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Horsing around with Ebony Horse Club

Horsing around with Ebony Horse Club

We’ve teamed up with the amazing Brixton-based charity Ebony Horse Club to offer you the chance to win a riding lesson and a case of Brixton Brewery beer!

On Monday 29th March at 5pm they’ll be taking over our Instagram Live, to give our followers a tour of the club, an introduction to their fabulous horses and to announce the winner of the competition!

For your chance to WIN, we’re asking you to get creative and bring to life a scene featuring your favourite Ebony horse, out and about in Brixton. You can use whatever medium you like best (drawing, collage, poetry?!) – all you have to do to enter is share your submission on Instagram and tag @brixtonbrewery and @ebonyhorseclubbrixton.

To get you inspired, Ebony Horse Club have kindly provided some dating profiles info about each of their gorgeous, personality-filled horses. We’d swipe right for any one of them!

Splash

The ultimate lad, the way to his heart really is through is belly. Give him some hay and he will be yours for …five minutes. He is a charmer but don’t expect any manners from him, he would trot straight through to you get to the nearest carrot. Splash is a bit of a celeb though and always makes sure he is poised for a photo shoot.

Two truths and one lie:

Splash has appeared on Blue Peter, Splash has attended a royal garden party, Splash has a Brixton Brewery Beer named after him.

Eddie

Good looking and he knows it. He is the leader of the pack and wants you to believe all he really cares about is hanging out with the lads. But, get him on his own and he will show you his sensitive side, he loves nothing more than a nuzzle with his huge moustache.

Likes: Eating hay with his mates down the paddock

Dislikes: Losing in a fist/hoof fight.

Poppet

Looks can be deceiving. The cutest little equine on the block, measuring the height of just 6 pint glasses. He might look small but what he lacks in height he makes up for in character.  What Poppet wants, Poppet gets.  

Rose

The real life unicorn.  We are not quite sure this mystical beast ended up in Brixton but she has been gracing us with her presence and sparkle since 2020. Time spent with Rose would involve her checking her hair in the mirror and making sure her unicorn horn is selfie ready.

Nick names: The Princess, Princess Rose, Rose the Princess

Joe

Joe looks like a horse and a panda combined with his big black eyes. The sensitive soul of the group, expect to find him to crying about this year’s hay shortage and hiding from the alpha males behind a tree. He might be the biggest horse in Brixton but he is the biggest wimp too.

Fun fact: Joe once tried to eat a piece of tinsel but then got so scared he weed himself. 

Blossom

Blossom by name and Blossom by nature. This one is sweet as the come, charming humans all over town with her two tone mane and her eye lashes to die for. With a face made for Instagram she is living her best horsey life as the urban equine to follow.

Bucket list: To gallop through the waves of the sea on a beach in Bali.

Bailey

Named after the Irish tipple and he will make you just as giddy. Bailey is part puppy, part horse. Loves to put anything in his mouth including broom handles, human fingers and coffee, so expect him to slobber all over you.

Best friend: Poppet, the miniature pony who will act as his bodyguard wherever he goes.

Molly

She is as cool as a pint of Electric IPA.  The leader of the girl gang, Regina George has nothing on her. With her fetch mane blowing in the wind she literally begs for attention – and treats. The sassiest mare this side of the Thames.

Favourite food: anything fed to her by her human subordinates.

About Ebony Horse Club: Our mission is to use horses to raise the education, life skills, wellbeing and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities within Lambeth. At Ebony we believe that the opportunities you’re given shouldn’t be limited by the postcode you are brought up in, so in 2011 we built our centre right in the heart of South London, Brixton. Just a stone’s throw from the famous ‘Electric Avenue’ and buzzing Brixton Market, you’ll find our stables nestled right between tower blocks and overground lines. Click here to learn more / donate.

Our next chapter

Our next chapter

When we look back over the past seven years, we honestly can’t believe how far we’ve come – from homebrewing to launching a small brewery, to building a highly recognisable community-based brand, with a larger new brewery and taproom. It makes us want to dream even bigger for the next seven. To realise our original vision of helping thirsty people everywhere get a taste of Brixton, we’re today announcing that, following a successful three years’ working with the global brewers, Heineken, we are expanding this partnership in a deal that will see Heineken fully acquire Brixton Brewery.

