It was in a hung-over stupor that I hopped off of the bus in Haggerston and shuffled wearily along Downham Road towards Duke’s Brew and Que headquarters of the now eponymous Beavertown Brewery. Although tired after a night out with a selection of Mikeller’s back catalogue, I was looking forward to a day of labour intensive bottling, curious as I was in the process involved and looking to shake off my malaise.
Logan Plant and James Rylance (above) were accommodating and pleasant as ever when I entered, even in light of an evident cock up in that I had not in fact been expected, I don’t know what happened there but it did turn out that I would be needed after all, another fella having unexpectedly dropped out. After hoovering down a coffee and one of James’ pains au chocolats, James, his friend Jimmy and I proceeded to their brewing/bottling site located approximately 5-10 minutes’ walk from Duke’s.
On account of its un-becoming exterior, I instantly found charm and was excited by the idea that one of the best beers brewed in London is given it’s final touches in a place that appears so modest. The interior follows suite and reminds me of Logan’s brewing facilities on site at Duke’s evoking the sense of a true creative hub with bubbling vats emanating curious citrus scents, wet floors and a genuine feel that this is a place where chaos sometimes reigns supreme, always though resulting in the quality of product that we have come to expect from Beavertown.
I shall not bore you with an intricate A-Z run through of the whole process but I shall say that it was a big bottling operation on the day, resulting in 40 completed boxes of 24 X ‘Gamma Rays,’ all by means of relatively limited equipment in relation to the huge demand that the brewery is generating (incidentally, to keep up with this, the brewery will indeed soon be up-grading its facilities. I shan’t say where as I’m not sure if I’m meant to).
Highlights of the day included chatting with both James and Jimmy (above) with whom I apparently share a mutual interest with in independent cinema. It was a true pleasure spending my time with thoughtful individuals such as these who are clearly enthused in creating a quality final product and furthermore polishing off a couple of bottles with them at the end of the day.
When those new premises are completed, one can feel safe in the assertion that none of the experimentation and dedication in producing amazing tasting beer will be sacrificed. Beavertown Brewery machine marches on.