It might be operating out of a very modest industrial unit in North London but Beerblefish Brewing Co. pumps out an incredible array of regular beers and seasonals straddling myriad styles from around the globe.
Having initially experimented with making a barley wine at the former Ubrew facility in Bermondsey the brewing bug took hold and that initial beer became 1892 IPA when James Atherton and Bethany Burrow Atherton took a unit in Edmonton to become full-time brewers.
Visiting their brewery gives an opportunity to try that 1892 brew, which is indicative of many of the Beerblefish beers as it looks to replicate brews of the past. James and brewer Michaela Charles have a love of experimenting on a grand scale that covers the gamut of beer styles from lager, Saison, mild, pale ales, IPA and Flemish ales. Interestingly, they are all brewed as cask ales with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottled output.
Although there is great variety coming out of the brewery James states that he predominantly uses the core ingredients of water, barley, hops and yeast. He suggests “there is no need for lots of other elements”. It is the yeast that he has particular mastery of and uses four varieties. From this he brings the rich Brett character into play with some of his beers, which gives a great depth of flavour.
Despite the variety of output it is three core beers that account for around 40% of volumes – Edmonton Bitter, Pan Galactic Ale and Hackney T&T that is brewed specifically for the Hackney Carriage micro pub in Sidcup.
With the brewery having fully outgrown its existing space Beerblefish is to shortly move to Walthamstow into a unit 3.5-times larger that will include a Tap Room. This will operate as a Cask Emporium, which will certainly differentiate it from the many other brewery tap rooms in the area.
With a larger unit in a burgeoning brewery mecca the plan is to generate 50% of revenues from on premise sales. Alongside the house beers there will also be some guest cask ales and Bethany is keen to make the venue a community hub. The revenues from the bar will be used to generate the capital to upgrade and expand the brew kit.
The new bar will give an opportunity for drinkers to sample my two picks from my afternoon tasting at the brewery – 1820 Porter (6.6%) and the Saison-style Infinite Probability (6.7%).
Glynn Davis, editor of Beer Insider