Do we spot a little bit of sun out here in Brixton? Hello old friend! And who better to chat to than our pals over at Brixton Brewery. Not only are they turning over delicious, fresh, flavourful beers all week long but they are throughly good eggs here for you with a Canadian's education on how to eat bacon.
Team BB at a brewers pub quiz
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?
We started when two couples (Jez and Libby and Mike and Xochitl) met in a Brixton pub (the late Hive Bar, now Craft Beer Co.) and struck up a conversation over our brand-newborn babies. We were all getting used to the rhythms of parenthood (it was 11am on a Sunday and we were the only people in the pub for brunch), but it turned out that we had quite a bit in common, besides just the tiny humans – Libby, Xochitl and Mike all grew up in Canada, we happened to live on the same street in Brixton, and we all had the dream of opening a brewery. It was 2010, and craft beer was very much gaining momentum. We were sure it was only a matter of time before someone opened a Brixton Brewery and we were equally sure that it should be us. We started in 2013 with the aim of making great local beer in one of London’s greatest local areas. We wanted to bring together our love of beer and our love of Brixton.
What are your main inspirations and influences for the products?
We are inspired very much by our surroundings. All of the beers in our core range are named after Brixton locations. We’ve got Effra Ale , Coldharbour Lager Atlantic APA, Electric IPA , Windrush Stout and Reliance Pale Ale. (You can follow the links to find out the origins behind some of the names)
Our much commented upon labels were inspired by the African batik fabrics that you see everywhere in Brixton. We wanted them to be as striking, interesting and colourful as Brixton itself. In fact, our labels became so popular that we commissioned a set of limited edition prints for sale based on some of our label motifs. We are mainly known for our well-balanced and easy-drinking beers, but we have on occasion been inspired by local flavours to experiment. We’ve made beer with sorrel, mango and green tea (though not at the same time…) and we do a very popular stout brewed with Volcano coffee .
What is the process?
We have four full time brewers and we brew several times a week as freshness is really important to us. When we’re developing new beers, we think about things like seasons, new styles, good flavour combinations, hop varietals and flavours we can add. We’ve also done some collaborations with other breweries and local restaurants (our Market Saison, brewed with Nanban restaurant will be available again in spring 2017). We’ve also collaborated with designers Eley Kishimoto on some of our labels. We’re proud supporters of the Brixton Windmill and have brewed with malts milled at the windmill.
Where are you based and how does that affect your products?
We are based in a railway arch on Brixton Station Road. During the week we brew and on Saturdays, we open as a cosy little tap room. You can read a bit more about brewery life here.
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
We love that we are making something tangible in an age where you can feel disconnected from the process of where things come from. We all left desk and computer based jobs to start the brewery and hands-on production was a big part of the attraction for us. It’s great being involved in an industry that brings people together, and gives them something to enjoy. When you say you own a brewery, people take notice and are interested. It seems to really capture the imagination.
It's getting sunny! What's your favourite thing about this time of year?
We’re dreaming of long hot summer days, lazy barbecues and deliciously cold beer!
Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant?
As a three-quarters Canadian-raised business, we can say with authority to that pouring maple syrup on your crispy bacon is about as good as it gets. Though it’s worth mentioning that all of our beers are vegan!
Do you have a recommendation for a good book/ tv series/ film/ podcast etc?
We are looking forward to Season 3 of The Trip with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, and are arguing over other awkward personality combinations we’d want to see eating, drinking and arguing their way through somewhere beautifully telegenic.
Thank you so much Xochitl!
We currently stock a range of tees, prints and beer glasses from Brixton Brewery. The Brewery taproom is open on Saturdays from 12-6pm and newly on Fridays from 6-10pm throughout summer.
And of course, bottles are available from all good retailers.
You can find out more about what the Brewery gets up to over at
Look out for my next blog post for recommendations of where to get the best beer in Brixton
Images from the Brixton Brewery site & Instagram