This will mean a bright future for our community-based business. The founders of Brixton Brewery will continue to lead the brewery’s day-to-day operations and strategic and creative direction. In other words, we will still be smashing out your favourite beers fresh from South London, brewed by the same bunch of eccentric beer visionaries and inspired by the flavours of Brixton.  

Brixton Brewery was started in a railway arch in 2013 by two couples who met in a Brixton bar. Jez and Libby and Mike and Xochitl worked hard to build a successful brewery and sustainable local business in the heart of Brixton. We started out with one employee and one brewery, making most of our deliveries on foot in and around Brixton Market. In 2017 a minority investment by Heineken meant that we could expand to a purpose-built brewery, remain in Brixton, and create a tap room and experimental brewery in our original railway arch home on Brixton Station Road, where we welcome the public for a taste of our beers, and a look at how we brew.

Our team now includes 25 talented and dedicated people. We are a proud London Living Wage employer and members of the Living Wage Foundation. We love being a positive part of Brixton through numerous partnerships, collaborations, and support for local organisations.

Our growth and expansion are a source of huge pride to us – we’ve always been ambitious for our team and for our business. Over the past three years of working together, we’ve built a strong relationship with Heineken, who share our commitment to quality and responsibility. We have benefited from the Heineken team’s expertise and market reach, and we want to build on it. There’s no denying the fact that the next few years will be challenging for many reasons, so we’re happy to have the opportunity to secure the future of Brixton Brewery for our team, our families, our community and fans of our beers, who’ve been hugely supportive of our success. The industry has changed massively since we started, and we want nothing more than to continue to be a positive part of it.   

We look forward to this next chapter. Our beers will be increasingly available UK-wide, we will continue to strengthen our approach to community and sustainability and we will keep on investing in Brixton through our brewery, taproom and newly renovated experimental brewery. We are committed to creating and sustaining good jobs in Brixton, and hiring a diverse range of people who love beer and Brixton as much as we do.

We want to thank everyone who has supported us so far. We are both humble and proud to be a local success story made in Brixton. Feel free to sit back, relax with a cold can, and see what we brew next.  

Love,

Team BB

Lockdown Reflections

Lockdown Reflections

Is anyone else struggling to believe that it’s already July? According to this cool interactive article that was trending on Twitter earlier this week, it’s new experiences that create memories, and help our brains to process the passing of time. Since there’s not been much of that going on lately, no wonder it feels like the last few months have flown by- even though many of us have experienced more prolonged boredom than we thought possible in our adult lives…

Our hearts go out to the many families who have suffered losses and we know that this situation is far from over. Nonetheless, the tentative reopening of hospitality last weekend was undoubtedly a milestone. So this feels like a good moment to pause and reflect on everything that’s been going on at the brewery over the last few months.

When lockdown first kicked in many of us were saying things like “see you in April!” and “let’s just wait a few weeks and see how things are”. Of course, it didn’t take long for us to realise that lockdown wasn’t something we could just wait out until things got back to normal. We were going to need to adapt, and make some difficult decisions. We made the call to put members of staff on furlough, and sadly had to destroy a lot of kegged beer which couldn’t be sold while pubs were still closed. We continued brewing, but much less often. We know that we’ve been incredibly lucky to have the full support of our partners at Heineken during this time, helping to keep Jez, Mike, Libby & Xochitl’s stress levels (reasonably) under control.

Like so many London breweries we found purpose by focusing on ways we could help and support our community: we sent beer to NHS workers, donated £1280 of proceeds from our t-shirt and brewer’s yeast sales to Brixton Foodbank and sponsored some amazing virtual live music. We also created a colouring competition to help those isolating kill some time and were absolutely blown away by the response. More than anything we’ve been deeply grateful for the orders coming in through our webshop which have meant we’ve been able to continue getting our beer out there– it’s genuinely meant the world to us.

We are incredibly proud of our entire team who have shown amazing resilience and dedication throughout this time. What felt like bad timing, but actually ended up being good timing, was that our new Brand Marketing Manager (Sophie) and Graphic Designer (Ellie) both joined the business at the very start of lockdown. In a period when people have been more available than ever to engage with us online, this has meant that we’ve been able to focus on creating great content and initiatives to keep conversations going with our drinkers, when doing so IRL has been impossible.

