As most of you will know by now, since we launched our Sour Series, we have been working with numerous artists to help us create our wonderful eye catching and colourful labels. We had big plans this year to incorporate these artists into an Artists in Residence scheme and whilst this has been somewhat delayed and unable to be completely fulfilled, we are incredibly happy to introduce our new Artist in Residence, Katy Binks. Her first label for us is the brand new Lemon Verbena & Mandarin Sour, launching in our online store on Friday 24th July 2020.
Wanting to share her work with you and give you a bit more insight into the artists we work with, we asked Katy a few socially distanced questions:
Katy, tell us a bit about yourself… What is your background and where did you grow up?
I’ve lived in London for 15 years, South London for 10 years, it’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere so it’s my home. I grew up moving around quite a bit, when I was 12 my family moved to Seoul, they were in Asia until I was about 25, which included time in Singapore and Shanghai as well. At 12, Seoul kind of blew my mind, it was so different from what I knew, that exposure to a different visual culture and big cities had a huge impact on me, I was really taken by it all.
What does a typical day look like for you…
Six months ago I would have given you quite a different answer! Right now, I’m still working towards finding a new typical, a lot has changed in the art and design world, it’s slowed down a lot, so have I. I’m an early riser, 6.30am most days, I workout most morning’s, it sets me up for the day and keeps me sane, especially during everything that’s going on right now. Then it’s either to the studio to print, buying paper, exposing screens, maybe a bit of design work or painting walls, pitching for new work, obviously a lot of admin which I try to avoid at all costs but it underpins it all.
How do you like to work?
Sometimes quite intuitively, I don’t like to plan too much when I print, just see where it takes me, I’m the complete opposite when it comes to painting murals – I like to have it all worked out. I’m definitely one of those messy artists – my studio is rarely tidy.
What/who inspires you and your work?
I’m always inspired by my immediate environment and what’s going, art is how I make sense of the world around me but I’m also drawn to architecture, pattern and graphic design, which all feature in my work at different points. If I’m thinking about other artist’s I’d have to say Matisse, particularly his Fauvist period, I also love Patrick Thomas for his stripped back graphic style.
Where or what is your favourite spot in South East London?
I love Burgess Park, they landscaped it a few years ago, I know change is coming as they pull down the Aylesbury Estate and redevelop the area but right now it’s a beautiful spot that serves the local community.
We are very excited to see what she does next! You can see more of Katy’s work here
Brick Brewery’s Guide to Peckham
In the penultimate week of build up to our 6th birthday party on Saturday 7th December we are continuing our celebration of 6 years of Brick Brewery. Last week we put together a Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford, celebrating our adopted brewery home with recommendations from the Brick team on where we like to eat drink and go in the area. This week we’ve done the same for Peckham. Brick Brewery started in Ian’s shed at his home in Peckham and began commercially brewing in a railway arch underneath Peckham Rye station in 2013 until we outgrew the space and moved production to Deptford in summer 2017. However, Peckham Rye remains our original home with the space now our Taproom. Everyone at Brick spends a lot of time in Peckham; whether it’s working at the Taproom, visiting the many accounts who stock our beer, living locally and generally enjoying everywhere there is to drink, eat and visit in the area. This is Brick Brewery’s Guide to Peckham.
Where to Drink
As a brewery we are thankful that the drinkers of Peckham are such a thirsty bunch! For a period of time when we were brewing at our Peckham site, at capacity and unable to get any more beer out of the door, the majority of our stock didn’t go much further than a 2 mile radius, with some of our very first customers still continuing to get our beer in six years later. The area has a serious drinking scene, with pubs and cocktail bars on every street; tucked under railway arches, on top of car parks and unassuming residential streets, these are just a handful of where we like to drink in Peckham.
Brick Brewery Taproom
For anyone reading this guide that isn’t familiar with us… we have our own bar! Of course, our Taproom under Peckham Rye station is our favourite place to drink in Peckham. A pint of Peckham Pils is always the first on the agenda for after-work refreshment then we work our way through the latest specials from the 20 lines.
