Q and A, UK Beer and Breweries

East London Brewing Company | Q&A

East London Brewing Company | Q&A
Originally Posted on Sep 23, 2015

Are you curious to know about the people behind the beers you buy? Or perhaps you want to know what inspires brewers to brew and beer bloggers to blog?  Our “Q&A” posts are a light hearted way of getting to know people working in, and connected to the beer and alcohol industry.
Today’s post features East London Brewing Company.

About the Brewery

East London Brewing Company are a 10-barrel microbrewery producing draught and bottled real ales for pubs, bars, restaurants and off-licenses, predominantly (but not exclusively!) in and around London.
“… There’s something inherently gratifying about making beer that appeals to us on a basic level. Maybe it’s to do with the simplicity of the ingredients – water, grain, yeast, hops; maybe the immediacy of the activity and the knowledge that most of what we produce is for our local community; or maybe it’s simply the comfort of being part of a long British tradition.
Our 10-barrel plant in E10 is the result of a great deal of thought and a fair whack of hard graft. We started thinking about it all seriously as we were expecting our second child; Stu was increasingly disenchanted after 20 years as an industrial chemist and Claire was contemplating several months of maternity leave. There’s nothing like the sleep-deprived insanity of a new baby to warp one’s better judgement and by February 2011, we had made the leap, had no jobs between us, a two-year old, a four-month old and – as if that weren’t enough – an embryonic micro-brewery….”

Who are you/what do you do?  Hannah Davidson – Sales & Communications manager at East London Brewing Company

How did you get into this line of work?  Several years working in cask and craft bars, running cellars and developing a very healthy knowledge of the beer industry, working for a small, but perfectly formed brewery was the next logical step! My background in events is also a big plus.

What is your favourite beer, wine or spirit?   ELB Quadrant is one of my absolute favourite beers. Bitter dark fruits, chocolate and creamy coffee finish. Delicious.

What do you think makes a great beer?   Dedication and perfectionism. We make very simple, classic styles and that means you have to get every element exactly right. Great beer is like great food: all the flavours come together in a perfect moment.

What is your favourite style of beer?   My favourite style of beer at the moment is Imperial Stout, though most are incredibly strong so hardly a session beer! I also love the sour beers and lambics, and you can’t go wrong with a classic London Porter.

What is the best part of your job?   My job is amazing: the best part is that I get to do it everyday! Whether it’s organising collaboration brews, talking to publicans, fixing cellars, arranging events, visiting pubs, writing Tweets, or doing beer and cheese matching, labelling, helping bottle, each day is different, and my office always smells like fresh beer.

What was the inspiration for starting the brewery?  Claire and Stu decided to set up the microbrewery as a realisation of a dream. The brewery industry had just started its spectacular growth (ELB was the 20th microbrewery to open in London: there are nearly 80 now).  Stu was increasingly disenchanted after 20 years as an industrial chemist and Claire was contemplating several months of maternity leave. Decisions were made, and in February 2011, ELB Pale Ale was brewed for the very first time. It is still one of our bestselling beers.

Where do you see, or hope to see, the brewery in 5 years’ time?   In 5 years’ time we will still be making excellent beers, and still loving being part of the vibrant and exciting London brewing community.

How long have you been brewing at ELB?   In February 2011 the first batch of Pale Ale was brewed, and then a few days later Foundation Bitter joined the range. Since then our range encompasses 6 core beers that are available in bottle all year round, and then our specials and seasonal beers, including Orchid, a dark mild flavoured with Madagascan Vanilla pods.

Out of all the beers you brew, which is your favourite? Why is that?   Quadrant Oatmeal stout (5.8%) is my favourite, and is a brewery favourite at that. Dark chocolate, black fruits and a silky coffee finish, it is long winter evenings with a good book in front of the fire in a glass.

Thank you for Hannah and East London Brewing for taking the time to take part.

You can view and buy beers from East London Brewing Company here.