With the launch of the Brockley Brewing Company on February 22 and the recent announcement that London-based microbrewers Late Knights are coming to replace Mr Lawrence’s wine shop in Crofton Park, 2013 is the year of the beer for Brockley.
“We all love a good glass of ale and saw small breweries opening up in East and North London but nothing in our neck of the woods,” said Andy Rowland, one of the six brewers from the Brockley Brewing Ccompany (BBC).
Their loyalty to Brockley and its community, led them to choose Harcourt Road for the brewery. At this point they are producing a Pale Ale and a Golden Ale, and are planning to brew darker beers, stouts and possibly wheat beers in the future.
Rowland said the brewery has so far been getting fantastic reactions from the community. Local artists and designers offered to help with their marketing, and pubs and shops in the area are showing interest in stocking their upcoming bottled ales. They have also teamed up with the local allotment group who are using their spent grain as composting material.
“We know how tough it is for local businesses,” said Rowland, “so we are making sure to buy locally and help each other out.”
One of the businesses they plan on collaborating with is the new tap house that will be opening soon in recently closed Mr Lawrence’s wine shop on Brockley Road.
Late Knights founder Steve Keegan, 30, said that he is currently waiting for the licence application to go through before the bar can open. He said: “The craft beer bar will serve most of the Late Knights beers, which we make in our brewery in Penge, and others craft beers. The majority, if not all, will be from London.”
Keegan said the company are hoping to open within the next six to eight weeks. The bar will also offer a range of other drinks and will especially focus on whiskey, and serve food.
On the recent popularity of microbreweries (Craft Beer estimates the number of London breweries to be around 40), Keegan said: “I think people want to be a bit more adventurous nowadays. They want to do the work instead of buying from producers.”
He added: “There is more that small breweries can do because they can move really quickly: they could make a new ale and have it in pubs in a couple of weeks, maybe. Plus, they offer good value, and equal if not better quality.”
Keegan, who started managing pubs before moving on to brewing, is planning to collaborate with The Brockley Brewing Company.
“I think microbrewery and pub running have to go hand in hand. It’s brilliant that there’s a microbrewery in the area and we’re going to be working closely with the guys at the BBC.”
The Brockley Brewing Company launched at The Talbot on Tyrwhitt Rd, Brockley last night, offering customers samples of their Pale Ale and Golden Ale. The Talbot served fish and chips using Brockley Pale Ale in the batter.
“Now, that’s class!” concluded Rowland.