The Old Nun’s Head
“The Ryan Gosling of Pubs” is how The Old Nun’s Head modestly describes itself. Their Twitter account is worth following even if you have no intention of ever drinking there, but you should! Not technically in Peckham but just a 10 minute walk away in Nunhead it’s worth the detour for its great beer, cosy nooks and crannies and great food from their rotating pop-up kitchen residencies. The ONH has also been getting Brick beers in pretty much from the beginning, so we love them for that too!
“I mean, it’s just everything you want from a great pub. A great atmosphere, loads of events on each week and friendly staff.. super dog friendly too with Ludo ruling the roost!” – Tallulah, Taproom Supervisor
East Dulwich Tavern
Another loyal Brick Brewery venue, the East Dulwich Tavern (or EDT as it’s otherwise known) is a great homely and charming pub. 2 roaring fires in the winter, with a consistent selection of beer from local breweries and brilliant pub food.
Hop Burns and Black
Their Deptford site was one of our recommended places to drink in last week’s Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford, so of course we had to include Hop Burns and Black’s Peckham site in this guide. Championing independent breweries and great beer since 2014, Jen and Glenn have been one of our biggest supporters. Their original shop on East Dulwich Road is one of the best places to go to buy beer in South East London. The small outside seating area is great for afternoon people watching over some beers or bottle of wine.
The Gowlett Arms
After a sudden closure in November 2017, The Gowlett Arms re-opened its doors last year much to the delight of the local community. Situated on a corner just off Peckham Rye, The Gowlett Arms is a true neighbourhood pub and always popular thanks to its brilliant pizza kitchen, good beer and welcoming atmosphere.
“We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs in Peckham. However, The Gowlett Arms still stands out amongst the crowded field. It does everything and caters for everyone the way any local boozer should. Their incredible pizzas are the icing on the cake though.”
– Luke, Taproom Manager
Franks is on every guide of where to go in Peckham. A bar at the top of Peckham Levels (and previously a multi-storey car park), Franks becomes a summer pilgrimage activity to seemingly every Millennial in London. However, the views, the sunset and the cocktails make it worth the queue.
“Get there way before sunset to grab a table and buy your cocktails two at a time, but it’s worth it for the incredible views of the city. A great way to spend a boozy, hot summer’s day in London.” – Nadia, Marketing and Events
Zapoi bar opened this summer on Rye Lane and is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing bar in Peckham with its mismatched floral seating, mixed in with vintage grandma-style rugs and antique mirrors everywhere in a bright, industrial style setting.
“Zapoi’s cocktails are just as fantastic as the bar’s décor. With our Peckham Pale and Peckham Pils on tap too I’d definitely recommend Zapoi for pre-dinner drinks with a group of friends or visiting family you want to impress!”
– Sally, Brand Director
Where to Eat
There seems to be new places to eat in Peckham popping up every week, but we are creatures of habit here at Brick Brewery and continue to visit a lot of the same places in all the time we spend in Peckham. This is definitely not a guide to the most trendy and fanciest places to eat in the area, there are enough guides online for those places already! Great food still applies to all our recommendations below though.
Alex and Richie of Slow Richie’s have been part of Brick Brewery Taproom since summer 2015, serving up burgers and their homemade hot sauces out of our bright red shipping container. The perfect accompaniment to any pint at our Taproom, their vegetarian Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot burger shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Kudu, a species of antelope, and also the name of the South African-inspired restaurant on the stretch of Queens Road which is increasingly popular for some great places to eat. Small plates dominate the menu with a nose-to-tail vibe from some more unusual ingredients to choose from.
“A fantastic family-run restaurant on Queens Road, amazing food with South African influences. Everything on the menu is great but get the Kudu bread with bacon butter whilst you decide what to order… it’s incredible!”
– Pete, Bookkeeper
Bellenden Road is quite a contrast from the sometimes overwhelming bustle of Rye Lane, it’s more like a village high street. Great pubs and restaurants dominate the area but it’s the unassuming Lovely House Dim Sum restaurant that deserves more recognition in amongst the trendier food options on the street. A short but fantastic dim sum menu with authentic Chinese food served by the most welcoming staff that make you feel at home. Even more so when you go past the children’s shoes that line the stairs as you go up the toilet. The soft shell crab and pork sui mai are the winners.
