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Pour yourself a pint of ambition!

Pour yourself a pint of ambition!

Brixton Brewery x Big Chill collaboration launches lower ABV ‘9 to 5’ Desk Beer for Big Chill’s redesigned workspace

Lower alcohol beers are having a bit of a moment. Our newest brew, 9 to 5 Desk Beer is a 2.8% ABV pale ale collaboration with Big Chill King’s Cross. Big Chill wanted to celebrate the relaunch of their flexible work/social space with the ultimate beer to take you smoothly from your workday ventures to your evening adventures. The result is a lower ABV beer you can enjoy just as easily during working hours, or from 9pm to 5am if that’s more your thing. It’s the anytime brew that you can really work with.

9 to 5 is a hop forward, lightly hazy pale ale, brewed with Australian hops Galaxy and Vic Secret. It fizzes with bright peach flavour and stone fruit aromas. We’ve packed in all the full free-time flavour of a stronger beer, without the productivity-crushing punch of a higher ABV. 9 to 5 is part of our Ltd Edn range of small-batch, limited edition brews.

Say no to endless cups of the same old coffee and savour the full flavour of a workday beer! Never let making a livin’ be all takin’ and no givin’!

Brixton Brewery x Big Chill 9 to 5 Desk Beer is available at Big Chill Kings Cross and Big Chill Brick Lane from 28 February 2018, and other fine beer suppliers, including online at brixtonbrewery.com and eebria.com, while supplies last.

9 to 5 Desk Beer 2.8% – Pale Ale – apricot, peach and citrus flavours. Light and flavourful.
Brewed with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops.
Available in: 330ml bottles

 

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! 

A bright SPARK! & other adventures in experimental brewing

A bright SPARK! & other adventures in experimental brewing

Our new Ltd Edn range is what happens when we let our brewing imaginations run wild and see where it takes us…

We’ve always said that our beers are all about balance – the right combination of bitter, sweet and crisp. We’ve never tried to be the hoppiest, the booziest, or the most out-there with the flavour combinations. Mostly, we’ve aimed to make beers that people actually want to drink, not beers that a few people might try, but others mostly just talk about (possibly in tones of slight horror). On the other hand, we definitely want to create exciting, innovative beers. We’ve noticed that more people have developed more experimental tastes. So now we’ve got more capacity in the brewery we’ve started experimenting too.

We’d like to introduce you to our Ltd Edn range (yeah, it’s just pronounced Limited Edition). Ltd Edn tests out new styles, techniques and flavour combinations, but always stays on the right side of balanced and drinkable. It’s the beer you might take a bit of a risk on. We’re working hard to make sure that the risk pays off, and leads you to something to savour and enjoy.

We start out by making a small batch, like the home brewers we originally were. If it works, we scale it up. By the time it reaches you, it’s been tested, tweaked, tested again, and is all ready to enjoy. Each batch will be available for a short time only (ltd, even), and when it’s done, we’ll be on to something else. So be quick or it will be gone like the vowels on the labels.

Our Ltd Edn range features a pared down label design, combining two bright colours on a white matt background. It’s a bit of a departure from our trademark multi-coloured labels, but the pared-down design reflects the more experimental and temporary nature of the beers.

First up, for summer 2017, is SPARK! Table Beer. We were up for the challenge of packing massive flavour into a low-ABV brew. SPARK! is a hop-forward hazy pale ale, brewed with Vienna and oat malt. It fizzes with bright melon and stone fruit flavours. You get all the electric pleasures of a great beer, without the jolt of a high ABV.

The next experimental pilot brew is already fermenting away – it involves live cultures, ginger and rum and promises to be tart and exciting. We want to make sure that we’re always trying something new, and so are you.

Join us in our Tap Room to try SPARK! and our full range of beers. Our summer hours are Fridays from 6pm til 10pm & Saturdays from 12 til 6. 

 

 

Four seasons under the arches

Four seasons under the arches

In some ways, running a brewery has a soothingly timeless rhythm to it – the daily same-ness of making beer, testing beer, packaging beer and selling beer. In other ways, the quality of the beer and character of the brewery itself are shaped by the rhythms of seasons. We brew our beer in an arch under a railway line, very much open to the elements, and to the life of Brixton Station Road. It’s easy for people to stop by, stick their heads in and see what we’re up to – and many do. Usually they walk away with a few bottles to try. Conversations often start “I was just walking past and…” The openness makes it easy for us to keep in touch, to get to know regular customers, and to make new connections. We love the space, even as it has its layout challenges and size limitations.

We’ve been around for over three years now, and every year we’ve grown, our beer has travelled further and further from Brixton, and our team has grown and changed as we have. This past year has been no different. We’ll start with autumn, because that’s the season in which we first started.

Autumn

Autumn 2016 marked our third birthday, and was probably the year in which everything really came together for us as a well-oiled brewing business. Things felt more steady and planned, and a bit less improvised as we moved out of the start-up years. We celebrated with the launch of Hurricane (link), our double strength Atlantic APA, a storming whirl of crisp hoppy energy that gained many fans. We had a special label designed for occasion, in which the B for Brixton became a 3. A surprising number of people wrote to ask for it as a souvenir for three-year-olds they know named Brixton. Happy third birthday to Brixtons everywhere. Hurricane will be making a repeat appearance at this time in 2017.

