Beavertown to brew beer in Belgium as it builds larger facility in London
London craft brewery Beavertown is to brew two of its flagship beers at a family-owned brewery in Belgium as it works to satisfy demand ahead of the creation of a larger facility in the capital, which is expected to open in summer 2019.
The brewer has already outgrown its Tottenham Hale site having transferred some of its production to fellow London brewery Redchurch.
The new arrangement will see it upscale its production and brew kegs of two of its flagship beers – Gamma Ray and Neck Oil – in Belgium. In an agreement with family-owned Brouwerij De Brabandere, over the next 18 months Beavertown will produce beer in the country – a move it states will make the transition to the new London site smoother.
“Brewing with Brouwerij De Brabandere will allow us to organically grow the amount of beer available to the trade, but also, very importantly, will mean that when Beaverworld [the new London site] is fully operational we will have spent serious time learning how to brew on a kit the same size and specification as we are investing in, helping us to transition seamlessly into our new home and hit the ground running,” the brewery said in a statement.
To retain quality control, the beers will be brewed using the same ingredients which will be shipped over from the UK to Belgium. In addition the beers will be brewed and monitored by existing members of the Beavertown team.
While this is going on, the brewery will focus on building what it is calling ‘Beaverworld’ – “a large-scale production facility and visitor experience” designed and built by Beavertown.
Providing there are no complications or delays, the new site will be operational in Summer 2019.
The brewery added: “We are so excited about the future of the UK brewing industry and our place within what is such a vibrant movement and we are thrilled to be taking another huge step towards what we hope will be one of the most renowned beer experiences in the world.
“We want our beer to be accessible to all and are driven by the mantra “Let’s get great beer on to every street corner!”
Beavertown’s head of operations and expansion projects, Nikola Marjanovic, together with members of the production team have been working in Belgium, tweaking the recipes for use on Brouwerij De Brabandere’s larger kit.
Commenting on the process in a blog post, Sam Millard, Beavertown’s brand and communications manager, said: It was very important that the heart of the beers remained intact, from the matching of the water profile, to the malt and hop suppliers. We have also invested in a ‘Dry Hopnik’ to use at the brewery so we can mirror exactly our dry hopping technique used in Tottenham Hale.
“As someone who deals with the public image of Beavertown as their job I was torn between the fact that doing this made perfect sense for the beer and our growth, in fact vital for our growth, but that it felt “un Beavertown” to be putting our two most popular beers into the hands of a faceless brewery the other side of the English Channel, and let’s face it “contract brewing” is a dirty phrase in the craft beer industry and one that doesn’t feel comfortable.
However on visiting the brewery and tasting the results, Millard added: “It was very clear to me that this is much less a contract brew, and much more a partnership, and that this family brewery that has been together, brewing under the same ownership for 125 years now feels like part of the Beavertown family, and hopefully we feel like part of their family too. So next time you’re drinking a pint of Gamma or Neck, it might be from Belgium, you won’t know it of course, cos (sic.) if we can’t tell the difference, no one can”.