Down an alleyway opposite Peckham Rye station is Yadas. A family-run Kurdish restaurant that is a favourite of most of us here at Brick. It’s the perfect spot to go in a big group as you can try pretty much everything on the menu, we even took the brewers from KCBC here after a tap takeover at our Taproom and they were won over by the generous mezze platters (if you’re going in a group, get one each of the platters and a few dips for an impressive selection of everything). Don’t expect great service, go a bit later on in the evening when it’s quietened down a bit as it gets really busy, especially in the summer when it’s warm enough to eat on the ramshackle terrace, and enjoy the food as it slowly comes out. It’s also BYOB!
Peckham Food Hall, a small canteen/café next to Peckham Rye Station bus stop, has 3 food traders; Izatu Kitchen, Copeland Jerk Centre and Steamers. Steamers have moved into this new premises after previously being in the Peckham Rye station tunnels but the menu remains the same and more importantly, the countertop display of the steaming buns is still there. A steamed bun for £1.80 is an essential snack on your journey home, with various fillings to try but the Pork with Chinese Cabbage or Char Sui Pork are the tastiest.
“You’ll often find one of the bar staff grabbing a quick lunch from this family-run, no frills Chinese takeaway. Fresh noodles, big portions of rice and the best steamed buns in London!”. – Tallulah, Bar Supervisor
An unmissable corner shop painted bright canary yellow opposite Peckham Library, Persepolis is a fantastic Persian deli-cum-café with one half of the shop packed with Middle Eastern spices, herbs, pickles, drinks, sweets, gifts and cookware with the other half a lively vegetarian café. It’s extremely popular with students on the weekend evenings thanks to its £20 tasting menu and BYOB status, so book for then.
“A truly unique Persian corner shop and café. The café/restaurant side of things has an ever changing vegetarian menu serving Middle Eastern food with a real homemade feel. Persepolis is small but oozing character and charm. It’s also banging value and won’t ever break the bank. Try the daily wraps and meze platter….probably not at the same time unless you’re absolutely staaarving.”
– Stu, Sales Director
Smokey Jerkey on New Cross Road was once so smokey it caught fire. It also serves some of the best jerk and Caribbean food this side of the river. You’re not ever quite sure it’s open, there’s no signage, no menu, and usually no one at the counter. Be brave, step inside and ask what’s good today coming in from the jerk drums out the back. Don’t forget to try the homemade hot sauces on the counter, they’re delicious but lethally spicy.
“The best Jerk house in South East London without a shadow of a doubt. I’d trade my last breath for their hot sauce recipe.” – Pete, Head Brewer
Another awesome quick bite recommendation is Salas Wraps on Rye Lane, serving Turkish-inspired wraps where the heady smell from the grill pulls you in to the unassuming food truck. A permanent fixture in Peckham for 5 years now, everything is made fresh; the dips, falafel, wraps for the perfect lunch option.
“A Peckham institution! The single best value for money meal I’ve ever eaten (in London). Big wraps, big flavours all made to order. It really has to be tasted to be believed. Top tip: go for the Falafel + Halloumi combination wrap.”
– Luke, Taproom Manager
Just around the corner from the chaos of Rye Lane is Miss Tapas. A small but always bustling and busy neighbourhood tapas restaurant ran by born and raised Sevillian, Blanca Rowe, Miss Tapas uses fresh ingredients, sourcing their meat from Flock and Herd Butchers just 5 minutes away, or importing ingredients from Spain themselves.
“The food, music and décor help to create an authentic Spanish feeling. The staff are chatty, attentive and recommend winning combinations every time! The menu changes up every so often so you don’t always get the same things and you can try all sorts of new stuff with each visit! The quail eggs and chorizo are divine…”
– Oscar, Credit Controller
Flock and Herd
Flock and Herd, a butchers on Bellenden Road, have built up a great reputation and super loyal customer base for their high-quality, high-welfare meat. Flock and Herd were also one of Brick Brewery’s very first customers, when Ian used to carry cases of bottles the 5 minute walk up the road from the brewery. They continue to stock us and Ian continues to go into Flock and Herd pretty much weekly.