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A label detail from our celebratory third birthday Hurricane IIPA

Winter
Christmas is the season of our annual Megawatt Double IPA, crafted specially to take the edge off the winter chill and bring a little cheer to the early nights. We welcomed some much-needed new members to the brewing, office and events staff just in time for the manic Christmas season. Every hectic December working day, we took a moment to give thanks to our Meheen bottling and labelling machine, which is pretty much all of our Christmas presents come at once. Last year at the same time, we were hand bottling, capping and labelling every single bottle ourselves. We’ve long prided ourselves in our hand-crafted approach but we were pretty happy to let the robots take over the boring bit so we can focus on more interesting things. Like new recipes, and consistently top quality brews.

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One wise Megawatt (far left), Yoda and a warthog…

Spring

As the weather warms, our thoughts inevitably turn to lager. We started making our Coldharbour Lager in 2015 and it quickly became one of our most popular fine weather beers. Making lager can be tough for small breweries. They need to slow ferment in cold conditions, and the process takes around three weeks. Compared with just a few days for ales, this means that precious tank space is out of commission for a lot longer. Capacity has always been one of our biggest challenges – we mainly sell it as fast as we can brew it. But you can’t mess with seasonal drinking favourites, so this year we’ve managed to squeeze in a few more tanks and fermenters. Coldharbour Lager will be keeping you cool and hydrated in barbecue season 2017 and beyond.

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More tanks mean more beer! Increased capacity in Arch 547

Summer

Foodie destination that Brixton is, it was only going to be a matter of time before we sorted out a collaboration with a local chef. We developed the deliciously spicy Market Saison, subtly flavoured with green tea and Jamaican sorrel flowers, for Masterchef winner Tim Anderson’s brilliantly experimental ramen restaurant Nanban. For an extra twist of keeping it local, we enlisted the exuberant talents of resident designers Eley Kishimoto for the label. The Market Saison will be available again this spring with some new flavour combinations planned.

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Our Market Saison collaboration with Nanban, label by Eley Kishimoto

That, in a few short paragraphs, is a quick blast through our brewing calendar. We remain eternally grateful for the incredible support we’ve had from friends, family, the brewery team, Brixtonites, beer lovers, and our trade customers. It’s been a wild ride for us as brewers and business owners. We’re still growing and developing new recipes while keeping our core range of beers fresh and flowing. Brixton continues to be a great inspiration for us. We’re happy to be here, making great beer.

If you want to a chance to see the brewery, find out more about us, and have a unique night out, come along to one of our regular tour and tasting sessions (details and tickets here), or check out our Tap Room, open 12 til 6 every Saturday at Arch 547, Brixton Station Road.

New brew launch: Brixi Saison offers modern take on traditional worker’s brew

New brew launch: Brixi Saison offers modern take on traditional worker’s brew

We’ve collaborated with renowned Belgian brewery Brasserie de la Senne to create Brixi Saison, a modern classic saison-style beer. In a further celebration of all that is so exciting about Brixton and beer these days, the striking label design uses the Connect Brixton print designed by EleyKishimoto as part of Brixton Design Week 2015.

We first heard about Brasserie de la Senne through the hopvine as it were – it was recommended by friends as brewery as dedicated to flavour, quality ingredients and a local ethos as we are. We love their dedication to making truly distinguished and deliciously well-balanced beers. So we were pretty pleased when they agreed to work with us on a special collaboration of Belgium-meets-Brixton beer. Master Brewer Yvan came to London from Brussels to work with us on our limited run saison. Saison is a French-Belgian style farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter to refresh seasonal summer workers, saisonnière, from whom the beer takes its name.

We learned loads from our crash course in brewing Belgian style and we’re proud of the result. We wanted to add a new twist on this classic beer style so we’ve used New World Galaxy and Vic Secret hops along with European Noble hops. The result is a beer that is dry, fruity and refreshing, with the slight spiciness characteristic of a saison. As with all of our beers, Brixi is bottle conditioned and un-fined (making it vegan-friendly).

A message on a bottle

We always like to add a bit of local history to your pint. Brixi Saison is named for the Saxon lord Brixi from whom Brixton takes its name. Brixton is derived from Brixtane, meaning stone of Brixi, referring to the boundary stone once placed here.

When fashion meets fermentation

At Brixton Brewery we’re well-known for our colourful and distinctive branding, based on exuberant African batik fabrics. International design company EleyKishimoto is also known for its fantastically eclectic patterns and has long been based in Brixton. So it was particularly cool to be able to use one of its motifs for the Brixi label. The pattern, Connect Brixton, was designed specially for Brixton Design Week 2015. As well as being on our labels, Connect can be seen painted on the pavement of the Brixton Design Trail street gallery on Ferndale Road and outside the Brixton tube station. The designers say, “the intertwined grid like pattern represents the spirit of Brixton in more than a single layer.” We say: it looks fantastic and is the perfect visual match for our beer!

Try Brixi Saison in our Tap Room at Arch 548 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PF. We’re open Wednesdays & Thursday 5-10pm, Fridays 5-11pm, Saturdays 12-11pm & Sundays 12-6pm. Instagram:  @brixtonbrewerytaproom