Brixton Brewery to partner with Heineken and move to bigger premises

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. editor

    editor hiraethified

  2. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Proabably a better investment for Heineken that UK treasury stock right now.

    Heineken seem to have a policy of maintaining local brands. I noticed this in France years ago - but they also have Newcastle Brown here.
    The Heineken website makes much of their unique keg system. Will Brixton Brewery be a keg or real ale affair? Makes you wonder. Plus the tweet below.
    Slo-mo likes this.
  3. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Although their initial approach to Camden was as investor and look what happened there. They also swallowed up Lagunitas IIRC. A lot of small "craft" breweries are being subsumed into the behemoth.
  4. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I think this leaves the London Beer Lab as the only true independent brewery left in the middle of Brixton.
    Slo-mo likes this.
  5. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    TBF Beer Lab and Bullfinch are the most technically proficient of our local breweries, but lack the branding of Brixton which i imagine is what makes it so desirable to a multinational. I really hope those two can stay under the radar and keep independent.
  6. editor

    editor hiraethified

    The Beer Lab were very helpful when we brewed our Coldharbour Courage ale. When the Brewery came along they said they'd help us out too, but then swiftly declared themselves 'too busy,' which was disappointing.
    Twattor likes this.
  7. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

  8. craigxcraig

    craigxcraig Prefers 'cxc'

    I was living across from the bullfinch over the summer and really enjoyed their beers - very relaxed place and great ambiance. Mostly £4. 50 a pint too.
    friendofdorothy and editor like this.
  9. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Beer lab is great, really nice guys.

    The above is probably great news for the quality of Brixton breweries beers, Heineken will have top quality gear and resource to fix any quality issues.

    Incidentally the new brewery is on milkwood Rd not Brixton Hill

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    Slo-mo likes this.
  10. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I did a brewing day in London Beer Lab recently. It was a lot of fun. Not tried the product yet...
    alex_ likes this.
  11. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Ah yes, I misread the press release. Fixed - thanks.

    I've yet to find a Brixton Brewery beer I like, but maybe they'll come up with something palatable to my tastes now that they've teamed up with the corporate big boys.

    That said, I'm far more inclined to look to the products of true independent brewers like the Beer Lab.
  12. dtb

    dtb > On A Trip Jam

    London Beer Lab have always have an exciting range of beers on tap and rotate them regularly, they've got a bunch of Christmas brews launching this weekend - Christmas Spiced Latte Beer / Christmas Hoppy Red Ale / Chocolate Cookie Brown Ale / Christmas Oatmeal Stout / Salted Caramel Ale mmmmmmmm
    Twattor, alex_ and editor like this.
  13. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I suspect day one for Heineken will be helping the Brixton guys sort out inconsistency and making the most of their equipment, this is only good news.

    Agreed re beer lab.

    Slo-mo likes this.
  14. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Same old same old, though. This cycle of local breweries being absorbed by giants happened between the 1950s and 1970s, too. Don't know about you, but I'm old enough to remember the consequences of that - good beers re-formulated for keg, that tasted bland and boring, if not actively rancid. Here's hoping that some of the small local breweries hold onto their independence!
  15. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    To be fair that was in a period of time when most other beer was also pretty shit, I’m sure if Brixton becomes carling no matter who owns it - it’ll disappear.

    Jangleballix and ViolentPanda like this.
  16. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Except bigger quite often doesn't mean better.
  17. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Depends on how you qualify better.

    From what I want from a pint - I’m ok with better here.

    Intellectually pure, doesnt affect my taste buds

  18. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Let's put it this way: do you think the biggest brewers in Britain always produce the best beer?
  19. jezg

    jezg Well-Known Member

    Hi all, thanks for your interest in our news, we're very excited to build a new brewery in Brixton. We've been running at full capacity for about a year and moving away from Brixton is unthinkable for us. Staying the same size isn't really a long term option either, our brew length(1000 litres) means our beer is getting expensive vs our peers who have been able to fit bigger equipment in and reduce marginal costs. We simply can't as the archways are too small.