“As soon as we step in Flock and Herd one of the guys behind the counter will say “Duck breasts? Steak?” We are creatures of habit! We buy all our meat here, it’s right next to our kid’s school so will drop by on the way home and have a great relationship with them from being one of our first customers. We love cooking up one of their awesome steaks on the BBQ any time of year, or duck breasts are our weekend go-to meal.” – Ian, Managing Director
Let us know your favourite place in Peckham or if this has made you want to make a trip! Our 6th birthday party is on Saturday 7th December at our Taproom in Peckham, more details on what we have planned here. Free entry, Midday to 1am, DJ from 7pm and loads of other things going on… everyone welcome!
Celebrating 6 Years of Brick Brewery: Our Collaborations
Continuing our celebration of 6 years of Brick Brewery in the lead up to our birthday party on Saturday 7th December, this week we are looking back on the collaborations we’ve been part of over the years and led us to exciting endeavours that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise!
Collaborations are so commonplace nowadays with a new collaboration release out every week, epitomising the industry’s desire for sharing ideas, innovation and experimentation. Brick first dipped into collaboration beers in July 2017 with the release of Melange Imperial Stout, a collaboration with Peckham-based Melange chocolatier. They Using their dark chocolate cocoa nibs along with 7 malts and vanilla pods for a creamy and rich mouthfeel, plus a wrapped square of chocolate around the neck of the 660ml bottle.
Since then we have released 18 collaboration beers, plus collaborated with 7 breweries at their sites. With each collaboration, our aim is to push our own creative and brewing boundaries by releasing a style we might not have previously, using a new ingredient or collaborating with a different trade to combine their knowledge to produce an innovative final product that we all want to drink! We’d had on the brewing wish list to explore jerk smoking techniques and flavours within a beer for a while, so when we collaborated with 1251 Restaurant in November 2018 we used owner and Head Chef James Cochran’s we used James’ knowledge of Jamaican flavours to create a Jerk Spiced Stout using his famous secret jerk spice blend and smoked malt that James took to Whitstable, where he grew up, to smoke in a traditional smokehouse. The result was a subtly smokey, mildly spiced but full-bodied stout with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sweet scotch bonnet, encapsulating each collaborator’s heritage and expertise to create something unique yet big on flavour.
This mantra to collaborate on beers that are more experimental and fun has continued throughout many of our collaborations. When we went over to The Garden Brewery in November 2018 to brew a Rosehip and Wild Sorrel Sour, Pete foraged the ingredients with The Garden team from the woodlands around Slijeme for a truly Croatian-centric beer.
Another great example; our Combined Harvest brewed in collaboration with Hawkes Cider. The Brut Graff, a hybrid between beer and cider, was made using 1.5 tonnes worth of Braeburn apple juice which Hawkes brought along to the brew day and was added to the whirlpool and then co-fermented with their house yeast and London Fog Ale yeast to create a beer that is super dry with hints of sweet spice and gentle cider tartness from the Braeburn apple juice. This release challenged some tasting notes… was it a beery cider? A cidery beer? As shown so eloquently on Untappd by some drinkers; “Like a London farmyard snakebite”. It split opinion but definitely challenged our knowledge and shifted our comfort zone.
2019 saw us approach some collaborations with breweries in a slightly different way by creating opportunities to add a charity and fundraising element to our collaborative projects. When we started putting together ideas for our 3 Peaks Challenge Collaboration Beers at the start of the year, being able to give something back to each community was an important part of the planning process. Born from our love of escaping London for the countryside and fresh air whenever we can, pushing our boundaries and collaborating with like-minded breweries we collaborated with 3 breweries all located within close proximity of the 3 highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon). Those 3 breweries were Fallen Brewing, Hawkshead Brewery and Wild Horse Brewing. Breweries of different sizes, locations and brewing styles but like-minded all the same, the 3 beers were inspired by each peak. Released in 440ml cans for the first time, a % of sale was donated to each collaborative brewery’s chosen charity; Start Up Stirling, Fix The Fells, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation and Peckham Platform. Alongside these 3 Peaks inspired beers, we completed the 3 Peaks Challenge itself on 14th July 2019, with at least 1 member from each brewery taking part as we climbed all 3 peaks in 24 hours. We had so much fun collaborating all together to create 3 very special beers, travelling to new places and generally being inspired by the stunning surroundings these breweries are situated. Read more about that collaborative project here.
