Sunday, 4 January 2009

Battersea Brewing

I had first seen mention of London's newest brewery on the informative BeerJustice blog a few weeks ago and once I saw that they were doing a series of open nights, I popped down to south London with Chris and Roger.

Before going to the brewery, we decided to whet our whistle at the nearby Castle on Battersea High Street. Quite a light airy pub with a roaring wood fire - the Youngs Special was on top form so we had a few pints to limber up.

The Sambrook Brewery is one of a set of industrial units and the open night was in full flow when we got there.

Brewer Duncan Sambrook was giving a tour of the brewery to a group of people whilst various familiar CAMRA faces, including John Cryne from North London CAMRA, seemed content to simply drink the beer - like us, they've probably had their fill of brewery tours over the years.

There was just the one beer on offer - the 3.8% Wandle - named after the river that flows beneath Battersea.

The Wandle was a bit chilly for my taste and it looked as if it had a protein haze but it tasted fine - quite an easy drinking beer.

Roger really took a shine to it and kept going back for refills - well we only had half-pint glasses!

We had a brief chat with Duncan once he finished his tour and he explained that he'd been working in the City but decided to return to his roots as a chemist and try his hand at brewing professionally. Whilst he only has this one beer in production at the moment, he'll be looking to produce seasonal beers once the Wandle is fully up and running.

Although Duncan has started off at quite a large scale, he has the advantage of being in partnership with David Welsh, a former MD at Ringwoods, which will hopefully stand the business in good stead, especially in today's tricky trading environment.

Apparently there are a few local outlets already, including the Westbridge Public House and Dining Rooms, but they hope to extend further in 2009 and I'm sure we'll see their wares at the Battersea beer festival in February.

Good luck to Duncan and his team.

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