Brewing up a storm in Tottenham Hale
London sure does know its beer, and a Londoner can pick out a good pub and a good beer from miles away. Tottenham residents are at a unique advantage when it comes to locating a good beer, with the likes of local brewery, Beavertown Brewery, providing the area and beyond with innovative and exclusive collection of ales and IPAs.
With the Brewery located just around the corner from our Hale Works development, we were lucky enough to catch up with one of the masterminds behind the likes of the 8 Ball, Neck Oil and Black Betty brews, Sam Millard. Find out more about this team of ‘Beavers’ and how their unique approach to the UK’s best-loved beverage is taking London by storm.
Hi Sam – can you tell us a bit about the history of Beavertown Brewery and how it came to be the success it is today?
We started brewing back in 2011 and released our first beers early in 2012. The initial idea wasn’t to have a brewery, we started out as a BBQ & Beer Joint in De Beauvoir Town. We brewed opposite the smokers in the kitchen and the beer was intended to partner the food. Very quickly though, the quality of the beer shone through and local bars were coming in, asking to buy it from us. We moved from solely brewing in the kitchen, to brewing there and fermenting in a lock up a mile down the road. That also became too small pretty quickly – so we shifted the whole production from Dukes Brew & Que completely to a site in Hackney Wick. That was in 2013. That too only took us a year to outgrow and in 2014 we found our current brewery site in Tottenham, which we’ve added to and expanded over the last 3 years as we’ve continued to grow.
Where did the name ‘Beavertown Brewery’ come from and what does it say about the business as a whole?
Beavertown is the old cockney name for De Beauvoir Town, where Dukes was situated. De Beauvoir was described as ‘too posh’ a name for the locals who lived there, so they renamed it Beavertown. That’s what it’s all about for us – our name is a tribute and homage to who we are and where we’ve come from.
The Beavertown Brewery brand is hugely distinctive – where did the concept for this derive from?
It spawned from Nick (our Creative Director) and Logan (Owner and Founder) having a joint love of 70’s sci-fi comics. Nick worked at Dukes as a waiter while he was finishing up his illustration degree. It’s a bit like that well known Human League song – but with less cocktails and more beer. Logan liked Nick’s work so much that he asked if he could put it on a beer label – and the rest is history. If you look back through the label designs Nick has produced over the years, you can see changes and developments in his style. We’re really lucky to have him on board to produce a brand which is so distinctive and versatile.
What is it about the Beavertown beer that makes it so unique?
I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. Obviously, the amazing art has that initial pull, but that can only carry you a certain distance; if someone pulls a cool-looking can off the shelf and the beer inside it is average, they won’t pick it up again. That’s where Beavertown Brewery really stands out. The quality of our core beers, the brews that people drink day in, day out, is really high. You can churn out special brews to make a splash and wow people, but at some point, you’re inevitably going to have to repeat a product. That’s where we excel I think. We put as much care and attention into every single brew of our staple brews, the Gamma Ray & Neck Oil for example, as we do any of our special beers, and that shows.
You’ve explained that you made the move to Tottenham in 2014 – what was it about the area that made you want to set up home here?
Honestly, the cost of land was a hugely contributing factor. It was something we could afford at the time, for the space that we needed. That, combined with the transport links and ease of access to other key areas of London, nailed it for us. We have been incredibly fortunate to be here and watch first hand as Tottenham has continued to flourish, and more and more interesting stuff is popping up all the time, that we are lucky enough to enjoy!
What is your favourite thing about working and brewing in Tottenham Hale?
Of the many reasons, there are two which really stand out – the first being that as an area, it’s extremely well connected. We’re as well off being here, in terms of accounts and people visiting us, as we would be in central London. That access is invaluable.
The second key thing we love about Tottenham Hale is the growth happening here and the opportunity to be a part of that. Pressure Drop have moved in just round the corner, Five Miles has opened up, Craving Coffee is still going strong, Loven are doing wonderful things – the list goes on. It’s just getting a better place to be all the time, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the journey.
Out of all of the Beavertown brews, which is your personal favourite, and why?
Lupuloid. It was our first straight up IPA and the last addition to our core range. It was also the first time that we’d crowd-sourced feedback on a recipe. We put 10 different brews out there 2 at a time, each just slightly different from the previous and used the public’s opinion on those to hone a final IPA. Lupuloid fell out of this, and I personally believe it’s not only one of the best we brew, but one of the best IPA’s in the UK.
If you are interested in a new home surrounded by unique venues such as this, then keep a watch of Anthology’s progress with it’s Hale Works development.