Brewery News – May 2021

Esher based Big Smoke have opened a Taphouse and Kitchen at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two.

Brew By Numbers are looking to move to a new site at Morden Wharf on the Greenwich Penninsula. The new site, warehouse space measuring 6,000 square feet, will include a brewery and a taproom. The project is being financed by crowdfunding. Co-founder Tom Hutchings told the Evening Standard, “The views of the Thames and across south east London are incredible, giving us the perfect backdrop to summer drinking, foodie events and small beer festivals.” There is a sort of symmetry here because the current buildings stand on the site of a pub, the Sea Witch, which was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. There will also be a development of homes, shops and offices nearby.

To celebrate their tenth anniversary, there have been major developments at BTH. Their existing site, opposite AFC Wimbledon’s new ground, is no longer big enough and so they have commissioned a new brewery at Salfords, near Redhill in Surrey. Brewing should have already started using modern, energy-efficient equipment including a steam boiler. They have expanded their fermenting capacity by 150%, by adding six new vessels, three 60 hectolitre and three 90 hectolitre. They have also installed a malt milling system. BTH are not however abandoning their original home and their many local fans. The Summerstown site will remain their flagship premises and is being turned into a taproom and eating area, complete with a pilot brewery, a distillery and a cider making plant. There will also be a bookable events space.

AB InBev-owned Camden Town are to open a new beer hall in Wilkin Street Mews near Kentish Town West Overground station. Modelled on Bavarian beer halls, in addition to the standard products, it will be serving a selection of ‘small batch’ beers which it says ‘can’t be found anywhere else in London’. There will be both covered and open air seating plus a ‘beer pairing’ menu.

CTZN are to open a brewery and taproom in York Street, Twickenham, close to the venue of Twickenham Beer Festival. This particular site has regularly turned over in the last few years, so some stability would be welcome. The company is committed to sustainability. Jonathan Sumner, their co-founder and joint chief executive explained, “We think that great beer is one way we can help change the world, and have some ambitious goals to make our beer, our industry, and our planet sustainable for the next generation of craft beer lovers.” The CTZN Brewhouse will stage a number of events, including beer tastings, beer and cheese nights and tap takeovers. CTZN also own the Kew Brewery.

Forest Gate based Pretty Decent are understood to be expanding their tap room into the next door arch. The planning application includes an expanded food provision.

Brewing has started at Sambrook’s new site at the Ram Quarter in Wandsworth, once the home of Young’s Brewery. Most appropriately, the first brew was a batch of Wandle Ale. It now falls to Sambrook’s to carry on the tradition of brewing on the site which dates back to at least the 1530s. Happily, the man who maintained the tradition in the period between Young’s departure and Sambrook’s arrival, John Hatch, is on board. The heritage centre, which includes the old Young’s coppers, may well be open by the time that you read this and a taproom with an events space will follow in the summer. Founder and chief executive Duncan Sambrook commented, “We always wanted to celebrate traditional beer making with a modern twist, and where better to do it than at the home of British brewing? Our first brew on site marks a major step forward in our plans at Ram Quarter. Our new home means we can provide an expanded experience for our customers, and continue to make the great beer that they know and love us for.”

Although not a London brewery, Welton’s beers were often seen in the south western boroughs, including their remarkable 2.8% ABV Pridenjoy. Sadly, Ray Welton has announced that the brewery is to close at the end of May. Ray founded the brewery in 1994 in Capel, Surrey, halfway between Dorking and Horsham. In 1997 he moved to bigger premises in Dorking and then, in 2003, to Horsham. This was appropriate, given that Ray was helped in his early days by a retired head brewer from King & Barnes. The brewery had strong community links, including the sponsorship of local Morris sides. Ray explained, “COVID and the lack of any pub trade for more than a year has meant that we can no longer continue with any certainty into the future and as I am a long way past retirement age, I have to acknowledge the inevitable.”
According to a post on Facebook, the owners of the Stonehenge Brewery in Netheravon, Wiltshire, have also decided to retire and the brewery is up for sale as a going concern.

Like many people, Christina Davis’s normal work dried up because of COVID, so she started to investigate new sources of income and Tottenham Tiffin was born. The idea was a simple one: for £20, Tottenham Tiffin will deliver a box of beer and snacks directly to your door. Christina is keen on supporting local producers, so the beers come from Tottenham breweries (currently Bohem, Redemption and One Mile End) and snacks from manufacturers such as Soffles (pitta chips) and Uncle John’s Bakery (bread and snacks).

Christina said, “There are some great producers in Tottenham but not many people had heard of them. With this service, people can get one can from a number of breweries and breweries are always producing new beers so this gives them a chance to showcase them. The box contents vary month by month and are usually themed such as beer and chocolate for mothers’ day.” Christina will deliver to Haringey, Camden, Islington and parts of Barnet. For more details, see
Christine Cryne

Further to the report in the last edition regarding the theft of casks from breweries (page 35), I’m pleased to report that one victim, the Arundel Brewery, have had their stolen casks returned.
Thanks to the efforts of Keg Watch and Sussex Police, the casks were seized at Folkestone, just before they were to be taken out of the country.
Arundel Brewery commented on Facebook, “We are enormously appreciative to everyone who helped spread the word; it just goes to show that social media can sometimes achieve incredible things.”