And despite the incredible difficulties faced by the trade we’ve been amazed by how supportive everyone has been of each other and by the many creative ways that our customers adapted their businesses during lockdown- turning bars into delis, takeaway restaurants and bottle shops. It has been a great opportunity for us to build some new relationships and strengthen old ones.

We absolutely loved seeing bars and restaurants starting to reopen last weekend- it feels like Brixton is finally getting its groove back. For now we have made the decision to keep our taproom operating a takeaway only service since we don’t feel that we have the space to implement social distancing effectively inside- but even so it’s been amazing to see so many of you pop in for a takeaway pint (or to grab a mini-keg en route to the park).

We will continue to take things slowly as everyone gets a feel for the best way to enjoy our new freedoms responsibly, but we have plenty of cool plans in the works so stay tuned for some news in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, thanks again to everyone who has been on this journey with us. Stay awesome!

Love Team BB x

Design Your Own Beer competition results!

Design Your Own Beer competition results!

When we launched our Design Your Own Beer competition, we were in the first surreal week of lockdown and we thought people might welcome a little distraction from everything going on around us. We often get asked about our colourful and distinctive labels inspired by the normally colourful and buzzing Brixton (it’ll be back one day soon!) and we were excited to see what people would come up with on their own.  

We invited people to download our beer label template, come up with a creative name and get colouring in! To say we’ve been absolutely blown away by the imagination, the effort and the all-around care that went into the submissions would be an understatement. We’ve loved each and every one – from the most professional to the crayon and stick figures – we salute them all. Some people wrote to tell us the story behind their design, others let the artwork speak for itself. There were lots of tributes to key workers and to Brixton. Some took our existing labels as inspiration, and others went gloriously off in their own direction.  

Our initial plan was to pick a winner and send them a case of beer, but when it came to judging, we realised that choosing just one would be impossible. So we’ve decided to pick four winners and a swathe of runners up – and all will have prizes! Our overall winner will receive 24 beers, each category winner will receive 12 beers and we’ve got keyrings and pins for all of our runners up. So, without further ado…

OVERALL WINNER: Nathan Reed, Clap Your Hands

Beer Design Winner

COLOURED BY HAND WINNER: Josh Kerry, Bricktop
Runners Up: @Char_br0iled, Stay At Home Brew and @tunsofbeer, Recharge

LOCKDOWN LIFE THEME WINNER: Emma Hayes, Stockpiling
Runners Up: @julia_peculiar_, The Staying Inn and Stewart Kerr, National Hero Special

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER: Luke Fuller, Two Meter-You

And some more of our favourites.. there were so many good ones!

Thank you everyone who took the time to enter; it’s definitely brightened up our lockdown, and hopefully yours too. Stay safe! Love, Team BB 

We’re raising funds while you raise bread!

We’re raising funds while you raise bread!

In what we hope is exciting news for all you home bakers out there, we have decided to make our own supply of brewer’s yeast available to buy on our webshop!

The coronavirus lockdown has had many unforeseen consequences. Maybe one of the less expected has been a national shortage of yeast, which has prevented many of us from being able to perfect our bread-making skills while we have the time.

When we heard this news (then confirmed the absence of dried yeast in all our local shops!) we knew that we had to do something to help. We checked our stock of brewer’s yeast and realised that we had enough to spare, and decided to make some available to buy on our website. We really hope that by doing this more people will be able to indulge in the joys of home bread-making and that we can raise some additional funds for Norwood & Brixton Foodbank while we’re at it.

You can head to our webshop to buy the yeast in 30g sachets (enough for 6-8 loaves) for £5 including postage. All profits are being donated directly to the foodbank.

We’re also including an easy-to-follow recipe for home-made bread with every order, including some tips and tricks from our two resident baking experts – delivery driver Roberto (the acknowledged Master) and brewer Francesco. Although not exactly the same as the dried yeast sold in supermarkets (both are Saccharomyces cerevisiae), brewing yeast works well in most bread recipes. Yeast is yeast, you might say.

Our first attempt turned out pretty well!

 So get baking! And don’t forget to tag us in your baking pics @Brixtonbrewery

PS: We are still donating £5 from all Brixton Brewery T-shirt sales to Norwood & Brixton Foodbank- just FYI in case baking isn’t your thing!

PPS: For more information about the foodbank, including how to donate directly, and what items are critically needed, head to their website: https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/