Abbey Farm, West Norfolk. Follow their founding story and read about their range of pre-release beers, including Nuclear Dawn at www.durationbeer.com and across social media @durationbeer.

Brixton Brewery x Duration Brewing Nuclear Dawn launches Saturday 28 October from 12pm til 8pm at Brixton Brewery, Arch 547, Brixton Station Road, London SW9-8PF. There will be art, artists, music and brewers. Join us!