Our charity and fundraising-focussed collaborations have continued in 2019, with releasing Preferred Pronouns in collaboration with The Queer Brewing Project for the official London Craft Beer Festival beer, with 10% of sales going to Galop; the UK’s largest LGBTQ anti-violence charity. Our involvement in The Skyline Project, which saw us collaborate with Brooklyn-based KCBC to release Boysen Was The Cure, an Imperial Sour, contributed to £1 from each box being donated to Trees for Cities.
Our collaboration beers brewed at our site also gives opportunity to work with a new local artist for each label design. The most ‘free’ of all our beer labels, our collaboration labels gives each artist a lot of freedom to interpret the beer in their own unique way and showcasing their artistic style. This freedom has seen our collaborations go further than just creating the beer, with the label design being produced by our collaborators also. For our ‘Je Ne Saison Quoi’ Apricot Sour Saison release with Clapton Craft Forest Hill, then-manager Ben Weetman used his graphic design skills to translate the summer holiday inspiration with fun graphics and heady, summery colours onto the label. Lily of The Queer Brewing Project is also a talented artist who transformed a digital painting of hers, in a project exploring gender through art, from when she was a student at Camberwell College of Arts into a vibrant label design.
All of these collaborations over the years have set us new challenges, taken us to different parts of the world and made some great new friends. A big thanks to everyone who has collaborated with us over the years, these beers and projects have been a real highlight of our journey so far. We have big plans for 2020 and can’t wait to play host to some amazing new breweries, visit new places and brew even more beers. Stay tuned! What’s been your favourite collaboration we’ve done?
Our 6th birthday party is on Saturday 7th December at our Taproom in Peckham, more details on what we have planned here. Free entry, everyone welcome!
Celebrating 6 Years of Brick Brewery: Our Taproom
Continuing our celebration of 6 years of Brick Brewery in the lead up to our birthday party on Saturday 7th December, this week we are looking back on the many chapters that have made up our beloved Taproom (and of course original brewing site) in Peckham.
Transforming the small arch way under Peckham Rye station into a commercial brewery in 2013 soon also turned into the perfect site for Ian to test out his latest brews on the public and get immediate feedback. The spare space in the brewery was filled with a small bar, benches and malt sacks for seating and the original Taproom was born!
However, by April 2015 the brewery had expanded to fit in 3 more 30HL tanks (followed by 4 x 16HL in July 2016) and there was no more room for the bar so it went the only place it could… outside! Ian took delivery of a bright red shipping container and built an outside seating area from pallets… and of course who can forget (as much as we try!) the urinals made from old kegs. A surprising amount of you regularly reminisce fondly to us about those keg urinals, by the way… you strange bunch! It was all a bit rough around the edges, but it was cosy and busier than ever.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2017 we were at full brewing capacity with no space left unused in the brewery. By October 2017 we had begun our transition over to our new, much bigger, production site in Deptford.
Taking most of the equipment with us left us with all the space for a new bar space, indoor seating, sheltered outside space, improved accessibility and proper toilets! A month long renovation at the start of 2018 transformed the arch into the Taproom it is now…
We now have 22 lines, allowing us to have a great range of our Foundation Range permanently pouring, all of our latest specials and putting on beers from our favourite breweries. Our dedicated exhibition wall invites different local artists and creatives to display their work for 2-3 months on a rotating residency. We love having the freedom and opportunity to use the Taproom to test our small-batch and experiemential brews (anyone remember Rhubarb and Custard Sour?!), as well as hosting free and open tasting sessions for every new beer on our Friday launch nights.