    Obviously the timing of running out of capacity in the arches, the new much larger unit becoming available and Heineken getting in touch with us and believing in our ambitious plans is incredibly fortunate and their investment has made them a reality.

    We're excited to brew on a larger scale(5000ltrs) using better equipment that'll give us greater control over the process. Our team are already well trained(GCB and IBD Diploma level) and our beer will definitely change, and we firmly believe for the better. We'll mill our own malt, use steam to heat, whirlpool our hops and get a rotary canning line all of which will help produce top quality beer in package.

    This is our brewery and we've selected all the equipment ourselves and our team can't wait to brew on it. We retain full control over the brewery and the beer we produce. We also plan to brew more cask(real ale) which we've had to cut back on significantly due to low margins in the cask market and lack of economies of scale we currently have.

    We can't wait to open the new brewery next spring and then build a more comfortable tap-room to enjoy our beers in our current brewery. We'll continue brewing there making more experimental small batch beers(like our recent Nuclear Dawn Botanical Sour) and also plan to make the space available for community groups to use.

    If you've got any questions I'd be happy to answer them on here; alternatively I'll be at our Xmas party on Sat 16th along with the other founders(Libby, Mike + Xochitl) and we'd be very happy to tell you more in person, over a beer.
  20. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I’m sure by a lot of technical measures, yes.

    Bigger means money for quality control, money for lab gear and lab people ( how brewers test and manage consistency across time ), money so don’t have to sell every drop of beer (ie you can afford to throw bad beer away), money so you can invest in higher quality distribution so what arrives in pubs is similar quality to what leaves the brewery

    From the perspective of the punter this means the beer (much) is more likely to taste and look in our pint how the brewer wants it to taste or look.

    While carling and fosters might not be to my or your taste I’d bet it tastes exactly how the person putting it together wants it to, and I bet it’s a whole load more consistent than most craft beer ( including 7 pound 20 craft cans ).

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  21. Dan U

    Dan U Boompty

    When is craft beer no longer craft beer - when it's get bought out by a mega brewery and sold in supermarkets
    TopCat and editor like this.
  22. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    According to the American Brewing Association who may perhaps have originated the term, it is when a brewer in more than 25% owned by a brewer which is not itself a craft brewer What is a Craft Brewery? |

    I always thought that Craft brewed ale had distinctive hop flavours, whether it be cask real ale or any other format. So I would have ruled out Abbot or Ruddles for example - even though they are clearly usually in real ale format.
  23. editor

    editor hiraethified

    The story presented at the time was that Heineken had bought a 'minority stake' in the Brixton Brewery, which suggests to the untrained ear of someone like me that it was a relatively modest investment.

    But in fact it's a massive 49% stake. Yes, that does technically make it 'minority' stake but they practically own half the company now!

    Heineken snaps up 49% stake in Brixton Brewery

    Does that feel like a true "independent business" to you? I imagine there's quite a lot of this going on now, with powerful corporates looking to profit from the indie craft beer craze...
  24. editor

    editor hiraethified

  25. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

  26. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Brixton light ale is on offer at the two bars in the newly revamped Queen Elizabeth Hall for £6/pint/£3 half. Didn't see any pump mind - maybe it's just served from bottles?
  27. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    If it’s pints and halves it’s draft.

  28. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    49% as mentioned here - Brixton Brewery expansion could mean 30 new local jobs
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

    But that doesn't answer the question of whether a brewery that is 49% owned by one of the biggest brewing companies in the world can really be seen as a "boutique" independent business.

    If urban75 was 49% owned by Sony or Murdoch how would you feel about me describing it as an "independent" forum?
  30. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It feels a bit like when the major record companies started buying up cool indie labels or launching their own indie-looking labels.
    sealion likes this.

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