Of course, we can’t reminisce about the Taproom’s various changes in the past 6 years without mentioning Slow Richie’s. We first met brothers Alex and Richie in summer 2015 when they took on the outside kitchen residency, serving up their infamous beef burgers topped with their homemade hot sauces, and they’ve been with us ever since! Taking over our red shipping container when we renovated meant they could make themselves more at home and in March 2019 transitioned to juicy pulled pork buns and given their hot sauces a fresh rebrand.
The Taproom has seen a lot of changes over the past 6 years but one thing that remains is our amazing customers. This celebration is dedicated to every single one of our customers; the loyal ones who have been around since Day 1 and continued to enjoy our beer as we have grown, the ones who come in for that much-needed pint of Peckham Pils on the commute home, the ones who come in for Slow Richie’s and get a beer simply to wash it down with, and the ones who come in thinking we are Peckham Springs/Bar Story and can’t be bothered to walk across 20 feet quite yet. And everyone else in between… you’re all fantastic! Thanks to all and hope you continue to enjoy the Taproom way into the future as much as we do.
Our 6th birthday party is on Saturday 7th December at our Taproom in Peckham so keep your eyes peeled on our social media for more details on that soon…
Textures of Time
Last week we welcomed a new exhibition to our Taproom wall. Curated by Helen Johannesen, a local ceramist, the wall installation pieces showcase how she explores solidifying liquid clay through casting, mark making with coloured slip clay using screen printing or other methods that all contribute to the on going development of her work. The pieces displayed make up an installation called Textures of Time, evoking a sense of place or journey. It’s so fun having another different medium on the wall, Helen’s pieces truly change throughout the day depending on how the light is hitting them through the window and we encourage you to get up close to fully appreciate the intricacies and detail of each piece… just no touching, please!
We sat down with Helen to find out a bit more about her and her work…
Helen, tell us a bit about yourself…
I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2017 with a Masters in Ceramics & Glass and was then awarded a scholarship to study in Konstfack Art School Stockholm in 2018. This year I have received the Zsuzsi Roboz Schlolarship at Morley College where I will be developing new work for a gallery installation exhibition in September 2020. Previously I ran a ceramic design business Yoyo Ceramics for 15 years. I’ve lived in Peckham for 8 years now, I have a studio at Cockpit Arts, Holborn so it’s a bike ride through the park and over the bridge.
What is your background and where did you grow up?
I was born in Croydon, my father is Norwegian and my mother was born in Bow and brought up in the Isle of Dogs – so two contrasting backgrounds! As a family, we then moved all around the U.K; the West Country, the east and the Midlands before I settled back in London 1991 when I studied at Middlesex University Ceramic BAHons. I’ve worked in the film industry as a model maker and have taught creative subjects in Universities since 1999 part time.
What does a typical day look like for you…
I have no fixed routine really, other than when I teach. I enjoy being a free spirit and changing my plans of a day or having them changed because that’s how life can be. It’s the benefits of working for yourself. I’ll probably either hop on my bike to my studio or to teach, or walk to gain a different perspective on life and slow the pace down a bit – London can feel a bit frenetic for me sometimes it’s its’ charm – and occasional drawback if you’re not in the mood for it!
How do you like to work?
I share my studio space which I enjoy, if I worked on my own I’d probably never switch off! I enjoy the sociability and community nature of my studios. Despite my work being usually clean lined and minimal, I work in a bit of a chaotic state, ceramics is messy and I am too . Weirdly, I like it that way, if everything is in its place I feel distant from it. My mind whirs best in an energetic surrounding.
What/who inspires you and your work?
I’ve always admired Brigit Riley and her ability to displace you with her paintings. The huge ceramic of Jun Kaneko for their graphic and sculptural qualities. I enjoy light and the natural shift throughout the day, especially on the bridges when I cycle over them.
Where or what is your favourite spot in South East London?
Always a view, so up a hill or Franks rooftop bar, I enjoy the the varying views around Peckham and Camberwell, just dipping down streets and seeing all the amazing buildings and architecture. The South London Gallery is also a lovely place to visit regularly, having fun exhibits on.
Helen’s work will be displayed until mid-October.